Joint Honours Music and Visual Arts, 2016

CarolineCaroline Bordignon has an incredible passion for both music and art, she decided upon the University of Waterloo for the ability to pursue both, doing a double major. Thus, she found herself at Conrad Grebel! It is between these walls that she was able to take a composition course for the very first time, and that course change her life as she fell in love with composing. While she had written music all her life, she says,

I never knew that a Composer was something you could be, I thought that it was something only great prodigies got to do.

The composition course taught by Carol Ann Weaver gave her the chance to write a piece that an orchestra performed at the Sound of Land festival in 2014, which is one of her favourite memories of her undergraduate degree. These experiences lead Caroline to discover that she wanted to become a professional composer, as well as an artist. Combining the two different art forms to make a unified piece, something that she had learned about in both music and art history.

In her third year, Caroline had the wonderful opportunity to go an exchange trip to England where she studied at the University of Newcastle and fell in love with the country. Caroline had started to look for schools to do her Masters of Composition. She soon discovered that in England they have schools devoted only to music called Conservatoires, and she even had the opportunity to see a class of performers from an conservatoire perform. Upon graduating in 2016 and receiving a Bachelors in joint Honours Music and Fine Arts, Caroline enrolled in a Masters of Composition program, and deciding to once again return to the United Kingdom, this time in Manchester.

Caroline is in love with Manchester, and the Royal Northern Conservatory where she has one year left of her Masters. She describes the city, as a vibrant mix of new and old, among her favourite parts are the Northern Quarter and Deans Gate. Caroline has found a wealth of opportunity at her school, and she speaks of its incredible collaborative atmosphere. “If you write something and want it to be played. You just need to ask a performer, and they are eager to perform.” The school has also provided many opportunities to allow Caroline to have her work performed by an orchestra, and recorded. As well, she has been able to enjoy some of the amazing professional connections the school has, with the BBC philharmonic and the London symphony to name a few. These professional partners provide opportunities for composers to have their works played by a reputable orchestra. This school has provided Caroline with excellent opportunities that she is incredibly grateful to have experienced.  

Now that she is nearly finished her Master’s program, Caroline is looking into completing a Ph.D. and is going to be once again applying to schools in the United Kingdom. While she loves Manchester and wouldn’t mind continuing her time there, she also would enjoy trying London. Caroline says with a smile, “If you have an idea just got ahead and do it! Don’t wait until you have something to start from! If you want to do something, you should just go and do it!” This philosophy shines through in her actions, for example in moving to England, Caroline’s experiences shows us that dreams can come true.


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