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Bill and Doreen Motz

The Motz family shares their love of music with Laurier students

“Music lasts forever – so we need to support it!” says Doreen Motz, a long-time Laurier Faculty of Music donor. For more than 60 years of marriage, enjoying their family, music and travel together, Doreen and her husband Bill were committed supporters of the Kitchener-Waterloo musical community, including, over the past 20 years, Laurier’s Faculty of Music.

“Bill absolutely loved music, of all kinds,” says Doreen. “He was an avid collector of both vinyl recordings as well as live musical experiences.”

When Bill passed away in 2020, Doreen donated his vinyl collection to the Faculty of Music – more than 120 boxes of records, in pristine condition, an incredibly unique gift deeply appreciated by students, who are living through a ‘vinyl renaissance.’

Bill’s dedication to the appreciation of music went very deep.

“He taught himself to transliterate Russian so he could better understand the work of his favourite composer, Dmitri Shostakovich,” says Doreen. “When we travelled to Moscow, he was the only member of our group who could read the directional signs!”

“Whenever we went to a concert, Bill would always want to go backstage and talk with the musicians,” Doreen continues. “And he knew all the right questions to ask – he had carefully noticed and analyzed different parts of the composition and always wanted to know more.”

The couple went to many concerts, both locally and in their extensive travels, repeatedly visiting all the major cities in Europe to enjoy a range of music and culture. They would often drop spontaneously into churches, when they heard music.

“I remember walking in London,” says Doreen, “And we heard choral music drifting out of St. Paul’s Cathedral. We went in to listen and it was wonderful!”

Closer to home, the couple became friends with many local musicians and music supporters of note, including the Penderecki String Quartet; Gordon Greene, professor emeritus and dean of the Faculty of Music (1979-89, 2005-06); and Ed Minivich, concert master of the former KW Symphony.

Bill and Doreen, whose families have lived in the Waterloo Region for more than four generations, are deeply a part of this community’s past, but also an important part of its future. Through their giving, the Motz's have nurtured future generations of musicians, helping to keep the music going.

At Laurier, they have supported the Faculty of Music (including a gift of three clarinets), the Maureen Forrester Music Collection Archives, the Penderecki String Quartet, Music Therapy, Arts Express Camp and the Laurier Academy of Music and Arts (LAMA – formerly the Beckett School of Music).

Now that Bill has passed, Doreen continues to keep active within her family and the community. When she isn’t out enjoying friends, family and musical activities, she maintains the lifetime habit of having CBC classical radio on in the background of her comfortable apartment, filled with mementos and memories of a vibrant life in the arts. And giving remains important: she recently supported LAMA with number of recorders and sheet music for recorder and clarinet; the Making Space for Music campaign, naming a Practice Room in memory of Bill; and the Save Your Seat campaign, naming a seat after her three great-grandchildren.

“I was raised with the belief, you share what you have,” she says. What Doreen has, and what she shares, is music – and also love: because for her they are inseparable.

“A world without music is a world without love,” she says. She, and Bill, have shared plenty of both.

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