Dr. Melanie Turgeon

Associate Professor, Music P: 780-465-3500 Ext. 8028 F: 780-465-3534
Education
  • D. MA, Choral Conducting, University of Ilinois
  • M.Mus., Choral Conducting and Literature, University of Alberta
  • BA Honours, Music, University of Alberta

Melanie Turgeon began studying conducting at the age of 16, under the tutelage of Wolodymyr Kolesnyk, former conductor of Kyiv State Opera and Ballet Theatre. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours Music Degree and a Master of Music Degree in Choral Conducting, both from the University of Alberta, as well as a Doctor of the Musical Arts Degree in Choral Music from the University of Illinois. Over the past twenty years, Dr. Turgeon has had the pleasure of studying with eleven different accomplished conductors, including Dr. Leonard Ratzlaff, Dr. Debra Cairns, Donald Schleicher, Helmuth Rilling, among others, and most recently with Vladimir Gorbik, one of Eastern Europe’s renowned conductors.

Dr. Turgeon is an Associate Professor of Music and Choral Director at The King’s University. She has conducted numerous choirs and ensembles and has presented research at several academic institutions and conferences both in Canada and internationally. She has toured extensively with her choirs, including two very successful European tours. In addition to her role at King’s, Dr. Turgeon is a member of the Eparchial Liturgical Commission, where she is responsible for the incorporation of liturgical music and texts into various publications for the Ukrainian Catholic Church. She has organized and taught workshops for educating cantors, also for the Ukrainian Catholic Church, and has created several resources and publications for this purpose. Since 2002, she has served as Music Director and Cantor at St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in Edmonton, and since 2013, she has been a member of the Patriarch Tikhon Professional Choir.

Highlights in Dr. Turgeon’s research endeavours include the publication of a book entitled, Composing the Sacred in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia (2008), and a hymnal with an accompanying five-CD set, Sing to our God (2008). She has also released three recordings with Heruvymy Ukrainian Female Quartet and one with King’s Choirs, entitled, The Voice of My Prayer (2011). Melanie is also heavily involved with the Ukrainian Art Song Project, serving as a producer or co-producer. Moreover, she has presented at various CD launch concerts and conferences, including the World Vocal Symposium in St. John’s, Newfoundland in July 2013, and she looks forward to sharing further research and scholarship on the Ukrainian Art Song Project at a conference at Columbia University in February 2017.

In 2010, Dr. Turgeon founded Kappella Kyrie, a unique, auditioned choir that devotes itself to the performance of Slavic sacred music. They still explore a variety of repertoire, yet with a consistent consciousness to uphold Slavic music. In June 2015 Kappella Kyrie celebrated its fifth anniversary. They chose to mark this special occasion by singing Rachmaninoff’s famous All-Night Vigil as an actual church service, something that has likely never been done before in Canada and possibly even in North America! Conducting this cherished sacred composition within the context of an actual church service was a definite highlight in Melanie’s conducting and spiritual journey. Similarly, as part of Podium 2016, Canada’s biannual choral conductor’s conference, Kappella Kyrie sang The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, including music spanning from the 17th to the 21st century. Melanie is very honoured to have gained national recognition with Kappella Kyrie in the 2015 Choral Canada National Competition by placing 2nd in the Pan-Cultural Traditions Category.

Dr. Turgeon’s most recent research endeavour is Ukrainian Voices: Music of a Nation.  In collaboration with Artistic Director and Cofounder, Mark Bailey of Yale University, Melanie is the Associate Project Director of Ukrainian Voices. Through performances, recordings, scholarship, and publications, Ukrainian Voices brings awareness, knowledge, and accessibility to the music of various cherished and celebrated Ukrainian composers from the 17th to the early 19th century.

Summer Studies

07/2000 Podium 2000 National Conference Edmonton, AB
* Conducting Master Class participant with Ivars Taurins

06/1999-07/1999 University of Oregon Eugene, OR
* Conducting Master Class participant at the Oregon Bach Festival with Helmuth Rilling

08/1991-94 & 1996 Ukrainian Music Society of Alberta Edmonton, AB
* Conducting Master Class participant with Maestro Wolodymyr Kolesnyk, former conductor of Kiev State Opera and Ballet Theatre

Awards and Scholarships

* Alberta Council for the Ukrainian Arts (ACUA) Award for Ukrainian Art in Alberta, April 2005
* Father Dydyk Knights of Columbus Bursary, September 2001 and 2002
* Flore Shaw Memorial Music Scholarship, June 2000
* Canadian Federation of University Women Margaret Brine Graduate Scholarship, April 2000
* Marie Mae and Sergei Eremenko Music Award, March 2000
* William Rea Scholarship, September 1999
* Beryl Barns Memorial Graduate Award, September 1999 & 1998
* Province of Alberta Graduate Scholarship, May 1999
* Edmonton Swiss Men’s Choir Award, January 1999
* Faculty of Arts Honours Prize, May 1998
* Admitted to the University of Alberta chapter of the Golden Key National Honour Society, February 1998
* University of Alberta Undergraduate Scholarship, September 1996
* Universiade ’83 Undergraduate Scholarship, September 1996
* Louise McKinney Post Secondary Scholarship, September 1995

Conducting, Teaching, and Professional Experience

08/2002-present The King’s University College Edmonton, AB
* Conductor of The King’s University College Concert Choir
* Conductor of The King’s University College Chamber Choir
* Instructor of Music 330: Choral Conducting I and Music 331: Choral Conducting II

08/2004-present The King’s University College Edmonton, AB
* Instructor of Music 217: Aural Skills I and Music 267: Aural Skills II

10/2002-present St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church Edmonton, AB
* Cantor and Conductor of Parish Choir

01/1994-present Heruvymy Ukrainian Female Quartet Edmonton, AB
* Artistic Director, Co-founder, and Member

01/2003-present St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church Edmonton, AB
* Chairperson and Principal Editor for an Eparchial Hymnal

10/2005-12/2005 Sine Nomine Choir Edmonton, AB
* Guest Conductor

01/2005 Ukrainian Bilingual Program Edmonton, AB
* Guest Conductor of Student Chorus for 30th Anniversary Celebration

01/2003-2004 Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Alberta Edmonton, AB
* Conductor of Eparchial Youth Choir

2002-12/2003 Musica Russica Publishing Company Madison, CT
* Assisted Musica Russica with the publication of Nikolai Kachanov’s arrangement of Four Ukrainian Christmas Carols (CC 014)

08/2001-08/2002 St. Joseph United Methodist Church St. Joseph, IL
* Conductor of Parish Choir

08/2001-05/2002 University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, IL
* Instructor of Music 142B: Elements of Conducting

02/2001 & 02/2002 University of Illinois Piatt County, IL
* Clinician at Allerton Vocal Chamber Music Symposium

08/2000-05/2001 University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, IL
* Conductor of Illini Women’s Chorus

01/2000-08/2000 St. Basil Ukrainian Catholic Church Edmonton, AB
* Conductor of Parish Choir

09/1999-07/2000 Richard Eaton Singers Edmonton, AB
* Choral Assistant

11/1998-05/2000 St. Martin Catholic Elementary School Edmonton, AB
* Director and Co-founder of a Choral Music Program and Chamber Orchestra

09/1999-01/2000 Musica Russica Publishing Company Madison, CT
* Assisted Musica Russica with the publication of A. Arkhangel’sky’s Psalm 40 (Ar 144)

11/1991-01/2000 St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church Edmonton, AB
* Assistant Conductor of Parish Choir

08/1998-05/1999 University of Alberta Edmonton, AB
* Assistant Conductor of the University of Alberta Concert Choir

09/1998-04/1999 University of Alberta Edmonton, AB
* Research Assistantship with Dr. Michael Roeder

09/1998-04/1999 University of Alberta Edmonton, AB
* Teaching Assistantship for Music 101, 213 and 272

09/1998-02/1999 Ukrainian Music Society of Alberta Edmonton, AB
* Assistant Conductor of a mass chorus for an Edmonton Symphony Orchestra performance of Yurij Laniuk’s Palimpsesty

04/1997-06/1997 St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church Edmonton, AB
* Guest Conductor of Parish Choir

1991-1996 Tsvit Paporoti Ukrainian Folk Choir Edmonton, AB
* Conductor

1991-1992 Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Alberta Edmonton, AB
* Assistant Conductor of the Centennial Youth Choir

Recordings

Pryidite Poklonimsia (Come, Let Us Worship) (1999)
Heruvymy Ukrainian Female Quartet with Father Yaroslaw Dybka
An anonymous 17th-century setting of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, originally scored for five-part mixed chorus and arranged for four-part female voicing by Melanie Turgeon
Arktos 99038

Spivaite Hospodevi (Sing unto the Lord) (1996)
Heruvymy Ukrainian Female Quartet
The majority of the music on this recording was arranged or composed by Melanie Turgeon
Arktos Cassette