MusicUNB | Centre for Musical Arts | UNB

Global Site Navigation (use tab and down arrow)

Centre for Musical Arts


With a balance of national and local talent, our concert series showcases innovative and exceptional chamber music performances.

Our Musician in Residence, Nadia Francavilla, has once again curated exciting programs for the Contemporary Music Festival and the Forté Series, totalling five amazing performances to blow you away.

In addition, we have evening and noon hour concerts throughout the year, all held in the beautiful and intimate Memorial Hall Auditorium.

2023-24 season

Joel Miller

Saxophonist-composer-bandleader Joel Miller continues to push boundaries of creativity and genre with his large ensemble project UNSTOPPABLE. Launched as the opening concert of L’OFF Festival de Jazz de Montreal, his “epic fantasy” showcases an orchestra of Jazz and Classical musicians. Dan McClenaghan in All About Jazz wrote, “Miller... seems to be telling us intricate and riveting stories... bringing Walt Disney's 1940 animated film Fantasia to mind.”

Passionate and creative, melodic yet exploratory” – Sharonne Cohen, Downbeat Magazine


  • Joel Miller, saxophones, conductor
  • Karen Aurell, flute
  • Christy Goodwin, oboe
  • James Kalyn, clarinet
  • Richard Hornsby, clarinet
  • Jon Fisher, horn
  • Patrick Bolduc, bassoon
  • Marie-Claude Landry, trumpet
  • Carl Phillipe Gionet, piano
  • Jason Flores, acoustic bass
  • Jon Bailey, drums

Joel Miller, saxophonist-composer

Joel grew up with a musical family in Sackville, New Brunswick. He got his passion for jazz music from his mother and her record collection, but his bass-playing brother Andrew, who suggested the saxophone at the dinner table one evening. Andrew said to a ten-year old Joel, “You know, the instrument that Zoot on the Muppet Show plays”. His dedication has been recognized with a long list of honours including a Juno award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album (Swim) and ECMA awards for his albums Swim (2012 Origin Records), Dream Cassette (2016 Origin Records) and UNSTOPPABLE (2019 Multiple Chord Music). Joel lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Joel Miller

Noel Wan

One of the oldest instruments in the world, the harp has been an instrument of warriors and poets, of villages squares and royal courts. Among its many guises is the Western concert pedal harp - a curious iteration whose aesthetic and mechanical development encapsulates centuries of cultural, social, and economic upheavals in Western Europe.

When envisioning this program, I wanted to speak to a central conflict in the pedal harp’s identity: the historical feminization of the instrument and the backlash to it since the twentieth century. Widely perceived as a woman’s instrument, the harp was banished to domestic spaces and its repertoire, along with its female players, deemed not serious enough for professional stages. Only in the twentieth century did the harp gain credibility as a concert instrument, largely due to predominantly male composers and harpists who sought to scrub away its old feminine connotations.

As a performer-scholar who writes on music and feminist theory, I wanted to highlight the pedal harp’s tangled relationship with women from their perspectives. Inspired by French philosopher Helène Cixous’s idea of the “écriture féminine” (women’s writing), this program comprises pieces all written by women composers—some of whom are/were also harpists—who were inspired by the harp’s rich history, diverse musical traditions, and their own deeply personal experiences. “Écriture féminine” thus celebrates the ways in which the female body, mind, and soul has shaped and continues to shape our perceptions of this strange, beautiful, and complex instrument.

Noël Wan, harpist

Lauded as “a huge talent [with] hidden power and amazing maturity” (Bart van Oort), Taiwanese-American harpist Noël Wan (1994) made her international debut with the Utrecht Symphony Orchestra in 2010. An acclaimed soloist, she has performed across North America, Europe, and Asia and has been featured at Carnegie Hall, het Muziekgebouw, Eslite Hall, and the Yellow Barn Summer Festival. Her 2023-2024 engagements include a Debut Atlantic Concert Tour and concerts presented by the Virginia Harp Center Festival, Taiwan Harp Festival, Conservatoire de musique de Montréal’s Harpenning Festival, Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society, and St. John’s Elora Recital Series.

As an artist who values collaborative music-making, Noël enjoys performing with diverse ensembles and working with living composers. She currently serves as Principal Harpist of the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and actively engages in chamber music projects, focusing on works by 20th- and 21st-century composers. Dedicated to the performance of contemporary music, she has premiered pieces by Krists Auznieks, Dmitry Tymoczko, Daníel Bjarnason, Kyong-Mee Choi, and Augusta Reed Thomas. In fall 2023, she will begin a commissioning project for electroacoustic harp, generously funded by Florida State University.

Noël is the first Taiwanese harpist to win Gold Medal in the USA International Harp Competition, one of the world’s most prestigious harp competitions, and she is the youngest First Prize winner in the history of the World Harp Competition. Other distinctions include the Mario Falcao Prize (USA International Harp Competition) and Forgotten Lore Prize (World Harp Competition) for best interpretation of a newly commissioned work; Grand Prize in the 2014 Carmel Music Society Competition; and Second Prize in the 2013 Nippon International Harp Competition, 2015 Korea International Harp Competition, and 2021 Prix Orford Musique. Additionally, she has been supported by the Chimei Arts Foundation, the Presser Foundation, and the Ontario Arts Council.

An alumna of the University of Illinois (BM, DMA) and the Yale School of Music (MM), Noël is equally comfortable in her roles as a performer, academic, and educator. She has presented her scholarly work at the American Harp Society Summer Institute and the American String Teachers Association National Conference and has contributed to Harp Column, The Collective, The American Harp Journal, and VAN Magazine. Also highly sought as a teacher, Noël has been on faculty at the University of Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College, and Western University; she currently serves as Assistant Professor of Harp and Entrepreneurship at Florida State University.

Born in the California Bay Area, Noël has since called many places "home." She and her husband, Canadian choral conductor Patrick Murray, now divide their time between Toronto, Ontario and Tallahassee, Florida, where they live with their tuxedo cats Georgina and Simone.

Noël Wan

Come enjoy the Chorale’s end or term concert in the beautiful Memorial Hall auditorium.

The UNB Chorale is comprised of students, staff, and faculty from UNB, as well as members of the larger community.

Directed by Kathrin Welte, accompanied by Thomas Gonder.

Performing a variety of pieces this year, the concert band expands its repertoire into video game music, performed alongside Hannukah and Christmas music.

Enjoy their end of term offering in the beautiful Memorial Hall auditorium. The UNB Concert Band is comprised of students, staff, and faculty from UNB, as well as members of the larger community.

Directed by Hugh Kennedy.

Atlantic Sinfonia, based in Fredericton, New Brunswick, is one of the few professional chamber orchestras in Atlantic Canada. Operating since 2005, Sinfonia’s string orchestra and a wind octet have performed concerts in Fredericton, throughout New Brunswick, and in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

Members are amongst the best classical musicians in Fredericton and the region, and Sinfonia has been an incubator for emerging musicians who have gone on to music studies and professional careers. Atlantic Sinfonia also regularly performs in the schools and has done special creative music projects in partnership with educators.

Directed by Richard Hornsby

Come enjoy the Chorale’s end or term concert in the beautiful Memorial Hall auditorium.

The UNB Chorale is comprised of students, staff, and faculty from UNB, as well as members of the larger community.

Directed by Kathrin Welte, accompanied by Thomas Gonder.

Performing a variety of pieces, enjoy their end of term offering in the beautiful Memorial Hall auditorium.

The UNB Concert Band is comprised of students, staff, and faculty from UNB, as well as members of the larger community.

Directed by Hugh Kennedy.

Contemporary Music Festival, The Roots of Rituals

Presenting a new chamber opera by Nova Scotia’s Michael Donovan, drawn from the seminal memoirs and poems of Francois René de Chateaubriand (1768-1848) and his sister Lucile de Chateaubriand (1764-1804).

A contemporary lens on the inner and artistic life of Chateaubriand, whose passionate Romantic sensibilities prompted a young Victor Hugo’s self-professed aim “to be Chateaubriand or nothing.”


  • Doug MacNaughton, baritone
  • Maureen Batt, soprano
  • Paul Pulford, cello
  • Sibylle Marquardt, flute
  • Lynette Wahlstrom, piano/harpsichord
  • Tim Crofts, synth/electronics

An edge-of-your-seat program of works by acclaimed New York composer Missy Mazzoli (b. 1980), known for her “apocalyptic imagination” (The New Yorker) and deemed “Brooklyn’s post-millennial Mozart” (Time Out NY).

This wide-ranging collection of solo, trio and ensemble works were assembled in collaboration with the composer and first performed for her in 2022.


  • Nadia Francavilla, violin
  • Carl Philippe Gionet, piano
  • Stephen Runge, piano
  • Christina Haldane, voice
  • Erin Bardua, voice
  • Vicki St.Pierre, voice
  • Norm Adams, cello
  • Andrew Miller, bass
  • Max Gallant, percussion
  • Danielle Jones, flute
  • James Kalyn, clarinet

Wrapping up the 2023 Contemporary Music Festival with a spacious program of minimalist works by some of the most celebrated women composers working today: Brooklyn-based composer and saxophonist Shelley Washington (b.1991); Canadian Opera Company composer-in-residence Cecilia Livingston (b.1984), Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw (b.1982) and Guggenheim Fellow Kati Agócs (b.1975).


  • Nadia Francavilla, violin
  • Danielle Sametz, violin
  • Susan Sayle, viola
  • Norm Adams, cello
  • Christina Haldane, voice
  • Carl Gionet, piano

Forté Series

The French women composers featured in this concert worked in the Impressionist tradition of Debussy and Ravel. Prolific composers, with more than 300 pieces performed throughout the early 20th century, they were still eclipsed by their male counterparts.

Nadia Francavilla (violin), Karin Aurell (flute), Stephen Runge (piano) and guests present a revival of these important but overlooked works, including Louise Farrenc’s quintet for piano and strings, and Mel Bonis’ suite op. 59 for flute, violin, and piano.


  • Nadia Francavilla, violin
  • Karin Aurell, flute
  • Stephen Runge, piano

Nadia Francavilla and Julien Leblanc present George Enescu’s (1881-1955) Sonata No. 2 in F minor for violin and piano (1899) Complementing this well-loved and romantic work, a new piece by the up-and-coming Romanian composer Elexandra Cherciu (b. 1983), as well as Karol Szymanowski’s Mythes and Mel Bonis’ Femmes De Légendes.


  • Nadia Francavilla, violin
  • Julien Leblanc, piano

Concert calendar

Ticket prices

Regular $30
Students $15
Family pass or date night (two adults + any children) $50

Regular $90
Student $45

Regular $10
Each concert student $5
Each concert festival pass regular $20
Festival pass student $10

Get tickets

Support MusicUNB

Our work to provide accessible, high-quality music has been made possible in large part by our donors and patrons, for whom we are deeply grateful. If you’re able, please consider contributing to our efforts. Please note, you will receive a tax receipt for your donation

Donate now

A message from Richard Hornsby, Director

Richard Hornsby

For decades, UNB has provided the university and the broader community with quality concerts by both regional and other Canadian artists. We typically use our acoustically fine, Memorial Hall on the UNB campus.

Experiencing live classical music can be a revelation. An opportunity to get up close to the musicians provides an experience where you can feel the musical vibrations, here the rosin as the bow moves across the strings of a violin and be fascinated at the facial expressions and other forms of communication that musicians use in order to be in perfect synchronicity.

All this can be experienced by participating in the "MusicUNB" concerts in our intimate and acoustically fine Memorial Hall, on the UNB campus. We bring in the finest musical artists from the area and region and sprinkle them with some visiting artists from farther afield to provide quality concerts at reasonable ticket prices.

The concerts cover a large variety of styles and eras. There is something for everyone. Join us as a pass holder (best deal) or a single ticket buyer. Come be entertained and inspired.