Dr. Joan Halmo

Dr. Joan Halmo
BA '77
2015 Alumni of Distinction Award Recipient

Growing up in the Saskatchewan prairie town of Kuroki, Joan Halmo developed her love of music as a young child through piano lessons with a fine local teacher and through participation in music at church and in the community. As a boarding school student and then teacher at the Ursuline Academy in Bruno, Dr. Halmo attained Associate and Licentiate Diplomas in Piano Performance from the Western Board of Music and Trinity College of Music of London (England), respectively. After further studies in Ottawa—during which time she became acquainted with Ignatian spirituality—she enrolled in Campion College.

Having completed a BA in Music History at the University of Regina through Campion, she went on to receive a Master of Arts in Liturgical Studies (St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN) and a Master in Liturgical Music and PhD in Musicology (The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC). Dr. Halmo has continued her lifelong passion for music and teaching as an instructor at the University of Saskatchewan. As well, she has taught courses at the Summer Institute of Pastoral Music, University of Saint Paul in Ottawa, and at Newman Theological College in Edmonton. She is the author of several books and numerous articles on aspects of music history and liturgical music.

An active member in the community, Dr. Halmo was instrumental in reclaiming and restoring Gustin House, now a Provincial Heritage Property, located in Saskatoon. Thanks in part to her hard work and dedication, the former home of Lyell Gustin (1895-1988), a distinguished piano teacher who influenced musical life in the province and nation, is once again a centre for performance and the arts. Along with arranging a regular concert series and interdisciplinary arts events, Gustin House awards scholarships to young pianists, and celebrates the Gustin cultural legacy.