Ross Osmun (Canada)

Ross Osmun

( B.Sc., B.Ed., B.Mus, Windsor; M.Mus., D.M.A., Eastman )

Originally from Windsor Ontario, Ross Osmun has performed nationally as recitalist, accompanist and chamber musician with important performances in Banff, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, London, Toronto, Quebec City and Charlottetown. Important international debuts include concerts in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Washington D.C., Eugene Oregon, New York City, Paris, France and St. Petersburg, Russia.

Ross Osmun holds degrees from the University of Windsor, Royal Conservatory of Music and the prestigious Eastman School of Music. His principle teachers were Dr. E. G. Butler (Windsor) and Professor Barry Snyder. (Eastman) Throughout his studies, he participated in numerous master classes with such renowned artists as Janina Fialkowska, Jon Kimura Parker, Emanuel Ax, Vladimir Shakin, Frank Levy and Michael McMahon.

Currently an Associate Professor of Music at Bishop's University, Dr. Osmun's teaching responsibilities span a variety of courses including Piano Literature, Russian Music, Music Theory and Film Music as well as individual piano lessons. In 2008, he received the Humanities Teaching Award in recognition of his effective teaching and dedication to the student body. He remains active as a soloist, chamber musician, guest lecturer and festival adjudicator throughout the Eastern Townships and across Canada. He has also been featured in recital on CBC Radio-Canada with Winnipeg-born soprano Melinda Enns. Presently, he resides in Sherbrooke Quebec with his wife Melinda and their two children Eric and Avery. Before arriving at Bishop's, Dr. Osmun held teaching positions at the Eastman School of Music and the University of Prince Edward Island.

Bridging the Gap Between Classical and Film Music: 
Teaching the Fundamentals of Music Through Its Incorporation In the Motion Picture

I believe that one of the great dilemmas facing every music educator is how to present the so-called building blocks or elements of Western art music - pitch, rhythm, timbre, texture and volume in a meaningful and relevant way to students both studying music and to those merely interested in a peripheral understanding of its construction. I have taught courses music fundamentals throughout my career as a professor. New to me was the world of film music. I recently “bit the proverbial bullet” and introduced a new course on the subject of film music open to all university students. The success was overwhelming.

Musicians and non-musicians alike grasped musical concepts such as meter, syncopation, ritardando, variations in orchestration and articulation, ternary form, theme and variations,
fugue, homophony and polyphony; just to name a few, more quickly on both the sonic and theoretical levels with the aid of its incorporation into/extrapolation from familiar movies and their
soundtracks. For this presentation I will discuss each aforementioned element all the while relating it to its use in a familiar motion pictures and/ or its soundtrack. I will explain why specific examples were chosen, its appearance to the film and provide formal analyses of specific complete pieces where appropriate. For maximum variety, films selected are representative of Hollywood’s “Golden Age” as well as the horror movie, the animated film, the drama and the action genres. I aim as well to offer a loose chronological survey of films that best illustrate a point and examples from two different genres that illustrate the same topic. My aim is to provide music educators with a new and more relevant arsenal of repertoire to teach the basics of music, illustrate that the genres of commercial film music and the more antiquated world of classical music are built from the same stock elements and finally
to offer a general introduction to the world of film music and its major composers.