Association of Canadian Choral Condutors

Association of Canadian Choral Condutors

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

From Renaissance to Broadway – Greenwood Celebrates 30 Years!

Edmonton, AB – Greenwood Singers, under the direction of its founder Robert de Frece, along with Snyder & Associates LLP, Magic 99 and Vue Weekly present From Renaissance to Broadway – Greenwood Celebrates 30 Years! on Friday, April 16, 2010 at All Saints' Anglican Cathedral (10035 103 Street) at 8:00 PM.  This concert brings to a close the choir’s 30th Anniversary Season.
The evening’s program will open with William Byrd’s magnificent motet, Sing Joyfully, and will include works from the Renaissance to the Broadway stage, including Mendelssohn's magnificent motet for eight voices, Mitten wir im Leben sind.  Also featured on the program is Samuel Barber's Agnus Dei, transcribed by the composer from his well-known Adagio for Strings – heard in Oliver Stone’s movie Platoon, in various post-9/11 ceremonies, and most recently, the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics.  The choir will also delve into its history as it sings Prayers from the Ark, a six-movement work by the English composer, Ivor R. Davies, on texts from the book by Carmen Bernos de Gasztold.  The evening will culminate with selections from the Broadway musical, Guys and Dolls with Helen Stuart at the piano.

Tickets are $20 for Adults and $18 for Students/Seniors and are available from TIX on the Square (9930 102 Avenue) 780.420.1757 or, choir members and at the door.

Founded in 1980 by Robert de Frece, Greenwood Singers is dedicated to the performance of all types of choral music “from Renaissance to Broadway.”  The choir’s eclectic programming has made its concerts popular with Edmonton audiences since its debut in 1981.  In the beginning, Greenwood Singers specialized in the performance of a cappella music from different stylistic periods.  Its programming has now expanded to include works with soloists, instrumental ensembles and chamber orchestra.  A versatile ensemble, the choir has performed frequently with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in a wide variety of programs which have included Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, Holst’s The Planets, family Christmas concerts, the concert version of Jerome Kern’s Showboat, Orff’s Carmina Burana (with the Alberta Ballet) and the ESO’s 1992 reunion with the British rock group, Procol Harum.  Greenwood Singers has also performed with the Alberta Baroque Ensemble and has been heard on regional and national broadcasts on CBC Radio-Canada.  In the summer of 2000, Greenwood Singers performed at the 24th Biennial World Conference of the International Society for Music Education and in the summer of 2001, sang for the opening ceremonies of the 8th IAAF World Championships in Athletics.  The choir has released four CDs, produced by Arktos Recordings: WinterGreen: Songs of Christmas (1996), Home for the Holidays (1999) and Randall Thompson: Ode to the Virginian Voyage / Frostiana (2002) and Joy to the World: Music for Advent & Christmas (2009). 

Robert de Frece – Music Director
Robert de Frece retired in 2008 as Professor of Music and Music Education in the Faculties of Education and Arts at the University of Alberta.  Dr. de Frece directed choirs at Archbishop Jordan High School in Sherwood Park, Alberta for nine years and spent six years as a Music Consultant with Alberta Education.  He is Music Director of Greenwood Singers, the University of Alberta Mixed Chorus and founder and music director of the University of Alberta Faculty of Education Handbell Ringers.  Dr. de Frece served for two years on the National Board of Directors of the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors and is a past-president of the Alberta Choral Federation.  He served as Alberta’s Assistant Provincial Carillonneur from 1971 to 1979 and Provincial Carillonneur from 1979 to 1996.  In 1993, Dr. de Frece was awarded the Faculty of Education's Undergraduate Teaching Award and the University of Alberta's A. C. Rutherford Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.  In 1998, he was awarded the Alberta Choral Federation’s Con Spirito Award in recognition of dedication and commitment to choral music.  In 2002, he received the University of Alberta Alumni Association's Alumni Honour Award in recognition of his work with the University of Alberta Mixed Chorus and, in 2004, he was named to the Edmonton Cultural Hall of Fame and also received the Alberta Choral Federation's Richard S. Eaton Award of Distinction for exemplary service to choral music in the Province of Alberta.  In 2005, he was awarded the Alberta Centennial Medal.  As the author of a number of textbooks, he has presented music education workshops throughout Canada and the United States and the People’s Republic of China, and has established a wide reputation as an adjudicator.

Helen Stuart – Piano
Helen Stuart is an alumna of the University of Alberta, receiving a BMus cum laude in piano performance.  Ms. Stuart maintains an active teaching and accompanying career in the Edmonton area.  Many of her vocal, piano, and theory students have achieved provincial level awards from the Alberta Association of Music Festivals, Conservatory Canada, and the Royal Conservatory of Music.  For many years, Ms. Stuart has taught the art of choral music to young voices in Leduc, Alberta, directing the Junior Choir at St. David’s United Church.  Ms. Stuart’s choral accompanist positions have included extensive associations with Cantilon Choirs, Elk Island Catholic School Board Youth Choirs, Edmonton Public School Board Enrichment Choirs, University of Alberta Faculty of Education Youth Choirs, and the University of Alberta Mixed Chorus.  In addition to her work with Greenwood Singers, Ms. Stuart is currently the pianist for Archbishop Jordan High School Treble Choir, and the pianist and a choral member of the Edmonton-based Ariose Women’s Choir.

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