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Mary Piercey-Lewis

Last updated: September 8, 2023

Dr. Mary Piercey-Lewis has a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology. Her research explored how the Inuit of Arviat, Nunavut, use their musical practices to negotiate what it means to be “inummariit”—“real Inuit” in response to massive sociocultural changes since three distinctive groups were resettled there in the 1950s.  She holds a Master of Music in Music Education and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto. Presently, she lives in Nunavut, where she has taught music for over 20 years. She writes choral arrangements of Inuit songs for the Inuksuk Drum Dancers. Several of these arrangements can be heard on the three albums recorded by the Inuksuk Drum Dancers.  

Dr. Piercey-Lewis’ newest publications, Inuit Inngiusingit: A Collection of Inuit Choral Music I and II (Inhabit Media 2016, 2022), are songbooks for students, teachers, and musicians who are interested in learning Inuit music. There are many songs transcribed from Inuit musicians. Students and teachers will find the musical arrangements and the accompanying compact disc useful in encouraging the singing of Inuktitut songs in the classroom and at home. It is her hope that Inuit Inngiusingit: A Collection of Inuit Choral Music “empowers students to develop musicianship, to enjoy the opportunities to perform great music, and to participate in Inuit culture through singing.”

Dr. Piercey-Lewis is a 2021 Juno Award Winner!  She received the Musicounts “Music Teacher of the Year Award” at the Junos on June 6, 2021!  She won the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence in the same year.  A special qujannamiik—thank you to all who support music education initiatives in the north!

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