MORAG NORTHEY has lived a balance of excellent training and experience in Cello Performance and String Pedagogy. Her philosophy is actively represented through her educational choices: a Masters degree from University of Calgary with violinist, music icon, and dedicated teacher; Tom Rolston, an Undergraduate Performance Degree with well-published master teacher and pedagogue Phyllis Young, where she worked five years in the University of Texas at Austin’s world-renowned teacher training String Project. Northey holds an Associate of Arts in pedagogy and performance from the Victoria Conservatory of Music and Camosun College with cellist and pedagogue; James Hunter, has completed the Toronto Professional Orchestral Training Program and attended numerous masterclasses and residencies at the Banff Centre under artists such as Zara Nelsova, Aldo Parisot and Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi. At an early age Northey studied cello with Judith Fraser at the Vancouver Academy of Music.
A teacher for 35 years, Morag adheres to the technical demands of classical music while inspiring cellist of all ages and stages from rudimentary skills to successful entrance in the profession. She has trained in the Suzuki and Kodály methods, taught at the Calgary Suzuki Talent Education Society, consistently lead group and ensemble classes for early childhood, teen and adult levels, and for ten years created and ran a series of unique, multi-age, multi-level, all-encompassing intensive string summer boot camps. Morag is the Director of the Good Vibrations Cello Choir, an ensemble of adult cellists who rehearse weekly at Calgary’s arts-focused Garrison Green Seniors Residence, adding colour through sound to lives, one good vibration at a time!
An award winning composer, Morag was recently honoured with a Betty Mitchell Award for Most Outstanding Composition for the play Butcher at ATP 2015. She has composed music for film scores and concerts. Her debut album This is the Life with Red Venus Blue Tango which features her as both a singer and songwriter, opened for the East Village Opera Company, and closed Dalai Lama’s “Now” tour. Kristoph Franz’s theologically-inspired Lilies of the Field album showcased Northey as composer, arranger, cellist, singer and co-producer, and was nominated for “Outstanding Inspirational Album of the Year” (Gospel Music Association of Canada’s 29th annual Covenant Awards, 2007).
As a soloist, Morag has played exclusive engagements for the 2010 Olympics, Governor General of Canada Michaëlle Jean and the 2015 Canada Winter Games where she performed her classical concert “Unstoppable Love,” a repertoire of classical works where through her performance and commentary, Northey expresses multi-dimensional realities and characteristics of Love.
The emotional impact of her cello playing can be felt through her soulful repertoire which includes the Rachmaninoff Cello Sonata (Glasgow University – American String Teachers Association), the Bloch Prayer and the Mendelssohn Lied Ohne Worte, recently performed at the “Healing the World” Brundibár and Forbidden Music Concert of the Holocaust Vocal Arts Institute.
Morag has played with numerous orchestras, chamber music ensembles, musicals theatre productions and countless celebrities. In the Fall of 2014 she walked 800 kilometres of the Camino de Santiago Francés trail — cello on her back — doing what she loves the most: opening hearts through cello and song.
It is her curiosity and love of life that inspires Morag daily to discover new avenues of expression and makes her a vibrant teacher. She believes life is meant to be joyful and actively engages in that pursuit and experience. She is delighted to be part of the amazing faculty for Calgary’s Mount Royal University Conservatory in the area of Early Childhood Cello.
“A distinguished virtuoso, her playing enraptures our mind with an artistry that brings blissful pleasures to the soul.”
— The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean
“One of the most passionate, unique, sensitive and expressive musicians I have ever encountered in all my years. I came to her to study the cello and my eyes were opened up to new worlds of possibilities in music practice and performance born first from inner peace. When you hear her cello voice, you will be truly touched.”
— Bruce Hildesheim, B. Mus., Juilliard School