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McGill mourns loss of student

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Published: 11 Jan 2005

The Faculty of Music will hold a memorial service for Christopher Driscoll at Christ Church Cathedral (635 Ste. Catherine St. West, corner of University) on Friday, February 4, at 2 pm. A reception will follow immediately afterwards in Christ Church Cathedral's Fulford Hall.

Updated January 21, 2005

McGill is mourning the loss of Christopher Driscoll, a 21-year-old student in the Faculty of Music, who died in a tragic skiing accident at Jay Peak, Vermont, on January 9. Christopher, who was from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, was skiing with a friend from McGill when the accident occurred.

According to reports, Christopher lost control on an advanced trail and struck a tree. He was rushed to hospital in Newport, Vermont, where he was pronounced dead.

Some 40 members of the McGill community, including friends, professors and fellow students, are travelling to Charlottetown to pay a tribute to Christopher, at the invitation of his family. The funeral will be held in Christopher's hometown Saturday, January 15, at 10 am, at the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer, followed by a musical tribute by McGill students on Saturday evening. Friends and fellow students who are unable to attend the funeral can send their condolences to the Office of the Dean of Students, who will forward them to the family.

The Faculty of Music will hold a memorial service for Christopher at Christ Church Cathedral (635 Ste. Catherine St. West, corner of University) on Friday, February 4, at 2 pm. A reception will follow immediately afterwards in Christ Church Cathedral's Fulford Hall.

"Chris was an exceptional individual, strong-willed but gentle, fun-loving, full of energy and life, inclusive in his support for others. We are proud of all he accomplished in his too short life. And we will miss him deeply," said Don McLean, Dean of the Faculty of Music.

Christopher was a talented and promising fourth-year music student of the Jazz Performance program at McGill. He was also the drummer of MOBILE PREID (pronounced "preed"), a jazz ensemble made up of tenor saxophonist Jon Lindhorst, bassist Patrick Reid and guitarist Jim Bland, also in their senior year in the Jazz Performance program.

The International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) had selected MOBILE PREID to represent McGill University at the 2004 North Sea Jazz Festival in The Hague, Netherlands. The IAJE selects only five university groups annually from around the world to attend this renowned international festival. MOBILE PREID was the first Canadian group of its kind ever to be selected.

Christopher and his band had played several times at two of Montreal's well-known clubs — Upstairs and Quai des brumes. MOBILE PREID also performed at the International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music in Banff, Alberta, in May and June of 2004. In August 2004, the band was recorded live by CBC at the Victoria Playhouse in Victoria, PEI. MOBILE PREID had recently been invited to attend the Model UN Conference in March 2005.

"Christopher had a huge future and so much talent in music, with maturity beyond his years. He exuded energy and love and was such a positive person," said fellow musician and best friend Patrick Reid.

One of Christopher's heroes was Joni Mitchell, and it was exciting for him to meet her last November and speak with her when she received her honorary doctorate from McGill.

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