MRU Alumni returns as new Conservatory Director
Brad Mahon has high hopes for “world class music facility”
By Riley Nerbas, Staff Writer
Long before he became the new Mount Royal Conservatory director, Brad Mahon was a conservatory student in the early ’90s.
After a failed bid to become the next big thing in the hair metal music industry, he turned to classical guitar training in the crooked halls of W-wing, the old music conservatory.
He graduated and then took on instructor roles in Regina and Medicine Hat before returning to Mount Royal University (MRU) this year.
After a temporary falling out among students and instructors over the firings of two faculty members, Mahon says he has come to MRU to heal old wounds. This January, Mahon replaced Paul Dornian, Director from 1992 – 2015.
He sets his focus on the future of the school’s program and new conservatory, “I’ve got a team and I’m going [forward].”
Mahon places a large emphasis on the future of the music conservatory. He hopes to expand post-secondary offerings for music programs at MRU.
The conservatory is looking into two possible new programs. One is the Artist Diploma, to be added for graduates from universities in Calgary.
“Not everyone is looking for a four-year degree program, we are looking at a two-year diploma that is more flexible and may work for a variety of people,” say Mahon.
MRU is also looking to implement a one year certificate for individuals looking to help improve their teaching skills, “centered on teacher training.”
The conservatory also has outreach programs that help the students and faculty play for individuals around Calgary.
“We have instructors and students who go over to Garrison Green, a seniors home, to play and connect with them,” Mahon says.
Mahon sees a bright future for the Mount Royal Conservatory, calling its faculty and students ‘world class’.
“The thing about [the phrase] ‘world class,’ [is that] people use that a lot, but I really do think that we have the opportunities of a world class facility with world class instruction, “ says Mahon. “It’s exciting.”
Mahon will be attending regular meetings with advisors as he settles in over the next semester and brings a fresh and innovative beginning to the Mount Royal University Conservatory.