This week we feature Conor Hall, a jazz drummer, percussionist and composer currently pursuing his Masters of Music Performance-Jazz Studies at City University of New York.He participated in the Jazzology program in 2013.
We caught up with him to see what he’s been up to!
1) When did you participate in the Jazzology program?
I participated in the program in the fall of 2013.
2) Describe your experience with the Jazzology program. What was your favourite aspect?
Brad Barker was host at the time and he was great at making me feel at ease. Being able to talk about some of my favorite musicians and having one of my original compositions introduced by Brad was terrific.
3) Would you recommend this experience to other young musicians? Why?
Absolutely. Being able to have that exposure is really important. In particular for those of us who are introverts and aren’t very good at putting ourselves front and center, Jazzology was my first PR experience and helped with my confidence.
4) How has this experience helped in your personal and professional development?
As I mentioned, gaining confidence is of course one of the main components of establishing yourself as a musician. With so many great players out there, public relations and making connections are essential elements in advancing your career. It’s not just about being one of the best players – people have to know you’re out there.
5) This program is made possible by our generous donors and sponsors who strongly believe in the importance of arts education initiatives. If you had the opportunity to thank them in person, what would you say?
Thank you very much for allowing me to be part of Jazzology. I had been listening to the show for a few seasons and hoped one day that I would be chosen. Being chosen as one of the seasons rising talents gave me confidence and solidified my belief in music as a viable career.
6) Why is music education important?
Arts and culture complete us as human beings. Music is critical in life – whether used as therapy or simply soothing the mind and body. Numerous studies have shown that young children who receive music education fare better academically.
7) Since participating in the program, what have you been doing? (education, scholarships, graduation, studying abroad, awards, grants, recordings, tours, employment, collaborations, etc.)
I graduated with my BFA Honours in June 2014. Shortly thereafter I won the “Whiplash” drum competition, which was promoted in tandem with the release of the film. The competition was sponsored by Now Magazine, Mongrel Media and Cosmo Music. After distilling the players down to the final 3 I was selected at the Grand Prize Winner at ScotiaTheatre and received a great Yamaha drumkit with all the accessories. I became a itinerant music instructor with City of Toronto in the fall of 2014, teaching drums and piano. Simultaneously I have been gigging regularly in clubs, at corporate events and private events in the city and have had a residency for over a year at King Rustic in Liberty Village.
In January 2016 I moved to New York City to begin my Masters Degree at Aaron Copland School of Music (City University of New York)
8) What are your plans for the future? (Any short term events or long term plans?)
Right now I’m focusing on the Master’s degree while gigging and keeping my hand in teaching. I’ve been spending more time now in New York arranging and composing.
9) How can people learn more about you and your activities? (Website, Twitter handle, etc.)
To follow my latest activities check out my website which I try to keep up to date.
My website is: www.conorhallmusic.com