Association of Canadian Choral Condutors

Association of Canadian Choral Condutors

Monday, August 20, 2012

Ottawa Choral Society Names New Artistic Team

The Ottawa Choral Society is pleased to announce the appointment of a strong new leadership team whose wealth of creative energy, talent, expertise and experience will provide exciting challenges and rewards for the 100-plus auditioned members of the Society and its patrons. 

Following an extensive search, OCS President Jim Howse recently announced that Montreal-based Jordan de Souza has been named Conductor and Artistic Director of the Ottawa Choral Society and Kevin Reeves, Resident Chorus Master.  Howse said, “ We are delighted to have two such outstanding choral musicians leading the choir. The board is extremely pleased to have been able to attract Mr. de Souza who, at twenty-four, is already in great demand and is on a fast track to becoming one of Canada’s most visionary and exciting music directors. At the same time, we are very happy to be continuing the important long-term relationship the choir has developed with Mr. Reeves whose skill in choral training has proven invaluable to the choir in past seasons.”  From Edmonton, where he is currently preparing Ariadne auf Naxos, Mr. de Souza said, “It is an honour to be appointed the new leader of the OCS as successor to Matthew Larkin, and it is with great pleasure that I begin my term, alongside Kevin Reeves, this fall: eager to continue and develop the tradition that has long distinguished this outstanding organization. I look forward to getting to know each of the Society's members personally and to engaging with the choir’s patrons. Together we will continue the evolution that keeps the OCS relevant, thriving, and bold in its endeavours.”
Mr. de Souza will prepare and direct the Society’s Main Series subscription concerts while Mr. Reeves will share rehearsal duties and lead a new outreach programme that will see the choir performing in the city’s suburban communities in future seasons. Jordan de Souza begins his tenure as Artistic Director in the 2012-13 season with J.S. Bach's masterpiece of the High Baroque, the Christmas Oratorio, on Friday, November 30th at St. Joseph’s Church in Sandy Hill. 

Jordan de Souza is active as a conductor and keyboardist in all disciplines of classical music and brings extensive knowledge and performance experience in both the orchestral and choral repertoire. Recent conducting highlights include Bach's St. Matthew Passion with Ensemble Caprice, a gala performance with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Players’ Association, Mozart’s Requiem with I Musici de Montréal, Beethoven’s Symphony no. 4 with the McGill Sinfonietta, a gala performance with the McGill Symphony Orchestra at the Palais des Congrès (Montréal), and period performances of Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s Mass in B minor and St. John Passion at The Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul, where he was appointed Conductor in 2008. Mr. de Souza is an alumnus of McGill University, having studied Conducting, Piano, Organ, and Harpsichord. He joined the faculty of the Schulich School of Music in 2011 as Course Lecturer and Conductor; performances have included Orff's Carmina Burana and Berg's Violin Concerto.

Mr. de Souza has been active on the operatic scene directing and leading from the keyboard Hänsel und Gretel and Trouble in Tahiti for Opera McGill, where he  served as Assistant Conductor and Chorus Master from 2008-11.  For two seasons (2008-09), Mr. de Souza held the position of
Assistant Conductor and Vocal Coach at the Janiec Opera Company of the Brevard Music Center. He was Assistant Conductor at the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy (C.O.S.I.) in the summer of 2010 leading a performance of Handel’s Giulio Cesare with the Aradia Ensemble. In the 2011-2012 season, Mr. de Souza was a guest coach with l’Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal and Assistant Conductor and Coach for Opera NUOVA's production of Ariadne auf Naxos. In the 2012-13 season, he will join the conducting staff of the Canadian Opera Company as Assistant Conductor for Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites. He is broadcast regularly on the CBC and through the European Broadcasting Union.

As a keyboard artist, Mr. de Souza’s expertise encompasses the full repertoire, with particular specialty in baroque music and the standard operatic and oratorio canon. Recent period performances include the Mass in B minor at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the St. Matthew Passion at Trinity Church, Wall Street, and Alcina with Opera McGill. Mr. de Souza’s work as a collaborative pianist has taken him around North America and Europe, including California, Florida, North Carolina, Alberta, Ontario, Québec, and Sulmona (Italy). At the age of 19, Mr. de Souza earned the Fellowship degree from the Royal Canadian College of Organists, winning all three prizes for highest marks nationwide. He currently sits on the RCCO’s Examinations Committee.

Kevin Reeves is the Founding Director of one of Canada’s premiere chamber choirs, Seventeen Voyces, which has been heard under his direction on national radio and television. His innovative thematic programming for that ensemble, based on archival films and texts, has brought him warm critical acclaim. In 2003, he was invited to share the podium for CBC Television’s nationally broadcast Easter Sunrise at the National Gallery of Canada. As a chorus master, Mr. Reeves has prepared choirs for renowned conductors including Trevor Pinnock, Franz Paul Decker, Lydia Adams, Jiri Belohlavek, Iwan Edwards, Robert Cooper, Jean-François Rivest and Pinchas Zukerman.  A fine tenor soloist, he has sung and toured as a soloist and chorister with the Notre Dame Cathedral Choir, the Anglican Chorale, La Chapelle of Quebec City, the Winnipeg Singers, the Tallis Choir, St. Simon’s Choir of Toronto, the Cantata Singers of Ottawa, and St. Matthew's (Ottawa) Choir. His personal repertoire ranges from Monteverdi’s Vespers to Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and St. John Passion, Haydn’s Creation, and Britten’s St. Nicolas. He has studied with distinguished professors of voice and is a respected voice teacher and vocal coach.  

Mr. Reeves is a composer and is presently completing the final scenes of his full-length opera based on the true story of Grey Owl. As a filmmaker, he is President of Zephyrus Productions Ltd., which has won numerous awards for its television drama and documentaries.  Kevin Reeves is also a published author and noted caricaturist.

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