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Thursday, January 24, 2019


Remembering Alfred Kunz, Waterloo's music man

Alfred Kunz conducts a student orchestra in this undated photo.

Alfred P. Kunz, the former music director at the University of Waterloo who enjoyed a long career as a composer, choral conductor, and vocal coach died on January 16 at the age of 89.

Born in Saskatchewan in 1929, Kunz and his family moved to Kitchener when he was a teenager. After seven years of study at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Kunz returned in Kitchener as a music teacher in the early 1960s, founding and conducting the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Orchestra and Choir. For two years, he was commissioned by the Beth Jacob synagogue to compose, arrange and conduct festival music. In 1964, with the assistance of Kitchener's Concordia Club, the German Canadian Singing Association, and the West German government, Kunz spent a year studying composition and conducting in Germany, where he studied with renowned composer Karlheinz Stockhausen. He would return to Germany for further study and to conduct various musical groups at regular intervals for the rest of his career.

Alfred Kunz really gets into a groove.Kunz was hired as the University's director of music initially for a one-year term, in August 1965. As director of music, Kunz was responsible for the direction of all extra-curricular student musical activities and productions as part of the Cultural Program Centre. He established and provided oversight for mass choirs made up of students, faculty, and staff, as well as chamber choirs, orchestras and concert bands. More than 150 students were involved in the program.

The three main musical groups at Waterloo would produce an average of five shows a year, many of which were sellout performances (Kunz noted that one year they sold tickets to a dress rehearsal), as well as noon-hour concerts and other events across campus.

Kunz's first major performance on campus was Handel's Messiah, put on at Christmas in 1965, beginning a tradition of Christmas concerts that continued for many years.

Kunz composed the music for the University's school song, The Black and White and Gold, which became a Warrior Band staple after being introduced in September 1966.

He also staged numerous productions at the Theatre of the Arts, including operas of his own composition. Kunz said that the theatre had "unlimited possibilities" for experimenting with new musical arrangements and compositions.

In 1967, his oratorio The Big Land was performed in the Theatre of the Arts in December to celebrate Canada's centennial, featuring words by St. Jerome's College's Larry Cummings.

Proudly playing a triangle, Alfred Kunz leads a parade of musicians around campus in 1977.

Campus musicians parade past the Dana Porter Library, led by triangle-playing music director Alfred Kunz, in this 1977 photo. The group was drumming up interest in an upcoming performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

Throughout his tenure as music director, Kunz was active both on and off campus in the local, national, and international music community, conducting choirs, ensembles and other groups at concerts, competitions, festivals and special events too numerous to mention.

In the late 1970s, the University was facing significant financial pressures and was forced to make budget cuts, which led to, among other things, the elimination of Kunz's position as musical director in 1979, 14 years after it had been established. Conrad Grebel University College took on the responsibility of maintaining the choir, orchestra, and concert band.

After leaving the University, Kunz continued to achieve acclaim as a composer and community music leader.

In 2001, the University of Waterloo recognized Kunz with an honorary degree for his many contributions to the local music community. At the convocation ceremony, a choir performed a seven-minute choral motet entitled Peace in lieu of the usual address given by an honorary degree recipient.

A celebration of Alfred's life will take place on Sunday, February 3 at 2:30 p.m. at Benton Street Baptist Church in Kitchener. Fittingly, it will feature a sing-along.

Get your game on at the GI Jam

A young hacker-type gamer armed with a pencil and computer keyboard jumps over the "GI Game Jam" logo.

Calling all gamers: the Games Institute's Global Game Jam for Winter 2019 is taking place this week.

The Waterloo Game Jam, also commonly called the GI Jam, is a thrice-annual, multi-day event, with each one open to the public and designed to appeal to a wide variety of "playful people."

The event takes place in two stages:

  • LEARN (Thursday, January 24), @Games Institute (EC1), 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. - Learn the starter skills and the team spirit needed to be a strong competitor for the GI Game Jams and to work in the game industry. Taught by the Jam veterans and indie game devs of UW Game Dev Club. This event is free.

  • MAKE (Friday, January 25 to Sunday, January 27, @EV3 1408 and 3406: Attendees can try their hand at building their own games from scratch along with helpful advice and guidance from GI mentors. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online via Shopify. Please note that both the online payment form as well as the Eventbrite guest registration are necessary to attend this event.

Centre for Extended Learning closure notice

The Centre for Extended Learning will be closing on Thursday January 24 at 1:15 p.m. for their annual holiday gathering. The office will reopen Friday morning at 8:30 a.m.

Link of the day

35 years ago: Airwolf

When and where

Interviews: Proving your Skills, Thursday, January 24, 10:30 a.m., TC 1208.

Research Talks, “Unearthing ancient environments with microbes,” featuring Alexis Dolphin, Andrew Doxey, Kirsten Müller, and Peter Keech, Thursday, January 24, 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Davis Centre 1302. Please register as seating is limited.

WaterTalk, “Building adaptive capacity for water management--the role of knowledge and power,” delivered by Professor Marie Carmen Lemos, Thursday, January 24, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., DC 1302.

Résumés, Careers and Personal Branding – Part 1, Thursday, January 24, 4:30 p.m., TC 2218.

Career-Focused Workshop for Graduating Students, Friday, January 25, 1:00 p.m., TC 1208.

Knowledge Integration seminar: “Sketching for communication”, featuring speaker Matt Gorbet, Gorbet Design Inc., Friday, January 25, 2:30 p.m., EV3-1408.

Warriors Basketball vs. Laurier – Battle of Waterloo, Bell Let’s Talk. Friday, January 25, 6:00 p.m., PAC Main Gym.

Warriors Volleyball vs. York – Warrior Recreation League Night, Donor Appreciation Day, Staff and Faculty Day (Email warriorstickets@uwaterloo.ca for a free ticket code sponsored by Campus Dentist). Saturday, January 26, noon, PAC Main Gym.

NEW - Print + Retail Solutions brand launch event, Monday, January 28, 9:30 a.m., SCH Concourse.

Waterloo ExL Community of Practice: Games and Simulations in the Classroom, Monday, January 28, 12:00 p.m., DC1301 (DC Fishbowl). RSVP.

Turning Back the Doomsday Clock. Tuesday, January 29, 7:00 p.m., Kitchener Public Library Main Branch.

NEW - Applications for Velocity Campus Ambassador volunteer positions close, “Get a free t-shirt and toque, and immerse yourself in the world of entrepreneurship on campus,” Wednesday, January 30.

NEW - Research Ethics drop-in training session, Wednesday, January 30, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Dana Porter Library.

W3 (Waterloo Women's Wednesdays) presents Getting Unstuck: Tools to Deal with ConflictWednesday, January 30, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., NH 3318.

Student Service Centre Grand Opening, Wednesday, January 30, 2:30 p.m, The Centre, first floor of Needles Hall.

President's Lecture featuring Donna Strickland, Nobel laureate, Wednesday, January 30, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., J. G. Hagey Hall of the Humanities.

NEW - Velocity Start: Building a Kicka$$ Team, “Learn how build the best team for your future startup”, Wednesday, January 30, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

NEW - Velocity Idea Exchange @ Applied Health Sciences, “Brainstorm startup ideas with other students”, Thursday, January 31, 5:00 p.m., B.C. Matthews Hall (BMH), Room 1005

NEW - Arriscraft Lecture Series featuring Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller, "Agency Architecture: Public Insecurities,” Thursday, January 31, 6:30 p.m., Lecture Theatre, School of Architecture.

One Click Away: Daily Davos edition

President Feridun Hamdullahpur's visit to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum (#WEF19) continues. Here are some highlights of what’s being discussed at the Forum, now on its third day.

PhD oral defences

School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability. Caitlin Scott, "Challenging Big Food Sustainability: Dietary Change and Corporate Legitimacy in the Agrifood Governance Landscape." Supervisor, Jennifer Clapp. On display in the Faculty of Environment, EV1 335. Oral defence Wednesday, January 30, 9:00 a.m., EV1 221.

English Language and Literature. Amna Haider, "A Transmogrifying Discourse of Sexual Violence: Resisting, Redressing, and Re-writing Racial Scripts in Contemporary African American Women's Theatre." Supervisors, Frances Condon, Vershawn Young. On deposit in the Arts graduate office, PAS 2428. Oral defence Friday, February 1, 9:00 a.m., HH 373.

Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering. Luis Fernando Trimiño Rincon, "Epoxy Adhesives, Correlation between Strain Whitening and Damage Using a Macroscopig Optical Method." Supervisor, Duane Cronin. On display in the Engineering graduate office, E7 7402. Oral defence Friday, February 1, 1:00 p.m., EC4 1104.

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Ayman Jundi, "High Efficiency Broadband Power Amplifiers for Base Station Applications." Supervisor, Slim Boumaiza. On display in the Engineering graduate office, E7 7402. Oral defence Tuesday, February 5, 12:30 p.m., EIT 3142.