Flutist Kathryn Cernauskas has been a champion of Canadian music her entire life. She has personally premiered more than 100 Canadian compositions as well as recording a solo CD of Canadian music for flute, and is a composer of more than a dozen pieces of music herself. As head of Avondale Press (now part of the CMC publishing arm along with Berandol Music) Kathryn helped develop a library of more than 150 Canadian compositions that the small but highly regarded press publishes and distributes. And she is widely respected as an expert engraver of new music.
While maintaining an active career as a performer, teacher and adjudicator, Kathryn Cernauskas has also been Coordinator of Music at Douglas College and served as Chair of the Canadian Music Centre’s BC Advisory Council.
As part of our 40th Anniversary Celebrations and as someone who has been so centrally involved with Canadian music all her life, I asked Kathryn if she would reflect on the CMC and it’s role in the world. Her submission follows:
My interest in Canadian music was first sparked in my childhood by a wonderful piano teacher. Although I loved the classics I always seemed to gravitate toward the more modern pieces in the Conservatory repertoire books. When my teacher told me that some of these composers were not only still alive but lived in Canada, I could hardly believe it. Music of my own time and place! I was hooked.
Throughout my life in music the CMC has been a constant and faithful companion. As a student, performer, teacher and publisher I have relied on the CMC for research, advice and encouragement. Being able to sign music out (free of charge!), listen to recordings, and browse the files made my work not only possible but also a pleasure.
In 1993 it was my honour to be invited to join the BC Regional Council and from 2000 – 2004 I served as Chair. In fact the first meeting I chaired was the first meeting we had at our new home at 837 Davie Street and we celebrated our good fortune with a red wine toast. I especially valued being part of an organization with a national scope and mandate. The national board meetings with representatives from all the regions were a unique opportunity to gain perspective on the state of music across Canada
During my many years of association with the CMC I have worked with several Executive Directors, BC regional directors and staff members. Without exception, all have been dedicated people of the highest integrity and good cheer. Throughout my life in music, the CMC has been like family to me–always there when needed, supportive and encouraging.