The Past of Music @ UNB | UNB

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College of Extended Learning

In the early days, UNB was no different from other higher education institutions with a variety of musical groups and individuals active in music for the general enjoyment of it, most likely students with some faculty involvement. In the 1950s, the decision was made to have musical groups to support other UNB activities such as athletics and ceremonial occasions. Benefactor, Lord Beaverbrook funded musical instruments for a band and the bandmaster – all from his contacts in England.

Soon after, UNB began a musician-in-residence program where professional musicians were engaged, not to teach credit courses but to provide concerts and enrichment to students and faculty interested in music. This type of program was typical of many Canadian universities in the post-WW2 period as they transitioned and further developed their academic music programs. The UNB resident musician program was one of the longest lasting in the country lasting 1962-1993.

The last decade of the twentieth century brought many changes, with the retirement of the last resident musicians and the hiring of a Director of Music charged with beginning an academic program while continuing music participation options for students in 1993. With support from the New Brunswick Arts Board and an interested donor, the resident musician program has continued with a number of contributing artists up to the present. The academic program has continued to develop under the Director of Music and the resident musician program supports music performance through concerts, private teaching and coaching for both UNB and its surrounding community.

Richard Hornsby
Director of Centre for Musicial Arts
August 3, 2018

Explore Our Musical Past


Discover the resident musicians who brought music enjoyment, education, and festivals to UNB, Fredericton, and even USA and Europe. Photo courtesy of UNB Archives, PR6202


Band, Choir and String Ensemble

Discover UNB Band, Choral Society, Bicentennial Choir and the world-acclaimed Brunswick String Quartet. Photo Courtesy of UNB Archives, UA PC 7 No.8d


Festivals and Concerts

The first-of-its-kind music festival in Canada - UNB Summer Festival of Chamber Music and All That Jazz, and the Creative Arts Committee concert series and the Walter Baker Memorial Concerts. Photo Courtesy of UNB Archives, PR6163