About the Benjamin Eby Lecture

The Benjamin Eby Lecture is an annual lecture that presents the research of a faculty member at Conrad Grebel University College. It is named after Benjamin Eby (1785-1853), an early educator and Mennonite church leader in Waterloo County.

Upcoming lecture

Witnessing passion lecture invitation

Witnessing Passion: Musical depiction of minor characters in Passion music by Bach, Ešenvalds, MacMillan and Pärt

The Passion accounts in the four canonical gospels are full of witnesses to the arrest, trial and crucifixion of Christ. Often, their presence is distilled into a single line of text. In musical settings of the Passion, that single line of text might result in just a single measure of music, yet their presence as eye-witnesses is absolutely essential. They are the reminder that this divine story is also deeply human. 

This lecture-demonstration explores the ways through which J.S. Bach, Ēriks Ešenvalds, James MacMillan and Arvo Pärt note, musically, the presence of these biblical by-standers.

Free | Registeration Required

Mark VuorinenProfessor Mark Vuorinen

Mark Vuorinen is an Assistant Professor of Music at Conrad Grebel University College, where he teaches courses in conducting and conducts the University of Waterloo Chamber Choir. He is also Artistic Director of Kitchener-Waterloo’s Grand Philharmonic Choir (a symphonic chorus whose repertoire includes the great masterpieces for chorus and orchestra) and the professional chamber choir, The Elora Singers. Mark studied music at Wilfrid Laurier University, Yale University’s Institute of Sacred Music and the University of Toronto. He has given first performances and Canadian premieres of works by many composers, including John Burge, Timothy Corlis, Robinson McClellan, and Tawnie Olson. Other recent concert highlights include performances of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, Arvo Pärt’s Credo and Richard Einhorn’s moving soundtrack, Voices of Light as an accompaniment to the silent film The Passion of Joan of Arc.  Mark is the 2016 Laureate of the Ontario Arts Council's Leslie Bell Prize in Choral Conducting.

Past Lectures

For more information on the lecture, contact infocguc@uwaterloo.ca or call at 519-885-0220 x24264.

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Multimedia Videos

watch past lectures

Watch our special event videos: the Bechtel LecturesMennonite Literature series, the Eby Lecture, and the Sawatsky Lecture.