Browsing: Choral

The new government directives announced on Sept. 28 should not affect choir and orchestra rehearsals so long as safety regulations are respected and the number of people participating is limited. To recap: private and public gatherings were banned until Oct. 28, except in places of worship or at funerals, where a maximum of 25 people were allowed. Public demonstrations were also permitted, so long as the two-metre rule was applied and masks were worn.  “We would like as many artists as possible to continue working,” said Premier François Legault in a press briefing. “Whether broadcasting or recording, obviously following hygiene…

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Twenty-four people in masks. Twenty-five if you count the leader; 29 if you include the string quartet. Unknown location. Sounds mysterious. In fact, Hope & Refuge, a concert by the Elora Singers, will be available online for all to see and hear starting Nov. 14. The title is suited to both our troubled times and a program including Layton’s Letter to Canadians, a tribute to the late NDP leader by Jeff Enns, a member of the bass section. “It is optimistic and hopeful music,” says Mark Vuorinen, artistic director and conductor of the Ontario-based choir. “The piece is a setting of those wonderful words [Layton]…

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Choral Canada is pleased to announce that our very first National Youth Virtual Choir of Canada video has been released. This unique and emotional video includes alumni of the National Youth Choir of Canada performing in breathtaking landscapes from across our country. They are performing the piece “All Of Us” from “Considering Matthew Shepard” composed by Craig Hella Johnson. The 2020 Conductor is Dr. Jean-Sébastien Vallée. The 2020 Apprentice Conductor is Thomas Burton. The audiovisual editor and producer for the video is William Duffy. Choral Canada is the National Arts Service Organization (NASO) for the Canadian choral arts sector. We…

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It was a shocker in an age of shocking stories. Fifty-five members of the Skagit Valley Chorale in Mount Vernon, Washington, met at the local Presbyterian church on March 10 for a rehearsal. Three weeks later, 45 had tested positive for COVID-19. Two were dead. Despite the availability at the door of hand sanitizer and a general moratorium on handshaking and other forms of physical contact. Despite the testimony of several members that no one was heard to cough during the two-and-a-half-hour rehearsal. Nor is the Skagit Vallet story the only documented case of choral super-spreading. The Amsterdams Gemengd Koor (Amsterdam Mixed Choir)…

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Andrew Gray couldn’t have chosen a better city than Montreal when, in 2010, he decided to leave the U.K. to start a new chapter in his already flourishing career. In fact, the “city of a hundred bells” boasts a well-established choral tradition, with two symphony orchestras, a ballet company and hundreds of vocal ensembles of all levels. It was in this rich musical landscape that Gray won his first official position as conductor of the Montreal Children’s Choir, which he left in 2015 to take over artistic and musical direction of the Montreal Choral Institute (MCI) and its ensemble, the…

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The dangers of choral singing has been in the news since the beginning of the pandemic. Arthur Kaptainis’s article Choral singing: a long road back went viral. especially the French translation in Quebec and Europe. Today, Canada’s Professional Choir leaders respond to the dangers of singing in the following letter. June 23, 2020. To Whom It May Concern: We are writing in response to the articles published by the CBC on June 16, No singing or dancing allowed even as Ontario patios, places of worship reopen, and June 20, Choirs reimagine themselves as singing proves an effective way to spread…

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[Originally published on Dec. 6, 2014] How a performance of Mozart’s Requiem marked my musical passage By Wah Keung Chan Last Sunday (November 30, 2014), I attended conductor Iwan Edwards’s Farewell at Concerto Della Donna’s final concert at a standing room sold out St. Georges Church. It was good to see Iwan on the podium again, having sung for him with the St. Lawrence Choir and the MSO Chorus many times in the 1990s. Midway through the first half, I suddenly remembered the first time I sang with him, 25 years earlier in 1989. It was days following the December…

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Founder of the St. Lawrence Choir, the FACE Senior Treble Choir, Concerto Della Donna, the Canadian chamber choir and the Choeur des Enfants de Montreal, Iwan Edwards is one of the premier choral conductors in Canada as well as an international figure by virtue of his years as chorus master of the OSM. La Scena Musicale has asked Edwards to reflect on his long career, starting in his native Wales and involving, surprisingly, expertise on the violin. by Iwan Edwards It was my good fortune to grow up in Wales, where music played such an important part in everyday life.…

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La Chapelle de Québec isn’t performing its first Messiah by Handel – far from it. On this side of the Atlantic, tradition has it that this oratorio is sung during the Christmas season. Each performance seems to bring its share of new experiences. This year, the ensemble will be joined on stage by soloists of international renown, including British countertenor Tim Mead. “Collaborating with such talented artists opens up new interpretive possibilities, such as the choice of arias I can do,” said Bernard Labadie. For the founder and music director of La Chapelle de Québec, it’s essential to keep the…

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Led by conductor and founder Lisette Canton, the Ottawa Bach Choir presents A Bach Christmas in Toronto on Nov. 30 and in Ottawa on Dec. 1. Now in its 18th year, the ensemble will perform three Bach cantatas for Epiphany: Meinem Jesus lass ich nicht BWV 124, Ach Gott, vie manches Herzeleid BWV 3, and Was mein Gott will, das g’scheh allzeit BWV 111. “In 1725, these cantatas would have been sung during Epiphany Sundays,” said Canton. “Bachfest Leipzig requested these cantatas. We wanted our Canadian public to discover them.” The choir will perform them as part of the prestigious…

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