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Voice of a leader

Choral scholar recognized nationally for seniors' and children's choirs

By Danielle Hamel

A Memorial University student has been recognized as a 3M National Student Fellow by The Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

School of Music student Anna Mercer, from Coley’s Point, N.L., is the second student from Memorial University to receive the fellowship, and the first one since 2014.

The 3M National Student Fellowship honours up to 10 full-time diploma and undergraduate students at Canadian post-secondary institutions who demonstrate outstanding leadership in their programs and in their lives beyond their academic experience.

“I am honoured to have received the 3M national student fellowship award as an undergraduate student of Memorial University,” said Ms. Mercer. “This achievement would not have been possible without the knowledge and skills I have gained through the education and experiences provided by this institution. I am incredibly proud to represent Memorial University and look forward to using the skills I have learned here to pursue a successful career.”

Musical leadership

Ms. Mercer has just completed her studies in voice as a bachelor of music student with a major in comprehensive and a minor in French.

Anna Mercer smiles in front of a grey textured backdrop.
Anna Mercer is from Coley’s Point, N.L.
Photo: Submitted

The 21-year-old is currently a choral scholar with the Shallaway Youth Choir, a position she has held since 2019. The position has given her the opportunity to conduct ensembles with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra and at Choral Canada’s Podium Conference, as well as the opportunity to represent Newfoundland and Labrador at the 2022 World Choral Expo in Portugal.

Her leadership in the choral community is demonstrated in her recent founding of the senior’s choir, Sharing our Stories Through Song, providing seniors with an opportunity for fellowship and low-stress group singing, and her founding of the Storm Jib Choir in 2018 for children ages 3–10, which focused on Newfoundland and Labrador folk music and the music of Indigenous Peoples.

“Anna has demonstrated a remarkable singularity of purpose and an unwavering commitment to developing herself and others through the art of choral singing,” said Dr. Karen Bulmer, acting dean, School of Music. “Through her tireless commitment to putting her passion and skills into action beyond the classroom, Anna demonstrates excellence in both leadership and innovation.”

Ms. Mercer is an accomplished soprano with countless performances under her belt.

In 2019 she was the first vocalist to be awarded Debut Atlantic’s Award for Music Excellence. She received the Kiwanis Music Festival Rose Bowl awards in 2015, 2017 and 2018, and competed in the National Music Festival.

3M Canada and the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education will honour the 10 fellows at a gala and awards banquet on June 15 during its annual conference taking place June 13-16 in Charlottetown, PEI.

Background

The 3M National Student Fellowship is building a community among visionary student leaders who demonstrate outstanding leadership and innovation by seeing current needs in higher education or society and implementing change.

The Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education is a diverse and vibrant community composed of those committed to excellence in teaching and learning in higher education. The society supports the collaboration of educators and students in sharing expertise, resources, and innovative ideas to develop skills and knowledge that enhance teaching and learning in classrooms, labs, and institutions across Canada.


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