Music News

July 15, 2021

Music Professor Ron Westray to release autobiography this fall

York University Associate Professor Ron Westray, in the Department of Music, School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design, is releasing an autobiography this September titled Life in Reverse: Tales of a Very Stable Narcissist (Anthem Press).

“It is possible that we exist in a predominantly narcissistic society in which people want you to love them; and then they don’t want you anymore,” says Westray, the inaugural Oscar Peterson Chair in Jazz Performance at York, about the book’s key message.

Starting from present and going back 30 years to 1990, the story of African-American jazz musician Westray's life journey – striving for knowledge, opportunity, acceptance and understanding – is written in reverse.

An embedded road itinerary guides the progression of the book. Years are rarely mentioned in the text; and, in most cases, only initials are used for all characters. People, places and things are all real in relation to the timeline. The work involves the insertion of common conversations – from sources such as texting and emails – to shed light on the fallibility of human relations. To a large degree, and within reason, the length of conversations are meant to be overbearing, countered by other aspects of the writing. Stories from Westray’s father and grandfather are featured in the book and his mother’s free-verse poetry is the soul that binds it together like a second narrator.

Westray's book will be available for preorder on July 19 on Google Books, Barnes & Noble.com, Waterstones.com and other places books are sold. For more information about Life in Reverse: Tales of a Very Stable Narcissist, visit the publisher’s website.


June 11, 2021

Message to the AMPD community

I am writing to you today to not offer another statement. I am writing to you today to offer my deepest condolences and acknowledge the pain of individuals and communities affected by these and other events.


text reads happy pride month from AMPD in a rainbow gradient
June 1, 2021

AMPD Celebrates Pride

The School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design has a rich 2SLGBTQIA community. We pride ourselves as a place where students can find their community; where they can express themselves fully, and be loved by their friends, peers and mentors for it.


May 20, 2021

Fall 2021 Gradual Reopening

We are preparing for all York U AMPD learners to have on-campus, in-person access in the fall and to be fully back in person as early as January 2022. Watch this message from our dean, Sarah Bay-Cheng, to hear about our plans for the fall and winter terms in AMPD.


A child plays the keyboard
April 27, 2021

Helen Carswell Call for Proposals – 2021

The Helen Carswell Chair in Community Engaged Research in the Arts welcomes the submission of research proposals that can inform the practice, programming, or curricula of a community music school.