A Double-Retirement Zoom Party Celebration

Posted on Thursday, August 13, 2020

Screenshot of the retirement party Zoom call

In late-June, we bid farewell to both David Currie and Andrew Tunis

These COVID-19 times called upon us to use some creative thinking when it came to finding a safe physically-distanced way to celebrate two of our most cherished colleagues.  At the end of June, both David Currie and Andrew Tunis retired after having served as professors in the School of Music for an impressive combined total of over 80 years!  Their current and former colleagues and family members joined in a special Zoom call get-together at the end of June.  We all had a chance to share stories and express our gratitude to both of these icons of uOttawa Music. 

Toasts to David Currie were presented by his colleagues Laurence Ewashko and Daniel Gress, who himself retired at the end of 2019.  Laurence was a student when he met David so had the unique perspective of someone who knew him as a mentor then later had the opportunity to work alongside him as a peer.  Memories of many great past concerts of the orchestra and choirs were shared.  Daniel Gress was able to reminisce about their collaboration together when both were players in the National Arts Centre Orchestra.  David Currie began teaching at uOttawa in 1976.

As well as having been a professor for close to 40 years, we are also proud to call Andrew Tunis one of our esteemed graduates.  In fact, David Currie mentioned during the Zoom call that he remembers the first time he met Andrew was when he was still a student, and he was impressive even then.  The toasts to Andrew also provided moments of laughter and poignancy – former chair and piano colleague Stéphane Lemelin remembered their time together when he was director of uOttawa Music.  David Jalbert had everyone in stitches with his special brand of dry humour, affectionately calling out some of Andrew’s most endearing attributes.

There will be more to say about these two special people in the future – we do all hope to gather together in person to celebrate them both more publicly once that opportunity presents itself.

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