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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

IN MEMORIAM | Canadian Choral Community Devastated Over Loss Of Conductor In His Prime

By Anya Wassenberg on March 7, 2019

Dominic Gregorio
Dominic Gregorio, choral conductor and baritone, has died at the age of 41.

The University of Regina community has lost a valued member in Dominic Gregorio, an associate professor of music and director of choral activities at the institution. Gregorio was just 41 years old. The University of Regina Department of Music made the announcement public via a Facebook post on March 5, 2019, calling it “the worst news we could ever share with each other”.

After a year on sabbatical, professor Gregorio would have returned to his seventh year of teaching at the University of Regina in the fall.

In addition to his role as professor and choir director, Dr. Gregorio sang as a baritone, and had studied German lied and French chanson at the Vienna University of Music. Having learned to practice yoga at its origins in Rishikesh, India, he taught yoga classes for musicians. He was also an accomplished violinist.

Gregorio’s parents emigrated from the Philippines to Guelph, Ontario, where he grew up. He began his formal musical training at the University of Guelph, and would go on to study at Temple University in Philadelphia, and the University of Southern California.

Prior to taking up the position at U of R, Gregorio served as the conductor of the McMaster University Choir, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, and Toronto Singing Out, among others, and is a former assistant conductor of the Guelph Youth Singers, USC Thornton Chamber Singers, and the Taipei Philharmonic Foundation.

According to his U of R profile, professor Gregorio’s specific interests included “new movements in choral music, interdisciplinary performance, and exploring the broad spectrum of vocal ensemble music”. Gregorio’s work often examined his roots, including a performance project that wove together his family story with the historical context of colonial Philippines. He recently initiated Koro Pamati, a traditional Filipino choir based in Regina that began rehearsing earlier this year. While still on sabbatical, Dr. Gregorio had been in preparations with a mixed community chorus for a performance of Riel’s Heart of North with the Regina Symphony on March 9.

The loss is felt keenly in the Regina music community, where Gregorio was a beloved performer and professor known for his positive attitude. Local reports paint a portrait of a professor and director who inspired those he worked with. Sarah Stubbe worked alongside Gregorio, playing piano for his U of R choirs for a decade. She is quoted in the Regina Leader-Post. “You can’t capture what he was by words and by obituaries and memorials. It’s impossible. He was just light and love and life.”

The Gay Men’s Chorus LA paid tribute to their former Assistant Artistic Director/Interim Conductor in a Tweet, calling him a, “bright light in GMCLA’s life”.

No cause of death was given in the University’s announcement.

LUDWIG VAN TORONTO

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Anya Wassenberg

Anya Wassenberg is an experienced freelance writer, blogger and writing instructor with OntarioLearn.
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Anya Wassenberg

Anya Wassenberg is an experienced freelance writer, blogger and writing instructor with OntarioLearn.
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