Western alumni, faculty among JUNO nominees

Western faculty and alumni will compete against the brightest stars in the Canadian music universe after garnering a number of nominations for the 2016 JUNO Awards.

Stephan Moccio, BMus’94, had multiple credits, from keyboards to co-writing, on Album of the Year nominee Beauty Behind The Madness by The Weeknd. The Weeknd topped all nominees by receiving six nods for his work, including JUNO Fan Choice, Single of the Year, Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year and R&B/Soul Recording of the Year. Moccio was also recently nominated for an Academy Award, in the category of Best Original Song, for Earned It from Fifty Shades of Grey.

Don Wright Faculty of Music professor Jay Hodgson’s mastering work on Concubine was recognized among Electronic Album of the Year nominees. This is Hodgson’s third JUNO nomination in recent years. Other nominees in the category include A Life Well Lived, AM Static; The Midas Touch, Discrete; Noontide, Humans; and The Other Day, Pomo.

The Canadian Chamber Choir’s second album, Sacred Reflections of Canada: A Canadian Mass, was nominated for Classical Album of the Year: Vocal or Choral Performance. The album features 17 Canadian composers whose works were curated by CCC artistic director Julia Davids, BMus’95, Bed’96. A number of Western alumni are featured on the album, including Christopher Lane, Catherine Lippitt, Allison Berkshire-Eagles and Elizabeth Mitchell.

Other nominees in the category include Vivaldi: Sacred Music, Vol. 4, Claire de Sévigné, Maria Soulis and Aradia Ensemble; Peter-Anthony Togni: Responsio, Jeff Reilly with Andrea Ludwig, Charles Daniels, John Potter and Suzie Leblanc; Las Ciudades de Oro, L’Harmonie des Saisons; and Chansons Perpétuelles, Marie-Nicole Lemieux.

John Burge received a Classical Composition of the Year nomination for Piano Quartet, which was performed by Ensemble Made in Canada, official Artists in Residence at the Don Wright Faculty of Music. Sharon Wei, the ensemble’s viola player, is a full-time faculty member in the Music Performance Department. Other nominees in the category include Two Pop Songs on Antique Poems, Dinuk Wijeratne; The Afar, Jordan Pal; Centennials, Michael Oesterle; and Bookburner, Nicole Lizée.

After The Weeknd’s six nominations, Drake and Justin Bieber followed among the leaders, garnering five nominations each. Both artists are nominated for JUNO Fan Choice, Single of the Year, Album of the Year and Artist of the Year. Drake also received a nomination for Rap Recording of the Year; Bieber was nominated for Pop Album of the Year.

The 45th annual JUNO Awards will be held at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Sunday, April 3.