Morag was born in Eugene Oregon, and shortly after moved to a Canadian childhood of ocean, rain forest, and music – Victoria, Port Moody, and Vancouver B.C. Her last 20 years have been spent as a Calgarian, where she added more versions of herself: cellist, singer, songwriter, composer, teacher, pianist and poet.
Classical training at the Vancouver Academy, Victoria Conservatory of Music, Banff Centre, Toronto’s Royal Conservatory Orchestral Training Program, University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Calgary, helped build a solid foundation for Morag’s professional career. She was contractor, leader, soloist, chamber musician, and arranger in the VAD Ensembles ((1991-2010), has performed with a number orchestras, including Austin Symphony and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, has played cello in Les Miserables (Mirvish Productions), The Phantom of the Opera (Live Ent. Inc. Touring Orchestra), West Side Story, Anne of Green Gables, Annie, Beauty and the Beast and the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Theatre Calgary), Wizard of Oz (Alberta Theatre Projects), Jeremy de Bergerac (Forte Musical Theatre Guild)as well as the Royal Winnipeg and the National Ballet touring Orchestras.
Morag performs for a wide variety of events such as: One Yellow Rabbit’s 25th Anniversary with Calgary’s Rembeticka Hipsters. She has freelanced with celebrities: Tony Bennett, Lyle Lovett, Johnny Mathis, Llinda Ronstadt, and Rod Stewart. She has recorded with Artists: Wil, Wendy Bird, Anne Lorree, Steve Coffee, Kristophe Franz, Jeff Landeen, Brent Tyler, Lin elder, Jasmine Whenem, Jane Hawley, Mike Stack, Onalea Gilberston, Nancy Laberge, the Travelling Mabels and Deanna Dubbin. Lilies of the Field (Morag is composer, arranger, cellist, singer and co-producer) was nominated “Outstanding Inspirational Album of the Year” for the Gospel Music Association of Canada’s 29th annual Covenant Awards, 2007.
Morag’s theatrical work of the last 5 years reflects her interest in multi-style theatrical presentation. Through her: vocal/drama work with Richard Armstrong at the Banff Centre; as an onstage musician in David Rhymer’s “Why Freud Fainted“; study in the One Yellow Rabbit Theatre Company’s Summer Lab Intensive; multi-media CD release Event; (a porcelain doll and sound design collaborator) in Onalea Gilberton’s play: Blanche; the sub-conscious mind of Queen Lear in Eugene Stickland’s Queen Lear. Morag’s is currently developing Run the Wind/Asylum (started Summer 2010, at a Sunset Theatre Artist Retreat, Wells B.C.)
Morag’s exclusive engagement for 2010 Athlete Olympic and Paralympic Villages saw her perform for the world’s top athletes on a nightly basis, Governor General of Canada Her Excellency Michaelle Jean, Team Welcome Ceremonies, an International Woman’s Day Celebration, and the Athlete’s Parade. For the closing Volunteer Appreciation luncheon, Morag wrote an impromptu song with Prince Andrew in attendance. Since releasing her debut album “This is the Life” with Red Venus Blue Tango (RVBT), Morag has: recorded two Videos; “Sending Love” (Donald Horsburgh, A&L Chirka Video), and “Piece of Paper” (RVBT, Jesse Corderre Video), opened for East Village Opera Company, played the Calgary Solstice Festival, The Arts Wells Festival, Fish Creek Outdoor Festival, and created and performed a Spoken word & Musical show Love is the Subject at the Ironwood in Calgary. Morag and RVBT were honoured to be asked to play the closing night VIP reception for the Dalai Lama “Now” Tour.
A recent concert at the Evergreen Cultural Centre, Coquitlam B.C. featured songs from her debut album as well as selections from over 250 pieces of prose, poetry, and song, written over the last ten years and then compiled, revisited, and newly composed, during an intensive artist retreat summers 2009/10, at the Sunset Theatre in Wells B.C.
Creating original music and collaborating with others to bring artistic visions to life, is one of Morag’s great passions. An exciting creative convergence was ignited during the Olympics where Morag brought three distinctly different cultures: Traditional Squamish and Cree Songs, vocals and drumming; her distinctive improvised cello and vocals, and European classical J.S. Bach’s Prelude No. 1 in GM performance; with African Gjembe drumming; all together creating one magically united world sound. Whether it be performing original compositions as cellist and singer, or simultaneously accompanying herself with drums (Springboard Dance Company’s Vertical Dance production ‘Corvidea‘ by Trina Rasmusen), or using three different cellos and cello tunings, played standing and dancing to her composed soundtrack of five songs (One Yellow Rabbit 2008 Summer Lab Intensive) Morag’s creative inspiration continually leads her to push boundaries of expression. She has written, arranged, performed and expressed her talents for the Original Canadian Folk and Improv group Tsk, for the Parisian Moulin Rouge, French Art Song Duo, She, and Cielo – an experimental mixed genre group including: Opera and Pop singers, a jazz drummer, a computer sound specialist and Cello and Keyboard.
Working in film is one of Morag’s favourite callings. Her music can be heard as recording artist in the Canadian Film Productions: Opening Night, the Former Mrs. Butterfly, Beauty Crowds Me, and the Genie-nominated short, Claire (Julie Trimingham, Ric Kokotovich, Cracker Films). She composed and recorded cello and piano in the sound score for Nicole Tritter’s dance film Enticed, and has been heard on soundtracks for film and music video with composer Bruce Leitl at Six Degrees. While Calgary group Cielo originally showcased her songs, it was And so it Goes with Brent Van Dusen (later Red Venus Blue Tango) that took them on the road performing in the US and Canada (Canadian Embassy Washington D.C., Alberta at the Smithsonian, and celebrating Alberta’s 100th year – Alberta Scene – Ottawa through Steven Carter of Carter McRae).
Morag brings all the music home to her busy Red Road Cello Studio of 30 students ages 2-65, her Early Childhood Cello Class (Mount Royal University – Calgary) her Adult Cello Choir ‘Good Vibrations’ and her Teen group called the ”Cool Beans.” While teaching has always been an integral part of Morag’s world – being a good Mother to her two amazing daughters has been at it’s core “it is poetically fun and beautiful, how much they all continuously teach me!”