Scott Jones was born in Nanaimo, B.C. and moved to Nova Scotia when he was 10 years old. He received a Bachelor of Music from Mount Allison University and choral conducting training from the University of Manitoba. Scott is currently completing a PhD in Music Education at the University of Toronto, exploring the ways in which choir can be an agent for social change. He has taught music privately and conducted various choral ensembles, including the Pictou District Honour Choir (New Glasgow, NS), the Nova Scotia Youth Choir (resident conductor), VOX: A Choir for Social Change (Halifax, NS), and the Annapolis Valley Honour Choir (NS) as Interim Conductor. Scott has had the privilege of being a clinician and guest conductor for the Mount Allison Choral Society (NB), Lady Cove Women's Choir (NL), and the Shallaway Youth Choir (NL).
In October 2013, Scott suffered a hateful attack that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Determined to create positive change, he began the anti-homophobia/transphobia campaign Don't BE Afraid (www.dontbeafraidcampaign.org). Since its inception, the campaign has grown to have supporters from across the globe, and initiated its own choir called VOX: A Choir for Social Change. Both VOX and Don’t BE Afraid aim to break down social barriers through music and artistic expression. Scott has traveled across Canada to speak to students and faculty in universities, elementary and high schools, and community centres in order to share the Don't BE Afraid message and facilitate discussions on discrimination. In June 2017, Scott traveled to Cape Town, South Africa, to present a session on resilience in the choral setting with Dr. Marion Brown (Dalhousie University of School of Social Work) at the Pathways to Resilience IV Conference.
In addition to these efforts, Scott has worked with the Rainbow Refugee Association of Nova Scotia, a not-for-profit organization that helps gay and lesbian refugees escape persecution and resettle in Halifax, and Easter Seals Nova Scotia, an organization dedicated to breaking down barriers for people living with disabilities. In 2014, Scott was awarded the Nova Scotia Human Rights Award for his advocacy.
Keynote Address Snapshot
Scott Jones is a musician, educator, and activist from Nova Scotia, Canada. Scott earned a Bachelor of Music from Mount Allison University before deepening his training in choral conducting at the University of Manitoba. Inspired to break down social barriers through music and artistic expression, Scott launched VOX: A Choir for Social Change and Don’t Be Afraid, an anti-homophobia/transphobia campaign. His recent work has taken him to South Africa, where he presented at the Pathways to Resilience Conference in Cape Town. Scott continues to explore choir as an agent for social change and is currently pursuing a PhD in Music Education at the University of Toronto. For his keynote address, Scott will share his journey of recovery from a hateful attack, alongside the creation of the Don't BE Afraid campaign, VOX: A Choir for Social Change, and the filming of Love, Scott (an NFB produced feature documentary).