Dr. Ross has been a seasonal lecturer at the Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Budapest (KRE), Hungary every March for the last five years. In 2013 he presented a talk on the Music of Canada featuring composers from Confederation to the present day both at the KRE and at the Debrecen University for their British Studies program. Typically, Dr Ross lectures on aspects of Canadian music — its history, culture and composers. In 2014 he lectured on the benefits of music therapy sharing his experiences with disadvantaged children. During the most current season (2017) he was invited to present historical highlights on Canada’s sesquicentennial and teach a few famous Canadian songs to a local school connected to the KRE (Lónyay Utcai Református Gimnázium).
Budapest is a wonderful and vastly interesting capital city; its also the largest in Hungary with over 2,000,000 residents. Canada has always enjoyed a favourable association as we helped airlift over 37,000 Hungarian during the 1956 Soviet take-over of Hungary. Some of these good folks formed the Sopron Forestry School at the University of British Columbia (named after the north-west area of Hungary). The KRE also boasts a Canadian studies department and regularly presents scholarly papers about our country, its peoples and culture. Dr Ross is also a member of CEACS (Central European Association of Canadian Studies) formed by eight central countries, along with a handful of Canadian members.
Budapest has much to recommend with its Hungarian history that stretches back over 1,100 years. It’s a treat to visit and admire various churches, monuments, squares, statues, museums and galleries that describe their fascinating history and people. Their language (called “Magyar”) is among the hardest in the world (second to Mandarin), but many locals know some English. Above all, the music and dance is very captivating and include famous composers such as Franz Liszt, Béla Bartók and Zoltán Kodály.