Everett Hopfner leads programming at Eckhardt-Gramatté Conservatory of Music

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Award-winning pianist and Brandon University (BU) alumnus Everett Hopfner is the new Interim Director of the Eckhardt-Gramatté Conservatory of Music at BU.

Hopfner has taught at the Conservatory since 2015 and has also been a sessional instructor at BU’s School of Music. Raised in the Manitoba community of Ste. Rose du Lac, he earned a Bachelor of Music at BU before completing his graduate studies in Germany. Hopfner has also toured Canada as a former winner of the Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition, which is held annually at BU.

As the Interim Director of the Conservatory, Hopfner will oversee a wide range of programming that provides musical education and instruction to hundreds of students, ranging from three years old to senior citizens.

“There is no better way to start learning about music than to be in this building with all these amazing teachers and facilities,” Hopfner said. “Our programs include one-on-one instruction and group classes. We’re pleased to offer students many opportunities to perform in recitals and work with guest artists.

“Our teachers work so well together to provide a positive learning environment and a great variety of ideas and inspiration.”

Hopfner moves into a role vacated by Mary Jo Carrabré, who moved to British Columbia earlier this year after 20 years as Conservatory Director.

“Mary Jo left things in really great shape and was a pillar of our community for so long,” Hopfner said. “Her efforts have given us a foundation to take a good inventory of the things we are doing and the inspiration to continue building programs to serve the needs of our community.”

The Eckhardt-Gramatté Conservatory of Music has roots dating back to the establishment of the Brandon College Department of Music in 1906, offering training for both college students and young musicians. Music programming at the institution expanded over the years as the Conservatory and the music department became separate entities under the School of Music banner. The renamed Conservatory was dedicated in 1992 following a gift bestowed by Dr. Ferdinand Eckhardt to commemorate the life and music of composer Sophie-Carmen Eckhardt-Gramatté.

“We are enormously proud of Everett. In so many ways, he epitomizes what makes our Conservatory and School of Music such extraordinary places,” said BU Dean of Music Greg Gatien. “He manages to be a gifted educator and great musician, while also being extremely well-liked and respected by his students and his colleagues. I know he’s going to do an excellent job building on the legacy of Mary Jo and our other previous directors.”


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