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The People Teaching People Podcast Episode 34: Joy & Human Connection Through Music with Juliane Gallant

034: Joy & Human Connection Through Music with Juliane Gallant

In this episode of The People Teaching People Podcast, Juliane Gallant shares her journey from starting as a pianist to her current role as a conductor. She talks about the significance of music and the role of a conductor in an orchestra, explaining how music can unite people and provoke powerful connections. 

She highlights her work in education and her enthusiasm for community outreach programs including interactive opera workshops and concerts. Julianne expresses her commitment to fostering equality on the podium by broadening the scope of what leadership is. She also talks about the power of being open to new opportunities.

New Brunswick-born Juliane Gallant is the Resident Conductor of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. She is one of two conductors chosen for the inaugural cohort of the Tapestry Opera Women in Musical Leadership Fellowship. Since relocating to Canada during the pandemic after a decade in the UK, she has appeared as a guest conductor with the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra, Kingston Symphony Orchestra, Victoria Symphony, and Symphony New Brunswick.

A passionate collaborator, Juliane first trained as a pianist and vocal coach and began her conducting career in opera. She has led productions throughout the UK for a number of companies. She made her Royal Opera House conducting debut in 2021 in collaboration with Pegasus Opera. 

A strong believer in music as a vehicle for joy and human connection, a large component of Juliane’s portfolio career in the UK was in the community outreach and education sectors. She led interactive opera workshops in schools in underserved London boroughs, with communities of refugees, and with people living with physical and mental disabilities. She has also extensively worked with Lost Chord, a charity that brings live music to people living with dementia.

 

Listen in as we talk about:

4:32 Starting a journey in music

7:08 Shifting from musician to conductor

11:40 Being a conductor and resident conductor

16:05 Challenges and observations as a female conductor

21:00 People-centered leadership

26:43 The profound impact of music 

28:41 Education and community outreach as a conductor

32:28 The current relevance of symphonic concerts

36:16 Music’s capacity to unite, move and challenge people

40:57 Juliane’s favorite teacher and favorite learning experience

43:33 Something that Juliane is most proud of

45:02 Juliane answers some rapid-fire questions

 

Connect with Juliane:

 

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Today’s episode is produced by VOLT Productions, a full-service podcast production agency helping creators and entrepreneurs launch, grow and monetize their shows. You can learn more about the agency’s founder Simona, their work and their team by going to www.voltproductions.co

 
 
BEING A CONDUCTOR

Juliane shares insights into the multifaceted role of a conductor, emphasizing that it extends far beyond merely keeping time or waving arms. She clarifies that her primary responsibility is ensuring that the orchestra starts together, navigating tempo variations and guiding the musicians through the emotional and dynamic nuances of the music. Juliane stresses the importance of the conductor in interpreting subtle cues like the different intensities of quiet, which can profoundly affect the performance’s overall impact. She believes that a conductor’s energy can unify and inspire the orchestra, highlighting the role’s complexity as a blend of leadership, decision-making, and artistic interpretation.

In her role as the Resident Conductor of the Calgary Philharmonic, Juliane describes herself as a community liaison deeply embedded in the local scene, contrasting with the more itinerant music director. She engages with the community through educational programs and non-traditional concerts, aiming to make classical music accessible to a broader audience. Juliane also discusses the unique experiences and perspectives brought by different conductors, including guest specialists, and how these variations enrich the orchestra’s performance. She touches on the challenges faced by female conductors, advocating for a broader understanding of leadership that accommodates different styles and approaches. Juliane is passionate about inspiring young girls, highlighting shifts in the industry to promote more female conductors and ensure a more inclusive and equitable future in musical leadership.

 

Juliane Gallant is the Resident Conductor of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra

CONNECTING & COLLABORATING WITH PEOPLE THROUGH MUSIC

Juliane believes that arts organizations can profoundly impact communities by making the arts accessible and enjoyable for everyone, regardless of prior knowledge. Her programming philosophy reflects a belief in the universality and inclusivity of music, offering a diverse season that ranges from classical to contemporary genres, including jazz, Broadway, and music from iconic figures like David Bowie. Juliane emphasizes the communal and transformative power of live music, asserting it as a force that unites and elevates human experiences, bridging gaps and fostering a sense of community among diverse audiences.

Drawing from her rich background in education and community outreach, Juliane integrates these experiences into her role as a conductor, aiming to connect and educate through music. While living in the UK, she engaged in innovative educational projects, introducing opera to children in interactive formats and working with individuals with dementia, highlighting music’s ability to unlock cognitive areas and enhance well-being. These experiences have shaped her approach, ensuring her musical direction not only entertains but also educates and engages, reaffirming her commitment to leveraging music’s transformative power to affect individuals’ lives positively and enrich the broader community.

 

Juliane Gallant, Resident Conductor of The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra says, "The Arts are something that unifies people and opens up conversations in a way that is extremely unique."

THE PROFOUND IMPACT OF MUSIC

“The Arts are something that unifies people and opens up conversations in a way that is extremely unique.”

Juliane discusses the profound impact of music in uniting, moving, and challenging individuals. She emphasizes the collective experience of live performances, such as a Mahler symphony, which can bring together diverse audiences to share in an emotional journey, transforming the atmosphere and fostering a sense of unity despite differences. This shared experience in the concert hall, she notes, can open up avenues for dialogue and connection that are unique to the arts, demonstrating music’s power to bridge gaps between varied backgrounds and perspectives.

Juliane also reflects on the emotional resonance of live music, especially highlighted by her own experiences post-pandemic, underscoring the irreplaceable value of witnessing live performances and the visceral reactions they can elicit. She further explores music’s role in challenging individuals, encouraging them to explore beyond their comfort zones and engage with unfamiliar genres or compositions. This, she argues, is essential for personal growth and cultural understanding, advocating for openness and willingness to experience and appreciate the broad spectrum of musical expression.

 

RAPID-FIRE QUESTIONS

What is something that you would love to learn about or something that you would love to learn how to do? Learn to play the accordion

What is a place that is at the top of your travel bucket list? Iceland and Corsica

What is a book, podcast, movie, or TV show that you have enjoyed recently? Book: Yellowface by K.F. Kuang

If you could sit down and have a conversation with someone that you would love to learn from, who would it be? Leonard Bernstein

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