Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario has appointed Cynthia Johnston Turner as dean of the Faculty of Music. Johnston Turner, is currently the director of bands, artistic director of Contemporary Chamber Ensemble and professor of music at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia. She will formally begin in the role of dean of the Faculty of Music on July 1, 2021.
Johnston Turner, a dual citizen of Canada and the United States, earned her Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY and her Master of Education in Music Education from the University of Victoria, B.C. Her professional success is readily apparent on both sides of the border and abroad. She has also been a conductor for the Eastman School at the University of Rochester; the Society for New Music Ensemble in Syracuse, NY; the Paris Lodron Ensemble in Salzburg, Austria; the Orquesta Sinfonica de Heredia in Costa Rica; the Performing Arts Institute at Wyoming Seminary in Pennsylvania; and numerous honour ensembles in Canada, the U.S. and Australia. She has also presented her research on innovating the rehearsal and performance experience at numerous national and international conferences.
“I am deeply honoured to be chosen by the Laurier community to be the dean of the Faculty of Music,” said Johnston Turner. “From our conversations, I think the music community resonated with bold and forward-looking ideas for pedagogy, curriculum and growth with the need to prepare our students for an evolving and exciting music career landscape, and with my commitment to diversity, equity, Indigeneity and inclusion work. For my part, I am drawn to the focus at Laurier on ‘community’ – community wellness, community building, community initiatives. I know we can grow into these and other important areas in the years to come.”
During her time at the University of Georgia, she was also chair of the Committee for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, the Committee for Innovation and several staff and faculty hiring committees. Before joining the University of Georgia, she was director of wind ensemble activities and an associate professor at Cornell University.
"The Hugh Hodgson School music is grateful for the dedicated service of Dr. Cynthia Johnston Turner, Professor and Director of Bands since 2014. Dr. Turner has led the UGA band and graduate conducting programs through significant growth in quality, scope, and influence," said Peter Jutras, professor and director of the Hodgson School of Music. "Her long list of outstanding achievements include important recordings, world premieres, nationally-lauded performances, and commissions of new works; meaningful service-learning student experiences in Panama, Georgia State Prisons, Clarke County Schools, and across Georgia; and continued creativity, innovation, and updating of traditional undergraduate and graduate curricula. Dr. Turner most recently served as chair of the HHSOM Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Committee, and as a member of the Committee for Innovation, making significant contributions to tangible and sustainable improvements in climate and instruction. While we are very sad to lose Dr. Turner, we whole-heartedly congratulate her and are looking forward to her contributions as the Dean and leader of the Faculty of Music at Wilfrid Laurier University, a large program in Ontario. We are confident that she will continue to have a positive impact on the musical landscape in Canada, the USA, and abroad as a teacher, conductor, influencer, and leader."
A full search for the next Director of Bands at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music will be conducted during the 21-22 academic year.
Our congratulations and best wishes to Dr. Johnston Turner.