MUSICIAN OF THE MONTH: CHRISTIANNE RUSHTON
After a short hiatus, we’re happy to be back with another spectacular Musician of the Month for you – none other than the wonderful Christianne Rushton!
Mezzo-soprano Christianne Rushton delighted audiences with her engaging presence and versatility on both the operatic and concert stages. Dr. Rushton is a first prize winner of the Canadian National Music Festival, a prize winner at the prestigious Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition, a two-time grant recipient from the Canada Council for the Performing Arts, and a winner of the Canada Council’s Bernard Diamant Prize in Voice. In recital, she has been a guest artist for the Royal Society of Canada, toured with Debut Atlantic, performed at the Indian River Festival, recorded with the Canadian Chamber Choir, sung with Baltimore Musicales and debuted at New York’s Alice Tully Hall.
Christianne is Associate Professor at Acadia University where she is head of vocal studies and Director of the School of Music. Christianne is a graduate of the Juilliard Opera Center at The Juilliard School and completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from SUNY Stony Brook. She recently received an Emerging Leader Award, from the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) for her innovation and success teaching voice. Dr. Rushton is President of two arts organizations on the East Coast; President of the Canadian Atlantic Provinces chapter of NATS, and the President of the Nova Scotia Federation of Provincial Music Festivals. Christianne is founder and President of “Discover Your Dynamic Voice”, a company that offers coaching to women in leadership to unleash, in order to unlock the power of their own unique voice.
As well as being active as an adjudicator, pedagogue, workshop clinician and performer across the country, she is a proud mom to two very busy boys, ten and six.
1.What is your idea of perfect happiness? Whoa – what an opening question! Well, for me the balance between professional and personal is a constant struggle. But, anytime that there is time to sing and spend with my family in the same day – that is my idea of perfect. There are so many other things that take me away from even those two basic (and seemingly easy) priorities, that believe it or not this doesn’t happen often. Perfect happiness is a day balanced with both!
2. What recording would you take to a desert island? Bach Brandenburg Concerto, English Chamber Orchestra, Decca.
3. What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?That I spend a lot of time on a golf course – and LOVE IT! Those who know me, know I am usually in heels and dresses – but, most don’t know that I love to walk a golf course! (Not in heels and dresses!) In fact, for our honeymoon we played Saint Andrews, in Scotland, and for Mother’s Day this year, we took the boys to play nine holes. It is a restful and peaceful place for me!
4. What place in Nova Scotia have you not yet visited, but would like to? It doesn’t exactly count – but the last time I visited the Cabot Trail I was very little, and really have no memory of it. I’m anxious to go again!
5. Do you have any pre-performance rituals, and would you share them? I used to have tons of rituals…not talking, getting a manicure, warming up slowly, drinking tons of water etc. Now, I’m lucky to get a shower! So no, I’m not particularly superstitious or routine oriented when it comes to performances. I will say that I do still like the energy of performance day…the lead up, the excitement, the expectation! It is still a wonderful feeling!
6. Which singer (dead or alive) would you most like to share a meal with, and what would you like to eat with them? Only one? I’d like to have pasta with Pavarotti – he had such a fascinating life. But, I’d love to have tea with Barbara Hannigan. As a Nova Scotia girl, she is simply slaying the music world and shattering glass ceilings. I’d love to share a few minutes to hear her inside stories!
7. What are you looking forward to this summer? This summer includes going back to work for me. I have enjoyed and been blessed to have a sabbatical year off from my job at Acadia. This summer I will head back to the office – and I am truly eager to do so. Acadia is a special place and I continue to be excited, inspired and enriched to work with the students, faculty and staff at the School of Music.
Our family will also spend lots of time on the golf course, we have a trip to PEI with our cousins, two of us will go to Berwick camp for JCC/YCC, and I will help run a VBS at our church.
8. Favourite meal of the day? How does one choose between Coffee-time and Wine-time?