Association of Canadian Choral Condutors

Association of Canadian Choral Condutors

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

CHORAL CONCERT, with host Peter Togni SUNDAY, June 3, 2012 9:00 - 11:00 am, (9:30 - 11:30 NT) on CBC Radio 2

The Swingle Singers in Concert

This week on Choral Concert you hear the Swingle Singers. Yes, the same choir that sang all of that swinging Bach back in the 60's.

The word “swingle” is a great word. It could be a drink, as in “I’ll have a dash of swingle in my martini”, or a play on words conjuring up images of parties you wish you had attended when you were younger…

But in reality it comes from their founder, who’s name really is Ward Swingle. It was just a too obvious and wonderful a name to not exploit, and so the rest is history.

For the past 5 decades they’ve wowed the world with their vocal agility, their up-front and personal sound, and their flawless technique. They have a discography of over 50 recordings and they’ve won 5 grammies – not bad for a group that seemed to be only a one hit wonder when they got started, doing Bach’s “Air on a G String”.

On Sunday you’ll hear the full range of what they can now do, everything from the Flight of the Bumblebee, to Archangelo Corelli, to Chopin, Corelli, De Falla and Sting.
Don’t forget that CBCMUSIC.CA has lots to offer for classical music lovers, there are 10 classical streams, available 24 / 7. You can also check out the Choral Concert blog plus extensive videos and concerts in all genres

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, May 26, 2012

La Chorale Les Deux Rives

Les élèves de l’école de Touraine de Gatineau et du Lycée Claudel d’Ottawa sont très fiers de vous présenter le dernier album de la chorale LES DEUX RIVES. Vous y trouverez nos versions chantées ainsi que les pistes instrumentales de notre répertoire : Jean-Jacques Goldman, Dvorak, Lara Fabian, Mozart, Charles Trenet, Claude Nougaro, etc. Dix merveilleuses chansons de tous les styles et de toutes les époques qui sauront sûrement plaire à vos choristes.
Nous vous invitons à écouter des extraits sur notre page Internet :

The Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (NLAC) 2011 Arts Achievement Award Presented to Douglas Dunsmore

The 27th annual Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council Arts Awards took place on April 28, 2012 at the Joseph R. Smallwood Arts and Culture Centre in Gander. Former ACCC president and NYC co-ordinator, Douglas Dunsmore received the 2011 Arts Achievement Award.

Douglas Dunsmore is a founding artistic director of the widely acclaimed international choral festival, Festival 500: Sharing the Voices and a mainstay of significant national organizations including the National Youth Choir.

Since his arrival to Newfoundland and Labrador in 1979, he has repeatedly brought success to Memorial University choirs in national and international competitions. Douglas was a founding conductor of Newman Sound Men’s Choir, and conducted for a tour of the MUN Chamber Choir with guests, the Prince of Wales Chamber Choir. He has also performed as the conductor for the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra’s Philharmonic Choir since 1996.

He served as Interim Director for Memorial University’s School of Music, where he is also a professor. In the community, Douglas works with the Gower Street United Church and has additionally served on committees for the Association of Canadian Choral Communities. He has played a mentoring role for many in his field, notably for Chad Stride, founder of Cantus Vocum Chamber Choir, and Kellie Walsh, the Artistic Director of Shallaway Newfoundland and Labrador Youth in Chorus, Lady Cove Women’s Choir and Newman Sound Men’s Choir.

Douglas Dunsmore’s touch has unquestionably resonated across the province, and the country.

Read an interview with Douglas Dunsmore here.

Creator Magazine Offers New Program for Church Musicians

Creator magazine is launching a brand new continuing education program for church musicians and worship leaders. It's called MasterClass, and it features top notch faculty. They've worked hard to make the MasterClass events as accessible as possible so that even part time and bi-vocational ministry leaders can participate. The first MasterClass is set for June 12, and registration opens Tuesday, May 29. Find out the details here:

Creating "A Quiet Place - music for healing III"

As we walk down the hall we hear music playing in her ward: Finding the Still Point, beautiful, peaceful. Eleanor sees us and her face lights up. She cannot speak, but today, unlike some days, she is with us... alert, connected, holding our hands tightly. She is 64, she has Alzheimer's, and somehow the music brings her back from the shadows.

Frank lies in bed unable to speak, unable to move, but with a mind that is fully cognizant. He communicates through his eyes - a blink when you get to the right letter on the alphabet chart, spelling one word at a time. He is determined to participate in life. He is 65, he has ALS, and somehow the music helps keep his spirit strong.

Like so many others who suffer from debilitating illness, Eleanor and Frank risk becoming, in many ways, invisible to us in our busy lives. But we can help.

The Vancouver Chamber Choir has embarked on A Quiet Place, the third CD in our music for healing series. It is dedicated to helping bring those who have  become invisible back into focus, honouring them and their caregivers. Our intention with this music is to provide moments of inspiration and calm to those who struggle, and to the circles of family and friends who walk with them.

The music will be chosen (as with Finding the Still Point and Unexpected Gifts) to provide an environment of peace amidst whatever challenges people face - acknowledging difficulties, but evoking a spirit of trust and healing. It is our way of saying, through music, "You do not stand alone."

We will need your help. If you wish to learn how you can participate - either in a small way or a big way - please click here. Together, we can do more.

For more information about the Vancouver Chamber Choir's music for healing CD series and how you can participate in the creation of A Quiet Place, please email Laverne G'froerer or phone 604-985-3280. Thank you.

Composer Andrew Gilpin Commissioned for 175th Anniversary of Churches in Orangeville

Canadian composer Andrew Gilpin has been commissioned to compose a choral anthem for the 175th anniversary celebrations at Westminster United Church and St. Mark’s Anglican Church in Orangeville, Ontario.

Andrew Gilpin has an impressive catalogue of compositions including works for solo piano, flute and piano, jazz piano trio, classical piano trio, brass quintet, string quartet, voice and piano and choir. His “Gloria” for SATB Choir and soprano soloist was recently performed by the Georgetown Choral Society and has been performed in the United States. Mr. Gilpin resides near Alliston, Ontario. He has performed regularly throughout North American with Ebony & Ivory and is currently accompanist and composer/arranger-in-residence with The Wayne Gilpin Singers, a choral group in Kitchener-Waterloo.

Westminster United Church dates from 1837, when a Presbyterian congregation was organized at Orangeville. The United Church of Canada was organized in 1925 with the union of Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregational churches. The Westminster congregation was formed in 1948 when St. Andrew’s United and First Avenue United joined. The church was completed in 1879 by Zion Presbyterian and was used by St. Andrew’s United from 1880 until renamed Westminster in 1948.

St. Mark’s Anglican Church dates from 1837 when a formal congregation was organized and a church building erected, a small log structure built by a missionary Anglican layman named Seneca Ketchum. A stone church was built in 1854 and in 1863 a Rector was appointed. The parish quickly grew to be the largest Anglican Church in the County of Dufferin. The present structure was constructed in 1868.
“Awake, My Soul” by Andrew Gilpin will be performed by a combined choir from both churches on Sunday, June 10th.

YWCA Women of Distinction Award Presented to Violet Goosen

The Vancouver Chamber Choir is pleased that its General Manager Violet Goosen has received the 2012 YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Arts, Culture and Design. Presented at a gala dinner at the Westin Bayshore on May 24, the awards series is recognized nationally as one of Canada's most prestigious awards for women, honouring those whose outstanding achievements contribute to the well-being and future of our community.

Ms. Goosen has enabled the award-winning Vancouver Chamber Choir to not only survive in an increasingly difficult financial climate, but to thrive. For 38 years she has sung, led, mentored, inspired and single-handedly made the Vancouver Chamber Choir an international tour de force. She has championed Canadian music by raising funds to commission hundreds of new works by local composers as well as those from outside British Columbia.

In addition to her tireless efforts to advocate for the arts in Canada, Violet has been instrumental in developing and enacting initiatives in the area of music education and outreach programs for youth and young professionals.

CHORAL CONCERT, with host Peter Togni SUNDAY, May 27, 2012 9:00 - 11:00 am, (9:30 - 11:30 NT) on CBC Radio 2

This week on Choral Concert we will feature SMAM (Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montreal) performing in the Darling Foundry - the heart of Montreal’s contemporary art scene.

The Darling Foundry is an industrial artspace that has become the center of the contemporary art scene in Montreal. It’s raw, urban and edgy.

This Sunday on Choral Concert Peter Togni brings SMAM and the 17th century choral masterworks of Ugolini, Victoria and Benevolo into the heart of the foundry.

It’s a brilliant juxtaposition the catches you off guard. How could music designed for the glorious environments of Europe’s great cathedrals work in such a place as this? The answer is not in the look of the space but in the sound. The foundry’s acoustics are lush, rich, and resonant, and the full surround sound experience and striking contrast of the old and new only serves to enhance the power of the music.
You will also hear the latest CD release on ECM records of the Hilliard ensemble, a beautiful review of the Russian-Isreali composer Boris Yoffe, featuring the Hilliard ensemble and the Rosamunde string quartet.

Don’t forget that CBCMUSIC.CA has lots to offer for classical music lovers, there are 10 classical streams, available 24 / 7. You can also check out the Choral Concert blog plus extensive videos and concerts in all genres.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The National Youth Choir: Creating an Ensemble Out of Raw Talent

Every two years, the opportunity to be a part of one of the most unique choral and social experiences in Canada appears when 40 singers from across Canada are chosen to participate in the National Youth Choir (NYC). It's an opportunity that would make any chorister jealous. The NYC is the premiere youth ensemble at the Podium choral conference. A group of auditioned singers from ages 18-25 are chosen to be a part of the NYC. The experience includes rehearsing and touring surrounding areas preceding the Podium Conference. Touring through Canadian towns and cities everyday and performing with other passionate choral singers? It's sheer choirtopia. This year singers from all ten Canadian provinces formed the NYC and were placed under the direction of Ivars Taurins, conductor of the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir.

Tucked away in the corner of the Lord Elgin hotel lobby, Taurins discussed the NYC rehearsal process, repertoire selection, the bond with his NYC singers, and what he hopes his NYC singers to take away from the experience. After listening to this interview, I knew that this interview was Taurins's homage to his NYC singers. Therefore, I thought I would need to let Taurins speak for himself and post the audio interview. It is apparent that Taurins's love for music, text, and his singers signify the power of choral passion and unity across this country, which is the perfect embodiment of the NYC ideals.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Culmination of Podium

 Greetings readers,

Day #3 of Podium was a self-indulgent one. It was a particularly gorgeous summer day in Ottawa and a leisurely morning blogging and chatting with friends meant that I only caught the end half of the Toronto Children’s Chorus Chamber Choir (TCCCC) performance. I should preface my following comments with the fact that I am not a fan of choirs that don’t sound like they’re singing with their full range. I just felt like the TCCCC had so much more sound to offer but it remained buried beneath a very proper choral façade. Don’t get me wrong, the notes were all there, the rhythm was there, but I just found their interpretation of the music to be too clinical. I find that when children’s voices are not used to their full range they just sound like they’re in a stunted state of childhood. Childhood should be the time to experiment with our vocal instruments. I understand it’s a completely choral sound aesthetic preference; it just so happens that theirs doesn’t appeal to me.

The Hamilton Children’s Choirs and High Park Choirs (HCC/HPC) were stunning. It made me wish I was 13 again so that I could go and sing in these choirs. They have such control over a wide range of vocal colours and it resulted in such a unified voice. Their show-stopping pieces for me were definitely Hatfield's "Las Amarillas" and Rajaton's "Pakkanen". The TCCCC performed Las Amarillas earlier in the day; however, the HCC/HPC performance re-calibrated my quality bar for the performance. My favorite part of the HCC/HPC is what when they use choralography, it does not take away from the singing. In many ways, it doesn’t even appear as if you’re watching movement, it just feels like you’re viewing an organic entity that visually and aurally embodies the music. Brava HCC/HPC, brava!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Podium Choral Frenzy

Greetings readers,

Day #2 of Podium has officially finished and, if the intensity of the first day was any indication of the pace to follow for the rest of the conference, I was not disappointed yesterday. However, since Belle Canto performed on Thursday, I feel like I have been able to refocus my attention on the upcoming sessions and concerts. My morning began with a quick visit to the keynote address to signal the official start of Podium 2012. Counsellor Hobbs delivered welcome sentiments from Mayor Jim Watson and the proclamation that May 17-20 would be Choral Weekend in Ottawa in honour of Podium 2012. I ducked out soon after to perform in the Rotunda at Parliament with Belle Canto. With our choir draped upon a one deep riser, our conductor managed to negotiate a non-awkward spot in front of the centre pillar dividing the choir. We sang the same program repertoire as our Thursday concert. Our audience was composed mainly of tourist visitors who appeared appreciative as they snapped pictures and took video evidence of our performance.

As soon as the performance was over I hurried back to conference headquarters at the Lord Elgin to begin conducting a consecutive stream of interviews with spotlight concert conductors: Lydia Adams of the Elmer Iseler Singers, Ivars Taurins conducting the National Youth Choir, Hilary Apfelstadt who is director of Choral Studies at the University of Toronto, and Michael Zaugg Artistic Director of voces boreales, the Cantata Singers of Ottawa, the St. Lawrence Choir and, most recently, Pro Coro Canada. I will be posting these interviews following the conference.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Podium Commences

Greetings readers,

This choir girl has officially landed in the heart of Podium 2012. The first day was a blur: a parliament tour, sound check, choir concert, interview, another choir concert, and welcome reception. As soon as I arrived, it has felt like I've been consumed in a choral-centric whirlpool. Every time I go another round in the swirling vortex there is yet another person I recognize and am excited to greet. This conference is choirtopia. There are so many opportunities to just choir geek-out throughout this conference. One look into the audience and you wonder: “Is that Jeff Enns? the composer of the piece we’re singing?!?!” or “Is that the conductor of the Canadian Chamber Choir!?!?” It’s as if these glances within an audience or during a reception function as choir star-sightings. It feels like all the musical acquaintances that I have slowly compiled have all aggregated en masse this weekend.

Belle Canto's morning began with some lovely historic touring of the East Block of Parliament in the morning followed by lunch in the parliamentary cafeteria with Canadian Senators. Afterwards Belle Canto hurried over to Knox Presbyterian Church to begin the sound check. The church was gorgeous. Reverberant stonewalls containing a cool and comforting atmosphere. We began by singing through our Schumann pieces and communal smiles appeared throughout the choir as we heard the pulsating reverb of our sound. This was going to be a fun acoustic to sing in. After a little bit of physical rearrangement, including my discovery the Belle Canto had introduced some choralography into El Hambo, we were ready for our concert.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

CHORAL CONCERT, with host Peter Togni SUNDAY, May 20, 2012 9:00 - 11:00 am, (9:30 - 11:30 NT) on CBC Radio 2

Podium: Canada’s Choral Celebration

On Choral Concert this Sunday the show is all about Podium, the big choral event that’s happening over the weekend in Ottawa. There will be hundreds of people gathered there to take in Canada’s gathering of choral music lovers – both amateur and professional.

It happens every two years somewhere in Canada, and if you are a choral person it is definitely the place to be. Workshops, lectures, concerts, galas, competitions…. It’s all packed into a non-stop schedule that will satisfy even the most ardent chorister.

Everyone is going to sing their hearts out. Then they are going figure out ways to sing even more over the year ahead, and then they are going to sing again, and finally at the end of all this they will leave completely exhausted but deliriously happy.

So this Sunday you will hear some of the choirs featured on Podium, including Newfoundland’s quintessential vocal ensemble, the Hamilton children’s choir and the great Elmer Iseler Singers.

All that plus a special concert from Ottawa with the Ottawa Bach Choir, who are also featured at Podium. The Ottawa Bach Choir has come into their own over the past few years, performing a full range of repertoire at a higher and higher level. This week they tackle the beautiful and innovative world of the great Italian renaissance master Claudio Monteverdi.

Don’t forget to check out the Choral Concert blog on CBCmusic. You will see our special edition blogs on the Sir Ernest Macmillan award and on all the other events taking place at Podium.

Choral Concert: the Podium edition. Sunday from 9 to 11 a.m. (9:30 - 11:30 NT) on CBC Radio 2.

Monday, May 14, 2012

DaCapo Chamber Choir Announces NewWorks 2012 Winner

Congratulations to Sheldon Rose (Toronto, ON) whose submission, Song of Invocation has been chosen as our third NewWorks choral composition competition winner. Rose's composition is a reflective and spiritual work; one of the jurors described Song of Invocation by saying, "the text is outstanding, [and the] harmonies support it. Interesting, rhetorical, carefully crafted." DaCapo looks forward to premiering this deeply moving work in November, on the first concert of our 2012-2013 season. As our third NewWorks choral composition competition winner, Sheldon will receive $1,500 plus travel expenses to Kitchener to attend the premiere of his composition as well as a gala reception in his honour.

Conducting the Interview

Following a regular Monday night rehearsal, Cantilon Choirs founder and Artistic Director Heather Johnson agreed to discuss with me the choral season and Belle Canto’s upcoming participation in Choral Canada’s Podium 2012 Choral conference this week in Ottawa. Johnson is casually balanced on the piano bench at the front of the rehearsal hall. I acknowledge the interesting role-reversal about to occur as I organize myself to conduct the interview. As a choir girl, I have been singing with Johnson for over 10 years. You can probably imagine the influence this woman has had on my formative choral years.

Cantilon Choirs was faced with an interesting process this past season. Johnson had to instigate a search for a new Artistic Director for the choral program, due to a potential family move to Ottawa. Although it has now been confirmed that Johnson and family are, indeed, staying in Edmonton. Johnson remarked that the search process allowed her to reflect upon her role: “I really want [Cantilon Choirs] to survive if, at any time, I am not here.” This is apparent as Johnson revealed one of her ultimate goals is to eventually form a choir school in Edmonton. “I was determined to find somebody to take this over and be as passionate about it as I am. I wanted to know why they wanted to conduct children’s choirs, particularly…and what it was about working with children and youth that was exciting for them.”

Upon further reflection, Johnson announces that she is fortunate that her job allows her to work with people for an extended period. The structure of the Cantilon program is conducive to chorister development since singers as young as kindergarteners can naturally graduate to more advanced groups within the program, such as the Cantilon Chamber Choir and Belle Canto Women’s Ensemble. Johnson pauses at this point in the interview and smiles at me: “I remember you as a child, I really remember you." I give her an acknowledging glance as I look up from my iPad. Johnson remarks that working with people over an extended period of time, from children to adulthood, is an incredible privilege.  "I can help [young choristers] shape the way they look of the world. And for me, that’s why I do this."

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Festival 500 The Phenomenon of Singing! July 7th-10th, 2013 Call for Papers and Presentations

The place to be in the summer of 2013 is Newfoundland and Labrador. Indulge your musical, creative and scholarly spirit and join us for this exciting event!

Proposal submissions should consist of a 250–300 word abstract addressing the phenomenon of singing in focus areas such as artistic, physiological, cultural, sociological, historical, pedagogical, psychological, compositional... and beyond! A diversity of presentation formats is welcome. See our website for more information:

Deadline for submissions: October 15, 2012

Friday, May 11, 2012

Sponsor for the NYC Conducting Apprenticeship Program for 2012 is the Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Foundation

The Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Foundation provides significant career development opportunities to young Canadian musicians and music scholars in their advanced education, and in so doing commemorates a great Canadian and his unique career. The Foundation’s Award is offered on a biennial basis across a wide range of areas of music through a competitive process that is national in scope. For more information see

La Fondation commémorative Sir Ernest MacMillan parraine le Programme d'apprentissage en direction chorale au Choeur national des jeunes 2012

La Fondation commémorative Sir Ernest MacMillan procure à de jeunes étudiants en musique et à de jeunes musiciens canadiens des possibilités de développement de leur carrière par des études musicales avancées afin d'honorer la mémoire d'un grand Canadien qui a connu une carrière exceptionnelle. La Fondation décerne une bourse aux deux ans dans différents domaines de la musique. Les récipiendaires sont choisis à la suite d'un processus de sélection national. Pour plus de renseignements, veuillez consulter

National Youth Choir 2012 Tour Itinerary Update

Saturday, May 12, 2012
St. James Anglican Church
58 Peter Street North
Orillia, Ontario
7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $20 Adult; $10 Student
Available at the door.

Sunday, May 13, 2012
Grace Church on the Hill
300 Lonsdale Road
Toronto, Ontario
7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $20 Adult; $10 Student
Available at the door

Monday, May 14, 2012
Sydenham Street United Church
82 Sydenham Street
Kingston, Ontario
7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Église St-Pierre Apôtre
1201 Rue de la Visitation
Montreal, Quebec
7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $20 Adult; $10 Student
Available at the door

Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Église de la Nativité de la St-Vierge
155 chemin Saint Jean
La Prairie, Quebec
7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $20 Adult; $10 Student
Available at the door

Friday, May 18, 2012
National Youth Choir Gala Concert
Dominion Chalmers United Church
355 Cooper Street
Ottawa, Ontario
7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $25 Adult; $20 Student
Available online:

Sunday, May 20, 2012
Knox Presbyterian Church (part of morning worship service)
120 Lisgar Street
Ottawa, Ontario
11:00 a.m.

Podium Silent Auction Special

Come prepared to bid on a commission for your choir from some of Canada's top choral composers. Jeff Enns, Ruth Watson Henderson, Allan Bevan, Peter Togni and Stephanie Martin have each donated a 3-minute composition and Willi Zwozdesky has donated an arrangement of carols.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Choir Girl Heads East

Greetings readers,

This Choir Girl is heading out east!

Actually, Ottawa, to be more exact. That is where Podium 2012 is hosted this year, which is the annual Canadian Choral Conference from May 17-20, 2012. I expect these four days to be filled with excellent music, engaging dialogue, and ample opportunity to geek-out as choral music enthusiasts attend sessions and concerts together.

While I have sung at two Podium conferences in the past (Edmonton (2000) and Victoria (2006)), this will be my first year singing, blogging, and formally attending the sessions. It’s going to be a bit of a balancing act; I’m not expecting to get much sleep. In order to make the weekend more manageable, I reorganized the weekend schedule to visualize trends and group activities. It is my attempt at a qualitative analysis of the weekend schedule.
Figure 1. Podium Sessions

[Allow me to explain my colour-coded thought process: Thursday events are in red, Friday events are in blue, Saturday events are in green, and Sunday events are in orange. As well, not every single session has been listed, only the ones from the main sessions page from the Podium website.]

How does one begin scheduling a plan of attack in order to conquer the sheer multitude of choral sessions? A top five priority list? Agreeing to some pre-determined session hopping? Peer pressure? No matter what the plan is, there is much to learn and no right way to go about it. It’s a choose-your-own-choral-adventure type of situation!

Figure 2. Podium concerts

CHORAL CONCERT, with host Peter Togni Sunday, May 13th, 2012 9:00 - 11:00 am, (9:30 - 11:30 NT) on CBC Radio 2

Musica Intima in Concert

This Sunday Peter Togni brings you one of Canada’s finest chamber choirs, Musica Intima. Based in Vancouver, this unconducted choir has gained an international reputation for its tight blend and extraordinary ensemble singing.

Among many other works, you will hear a world premiere performance of a new concert work by the celebrated Canadian film composer Howard Shore – yes, the guy who won all of those awards for the music to the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

You will also hear Mozart’s Mass in C major, in a classic performance with the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge and the Vienna Philharmonic all conducted by Karl Munchinger.

Don’t forget to check out the Choral Concert blog this week and next on CBC music. You will see our regular weekly feature plus a special edition blog on the Sir Ernest Macmillan award in choral conducting that is taking place this year at Podium, Canada’s bi-annual celebration of choral music.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Auditions: Vancouver Chamber Choir & Pacifica Singers - May 25 & 26

The Vancouver Chamber Choir is holding auditions for professional-level singers. All voices (SATB) are invited.

The Vancouver Chamber Choir is a fully professional choir of 20 experienced, well-trained singers. The key activities of the Choir include a subscription series that is unique in Vancouver, extensive touring in Canada and abroad, broadcasting live concerts on the CBC, recording, commissioning and premiering new choral compositions, and presenting four to five educational programs throughout each season. The Choir demands a major commitment of time and needs to be the singers' top priority.

The Vancouver Chamber Choir usually rehearses on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings. A list of substitute singers is maintained; these people may also be used to augment the Choir if a larger group is needed.

An audition lasts approximately one half hour and singers will be required to sing three or four pieces in different styles and languages; there will also be an interview with Jon Washburn. A formal résumé is required. Singers are expected to provide their own accompanist for the audition. 

Pacifica Singers is a select vocal ensemble, now anticipating its fourth season, which exists as part of the Vancouver Chamber Choir organization. The ensemble performs with Jon Washburn and the Vancouver Chamber Choir on three or four concert programmes each season and also presents one or two independent concerts with its own conductor.

Pacifica Singers provides an ideal performance venue for experienced and motivated choral singers whose goal is to make music at a very high level. By providing direct exposure to the world of professional music making, it is an experience of great value for singers intending to make a career in music.

Current members live throughout the lower mainland, with many serving as conductors, music educators, and/or professional singers in their communities. Most rehearsals are held on Tuesday evenings, with occasional weekend rehearsals and additional dress rehearsals as required.
Contact Catherine for an appointment at

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Canzona Invests in Manitoba’s Choral Future

The Winnipeg choir, Canzona, has donated $30,000 to the Henry Engbrecht Graduate Fellowship (HEGF), a healthy investment in the future of choral music in Canada and beyond. Initiated in the 2006-2007 academic year, the fellowship annually supports up-and-coming choral conductors enrolled full-time in the Master of Music Conducting Program at the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Music. 

It is named in honour of Henry Engbrecht, former Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at the University of Manitoba and the founding conductor of Canzona, now in its 23rd season. The funds for this donation come from profits made from Canzona’s sales of their three CDs of German Mennonite hymns. “Both the choir and the board felt that the HEGF is an extremely worthy cause,” said Canzona’s Board President, Kirsten Schellenberg. “We wanted to support the work of the University of Manitoba in preparing young conductors to reach the highest level of skill and professional preparedness.”

Inside the Music: Solfège for children and youth

"Movement is simply the base for the learning process and for one's memory. By ­integrating the movement - even in musical learning - we create an opportunity for a wider and deeper learning."

This new resource by Danish music educator and choral conductor, Inge Marstall, provides a DVD of sample lessons with children and an interview with the author, song materials and booklet.

Inge Marstall was professor in music pedagogy and solfège at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen and the author of several Danish books about music-methodology. This is her first English publication and is available through The Netherlands Vocal Talent Foundation (Vocaal Talent Nederland)

2nd IFCM International Competition for Choral Composition

The IFCM has a commitment to the development and nurturing of new choral music and supporting choral composers.  Our 2nd IFCM International Competition for Choral Composition is one way that we are attempting to stimulate creative compositions and draw your attention to the work of the most innovative and inventive composers. Learn more here.
All entries must be submitted by e-mail by October 1, 2012

Cantor Regis Hungariae - International Course in Church Music and Early Music

During this five-day programme participants will become acquainted with chants of the mediaeval Esztergom Rite as well as the repertoire and performance practices of 15th–16th century Renaissance polyphonic music. Participants will receive tuition individually or in small groups, attend lectures, join in choral singing and take part in actual liturgical events and concerts held during the course.

15th International Summer Course of Orff-Schulwerk - "Orff meets Kodály"

A unique opportunity for music pedagogues to experience the collaboration of these wonderful methods' best features in the framework of an international masterclass, hold in ideal conditions at the Hungarian Choral Castle. Registration deadline: May 15th 2012

9th International Summer Choir Academy on Oratorio/Orchestra Conducting and Choir Atelier for Singers

This unique masterclass for choral conductors will have a new conducting tutor this summer: the renowned German conductor, Volker Hempfling shall join our artistic director Peter Broadbent (UK) at the Academy in the Hungarian Choral Castle from 9th till 19th August 2012. Registration deadline: May 15th 2012