Department of Music Welcome Interim Chair Dr Debra Cairns

The Department of music is proud to welcome Dr Debra Cairns as Interim Chair for the 2011-12 academic year.

04 May 2011

The Department of Music is proud to welcome Dr Debra Cairns as Interim Chair for the 2011-12 academic year.The Department of Music teaching faculty, students and administrative staff look forward to working with Dr Cairns in the year ahead, and thank her for her willingness to serve the Department.

A native of London, Ontario, Debra Cairns received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Vocal Literature and Performance from the University of Western Ontario, and her Doctorate in Choral Literature and Conducting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a Full Professor in the Department of Music at the University of Alberta where she co-ordinates and co-supervises the graduate program in choral conducting, teaches graduate conducting and choral literature, undergraduate conducting, diction, and directs the University of Alberta Concert Choir. She is also the director of i Coristi Cchamber Choir, an ensemble which she formed in 1994. Both ensembles are regular semi-finalists in the CBC Radio National Competition for Amateur Choirs, and in 2006 i Coristi won second prize in the Chamber Choir category. In 2002 Debra Cairns was nominated for the Syncrude Canada Award for Innovative Artistic Direction in recognition of her work with i Coristi.

A recipient of the Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Prize in Conducting, Debra Cairns has had articles on the music of the Renaissance composer Palestrina published in the Choral Journal and Anacrusis, and has had an edition of Palestrina's Missa Ave Regina Coelorum published by Carus-Verlag of Stuttgart, Germany. Increasingly active as a workshop and conference presentor both nationally and internationally, she has given several sessions on her current area of research interest, the relationship of gesture to sound. She is also in demand to lead conducting workshops and is active as an adjudicator across Canada.

Debra Cairns is currently Vice-President of ACCC (Association of Canadian Choral Conductors).