Laurel Forshaw


Affiliation: University of Toronto
Presentation: Research Paper Presentation
Title: Decolonizing Choral Music in Canada: A Response to the Truth and Reconciliation of Canada’s Calls to Action
Abstract: This paper presentation will examine the ways in which colonialism is embedded in choral pedagogical methods, repertoire, and organisational structure, and how the choral community can respond to the Truth and Reconciliation of Canada’s Calls to Action in rehearsals and performances in a respectful and responsible manner.

Biography: Born and raised in Thunder Bay, ON, Laurel Forshaw now calls Toronto home. Laurel holds a Master of Arts in Music Education (Choral Conducting) and Kodaly and Orff-Schulwerk certification from the University of St. Thomas, MN. She is currently a PhD in Music Education candidate at the University of Toronto and conductor of the Strata Vocal Ensemble in Hamilton, ON, a mixed voice chamber choir.

In Thunder Bay, Laurel was the Artistic Director of the Dulcisono Women’s Choir, and founder and AD of the Rafiki Youth Choir. She was a contract lecturer at Lakehead University, teaching conducting courses for the Department of Music. Dedicated to providing singing opportunities for all, Laurel created a Kodaly-based program for adult women to learn music literacy and vocal skills in a choral setting. She also provided professional development and facilitated learning labs for the itinerant music teachers of the Lakehead Public School Board.