Brandon University mourns former Dean of Music Dr. Glen Carruthers

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The entire Brandon University community is saddened by the recent death of an alumnus and former Dean of Music at BU, Dr. Glen Carruthers. A pianist and noted musicologist, he died peacefully at his Ontario home on Dec. 24. The cause of death was cancer; he was 66.

“Glen was one of the most remarkable people I’ve ever known,” said current BU Dean of Music Greg Gatien. “He was deeply invested in the success of both faculty and students, and he had an infectious love of music and uncanny ability to help people find their passion and strengths.

“We will remember him with deep admiration and affection and all our thoughts and sympathies are extended to his beloved partner, Heather Carruthers, an internationally acclaimed bassoonist and forever a member of the School of Music’s family.”

Dr. Carruthers studied under Lorne Watson at BU in the 1970s, earning a BU Bachelor of Music degree in 1977 before going on to Carleton for his Masters and the University of Victoria for his Ph.D. After teaching at Lakehead University for a decade, where he was founding chair of their Department of Music, Dr. Carruthers returned to BU in 1998 to become Dean of the BU School of Music and a Professor of Musicology.

An outstanding Dean, Dr. Carruthers led a deeply student-focused School of Music, geared towards genuine relationships and strong, shared community.

He brilliantly led the School of Music through a decade that saw dynamic renewal in all parts of the Music faculty, leading to exciting program changes and substantial student achievement. His reinvigoration of the School enhanced and expanded its already-impressive reputation as one of Canada’s pre-eminent programs. His unwavering commitment to community, creativity, and leadership fostered a student-centred culture of respect and support that fittingly remains as one aspect of his rich and lasting legacy.

A noted scholar, Dr. Carruthers also penned more than 100 articles in areas such as musicology, community music, and music education. Among his many contributions to Brandon University, he was also chair of the Standing Ovation fundraising campaign, helping raise more than $824,000 for the School of Music.

After serving as Dean until 2008, Dr. Carruthers continued as Professor of Musicology until 2010, when he joined Wilfrid Laurier University as Dean of their esteemed Faculty of Music. He continued to be a leading force in shaping post-secondary musical studies on the national and international scene.

“Glen’s death is a profound loss to music and music education in Canada,” said BU President David Docherty. “I first met Glen when he came to Laurier and we have stayed in touch since then. He was a vibrant and inspiring presence, and his impact on Brandon University continues to resonate strongly. All of us send our deepest condolences to Heather and to all of his family, friends, and loved ones.”

In honour of Dr. Carruthers, Brandon University will lower its flag to half-staff.



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