University of Toronto Magazine University of Toronto Magazine
Photo of Beverley Johnston with hands out and a mallet in the air
Beverley Johnston. Photo by Shayne Gray Photography

Drumming Up Support

Music grad Beverley Johnston honours her late father with a fellowship for percussion students

Beverley Johnston (BMus 1980) recently made a donation to the Faculty of Music to create the Gerald Harlan Johnston Fellowship, named for her late father. The fellowship is the first at U of T to support a Doctor of Musical Arts student in the faculty’s percussion program, where Johnston herself teaches.

Beverley: My father helped me financially while I was at university. The fellowship is a way of acknowledging all that he did for me. He was a chemist. He established a company in Quebec that did environmental testing. He was a good business person and worked very hard. I admired him.

There were no professional musicians in our family, but my parents appreciated music. They were concerned about me pursuing it at university, though, because it can be an unstable career. I must have inherited their focus and determination. I was also fortunate to have studied with Nexus percussionist Russell Hartenberger, who just retired from U of T. He was like a second father to me.

My hope is that the fellowship will ease a student’s financial tension. It’s difficult to focus on your studies when you have to have a job to make ends meet.

Watch: Beverley Johnston performing “Romelni Kerubinta,” a Georgian hymn she arranged, at the 2010 Shenyang International Percussion Festival

Recent Posts

Photo of front campus field and Convocation Hall with flower emoji illustrations floating above

Clearing the Air

U of T wants to drastically cut carbon emissions by 2050. It’s enlisting on-campus ingenuity for help

Abstract illustration showing a red-coloured body and face, with small black and white pieces flowing from inside body out of the mouth, and the U.S. Capitol Building dangling on puppet strings from one hand

The Extremism Machine

Online disinformation poses a danger to society. Researchers at U of T’s Citizen Lab are tracking it – and trying to figure out how to stop it

Prof. Mark V. Campbell with a beige background and red lighting

Charting Hip Hop’s Course

Professor Mark V. Campbell grew up during the early years of rap music. Now, he is helping preserve Canadian hip-hop culture for future generations

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *