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B.C. composer who won Juno Award for Amanda Todd piece dies

Jocelyn Morlock, the Juno award-winning composer who paid tribute to the late Amanda Todd of Port Coquitlam, died on March 27, 2023.

A Vancouver composer who won a Juno based on the story of the late Port Coquitlam student Amanda Todd died on Monday (March 27).

Jocelyn Morlock was 53.

In 2016, her 10-minute commissioned piece titled My Name is Amanda Todd was premiered by the National Arts Centre Orchestra as part of its Life Reflected symphonic series that highlighted the lives of four women who made an impact on Canadian society: Todd, author Alice Munro, astronaut Roberta Bondar and First Nations poet Rita Joe.

Two years later, she was on the Juno stage with Todd's mother, Carol, to accept the accolade for Classical Composition of the Year — Morlock's first Juno win.

In an interview with the Tri-City News before the Vancouver ceremony, Morlock, then the composer-in-residence for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, talked about her 2015 piece and how she first connected with Carol Todd over tea.

Morlock wrote the composition in two months, making mostly staccato notes (in a minor key) from the string section in the first part to represent the fast-paced "micro gestures" on social media (i.e., tweeting and liking) before moving into a sorrowful chorale with the brass.

The ending is in a major key that repeats the first music, but in an enlightened tone.

This was meant to reflect the impact of the 15-year-old girl's life and the subsequent uplifting messages that can go viral, she said.

"It's the little things that people can do every day that can become a snowball of positivity," Morlock told the Tri-City News at the time.

"I just didn't want it to be all dark because she was a performing person. You don’t want to show a child by their tormented death. You need more humanity in there.”

Morlock said her composition was also in tribute of the legacy work by Carol Todd to address cyberbullying.

Carol Todd described Morlock as a "bright light" whose loss will be felt worldwide.

"During the creation of the composition My Name is Amanda Todd, I was fortunate to get to know her and am grateful that she and I became friends, which continued until she passed," she told the Tri-City News today (March 29).

"On our initial meeting, Jocelyn was horrified to know what happened to Amanda but was confident that should would be able to bring about HOPE in Amanda’s story, which she was able to accomplish with the masterful composition that came to life by the National Arts Centre Orchestra.

"Jocelyn gave me the opportunity to be with her when she won the Juno Award in 2018 for My Name is Amanda Todd

"We spent many evenings text chatting and sharing meals when we were together at the same events. The memories that I have of Jocelyn will last forever and I know she had developed ethereal connection to Amanda. I will miss her dearly."