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IN MEMORIAM | Composer Jocelyn Morlock Has Died At Age 53

By Anya Wassenberg on March 28, 2023

Jocelyn Morlock August 2, 2014 (Photo: Von Loewen/CC BY-SA 4.0)
Jocelyn Morlock August 2, 2014 (Photo: Von Loewen/CC BY-SA 4.0/cropped)

Canadian composer Jocelyn Morlock has died at the age of 53. A native of the St. Boniface neighbourhood of Winnipeg, Morlock was based in Vancouver, where she was well known as both a composer and educator.

Her Twitter bio gives a hint at her personality: Free Range, Organic Composer, admirer of weird birds, curious, in process of failing to divest from social media. Ugh. She/her.

Sean Bickerton, BC Director, Canadian Music Centre commented in a statement. “Jocelyn was a national treasure, an inspiration, someone whose laugh lifted the spirits of everyone near, and whose deep and profound commitment to enlightened values was exemplary. She made an invaluable contribution to Canadian music, to this nation’s cultural and social fabric, to our collective love of birds, to the countless friends who loved her, to the students she inspired, and the colleagues she influenced and with whom she explored the boundaries of the world.”

He’s only one of many figures in the Canadian music world expressing their dismay.

My Name Is Amanda Todd by Jocelyn Morlock, performed by Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, Alexander Shelley conducting (2017):

Jocelyn Morlock

After receiving a B.Mus from Brandon University, she went to earn both a master’s and Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of British Columbia. Along with her work as a composer, she was an influential educator. Her work and collaborations reached many organizations across Canada.

  • Winner of the 2004 Canadian Music Centre Prairie Region Emerging Composers competition;
  • Inaugural Composer-in-Residence for Vancouver’s Music on Main (2012-2014);
  • Composer-in-Residence with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (2014-2019);
  • Co-hosted the annual ISCM World Music Days Festival in 2017;
  • Winner of the SOCAN Jan V. Matejcek New Classical Music Award in 2018;
  • Her piece My Name is Amanda Todd won the 2018 Juno Award for Classical Composition of the Year.

Her work was frequently performed by ensembles across Canada, including upcoming performances in Red Deer and Okanagan over the next season. Her Petrichor will be performed as part of Soundstreams’ New Voices: Waiting for Godot? concert on April 22, and her The Violet Hour appears on the latest release by popular Toronto ensemble VC2 Cello.

Her influence on contemporary Canadian music will be missed.

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