Friday, April 27, 2018

Podium Choir Blog Series: Elektra Women's Choir

Today's blog post is the sixth of many interview previews of performing choirs for PODIUM ON THE EDGE taking place from June 28 - July 3, 2018 in St. John's NL.

Check out my previous blog posts with The University of Redlands Chapel Singers,Toronto Children's ChorusLes Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal, Capital Chamber Choir, and The Oakville Choir for Children & Youth !

The Elektra Women’s Choir was formed by Co-Founders Morna Edmundson and Diane Loomer, C.M. (1940 – 2012) in 1987. In 2009 Morna Edmundson was appointed Artistic Director and Diane Loomer, became Conductor Emerita. The choir is honoured to work with an outstanding accompanist, Dr. Stephen Smith

Elektra has a strong relationship with many Canadian choral composers and arrangers and through its concerts, recordings, and website, proudly promotes new repertoire. The choir has become a valued resource for conductors the world over looking to program the best of Canadian and international repertoire for treble voices. The choir has long been recognized as a leader among women’s choir with several performances at national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, Chorus America, and Choral Canada and representing Canada at the 1996 World Symposium on Choral Music in Sydney, Australia. In the summer of 2017 Elektra again proudly and successfully represented Canada at the World Symposium on Choral Music, this time in Barcelona, Spain. 

Outreach programs are a priority for Elektra, many of which encourage youth: Mira Mentorship Program for High School Singer, Choral Leadership for Young Women workshop, Reading Sessions of New Works, Conductor Mentorship Program (as requested), and a Women’s Singing workshop.

What are some recent highlights you have had with your choir?

ME: We had the thrill and privilege of singing at the 11th World Symposium on Choral Music in Barcelona last summer. Performing at the historic Palau de la Música, with its beautiful art in every nook and cranny, was something we will always remember.

What is the importance of fostering choral singing for your choir?

ME: We’ve always been proud to be a choir of women of all ages. And we try to encourage people who are conducting or singing in a women’s choir to feel proud of their work – to dispel any feeling that they are less valid than people performing SATB repertoire.

What are some recent highlights you have had with your choir?

ME: We had the thrill and privilege of singing at the 11th World Symposium on Choral Music in Barcelona last summer. Performing at the historic Palau de la Música, with its beautiful art in every nook and cranny, was something we will always remember.

Where do you begin when you start building a programme list coming to Podium?

ME: I always look for something new that my colleagues might not have heard before. I know we’re all on the hunt for new repertoire all the time. And always lots of Canadian music.

What can audiences hope to see from your choir at Podium?

ME: We’re excited to bring you Primary Colours: Three Canticles for Women’s Choir and Piano by Kathleen Allan as the focal piece in our Equals on the Edge performance.

What role do you see Podium having in the world of Canadian Choral music?

ME: Hugely important in this vast country for us to spend time together and hear each other’s work! I can’t imagine a cohesive Canadian choral community without meeting “our people” at Podium.

How important is it for choirs to promote the works of contemporary Canadian composers?

ME: I think of the choral world as an ecosystem, of which composers are a critical part.  In order to make the ecosystem thrive, we have to nurture them while they are nurturing us with new music to sing.

When you are looking to commission a work for your choir/group, what are the considerations you keep in mind when choosing the right Composer for the job?

ME: Different factors take precedence in different situations, but mostly I look for someone with unique musical ideas and an extremely strong affinity for text.

What do you consider when you’re preparing to introduce a new work to present to your choir?

ME: I actually gave a lecture about that at Podium in Edmonton! I’m about to turn that into some YouTube videos, so stay tuned to the Elektra channel…

What are the challenges when you are looking at repertoire to program for?

ME: The challenges have changed a lot since we formed Elektra 30 years ago. Now there is no shortage of treble music, it is just necessary to wade through a lot of rep that doesn’t feel right for us in order to find what is. In addition to thinking about the experience of our live audience and the performers themselves, I always have in mind that other choirs might discover a worthy piece if we program it.  It is a subjective and messy balancing act every time!

Explain your musical upbringing and what eventually drew you to choral music?

ME: I discovered choral singing in my small high school choir when I was also studying flute seriously. I entered university as a flute player, but soon moved over to singing and choral music.

What are some future goals of the choir?

ME: We always want to grow musically and deepen the experience of the audience.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I have not asked?  

ME: We would also like to draw attention to a special project Elektra is performing in with several other choirs from around the country. “...float...” (in French “…ondes…” and in Inuktitut “…puttak…”) will take place at the Mount Scio Savoury Farm on July 1st at 5:00pm and 7:30pm. Presented by Choral Canada to coincide with Podium, this special creative project includes six new compositions, five Canadian choirs singing in groves, fields, and ponds, a legacy video aspect, and representations of water from five regions of Canada.  Our work, by Alexina Louie and representing BC, is about rain!

Morna Edmundson is one of Canada’s best-known choral conductors with a strong reputation for excellence. Passionate since childhood about choral singing, she obtained degrees and diplomas in vocal music in Vancouver, Bellingham, and Stockholm, Sweden where her teachers included Eric Ericson. In 1987, she co-founded Elektra Women’s Choir with Diane Loomer, a treasured partnership that lasted 22 years. In 2009, Morna became Elektra’s sole Artistic Director, continuing the choir’s strong leadership role in concert presentation, commissioning, recording, and mentorship. For 14 years Morna shared her love of quality repertoire with a new generation of singers in her role as Associate Artistic Director of Coastal Sound Music Academy. Morna has adjudicated in North America and Asia, conducted state honour choirs, co-directed the American Choral Directors Association National Women’s Honour Choir, and gives frequent workshops with choirs of all ages. Her accomplishments have been recognized with the BC Choral Federation’s Healey Willan Award (2000), a BC Community Achievement Award (2009), YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, Arts and Culture category (2011), and UBC Alumni Builder Award (2017).  Since 2013, she has served as a Board member of Chorus America, the advocacy, research, and leadership development organization that gives voice to the choral field.

Thank you so much, Morna!

The Elektra Women's Choir performs on Monday, July 2nd, 8:00pm at the Cochrane Centre as a Highlight Choir for  the"Equals On The Edge" concert at #Podium2018.

You can follow Elektra on social media:

Facebook: @ElektraWomensChoir

Instagram: @elektrawomen

Twitter: @ElektraYVR

- Blonde in the Choir

Friday, April 20, 2018

Podium Choir Blog Series: The Oakville Choir for Children & Youth

Today's blog post is the fifth of many interview previews of performing choirs for PODIUM ON THE EDGE taking place from June 28 - July 3, 2018 in St. John's NL.

Check out my previous blog posts with The University of Redlands Chapel Singers,Toronto Children's Chorus, Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal, and Capital Chamber Choir!


Founded in 1994, the Oakville Choir for Children and Youth (formerly The Oakville Children’s Choir) is made up of seven different choirs. Holding fast to our mission as a welcoming, professional and innovative community that provides exceptional music education, leadership development and performance opportunities, we are a comprehensive music education program for over 200 auditioned choristers ranging in age from 4 through 25 years. 

‘Raise Her Voice’ (RHV) is the home for female singers who have achieved a high level of vocal and musicianship skills. RHV is known for its high standard of artistic interpretation and performance excellence, while also creating a space where young female leaders feel confident raising their voices in song and in the world. RHV choristers serve as musical ambassadors throughout our community including participation in our inclusivity program, which is a two-fold initiative: a partnership with ArtHouse of Oakville and ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development, as well as our own ‘All Voices Together’ program, open to all children who wish to sing.  

Through a mentorship approach, our choristers are encouraged to contribute artistically in rehearsal and performances through collaboration, improvisation, and idea sharing. RHV has consistently performed well at national and international competitions, being judged at Gold Medal level at the International Choir Olympics in 2004 (Bremen, Germany), World Choir Games 2012 (Cincinnati, OH) and 2014 (Riga, Latvia). RHV has recorded several CDs, produced three choral music videos, and has premiered new choral compositions by Canadian composers including John Godevas, Sarah Quartel, Jamie Hillman, Jeff Enns, and Alice Ping Yee Ho.

The Oakville Choir artistic team believes passionately in the transformative power of choral music in the lives of children and youth and we strive to create an environment where young people can explore, develop, and create through singing.

What are some recent highlights you have had with your choir? 

SM: We have had a fantastic season with all of the choirs of the Oakville Choir for Children and Youth – we are going into our 25th anniversary year next season so it’s an exciting time for the organization. Recent highlights for Raise Her Voice (RHV) and Raise Her Voice Chamber (RHV Chamber) have been workshops with ‘Uncharted’ spoken word artists, collaborative work with the VIVA! Youth Singers of Toronto including a performance of Andrew Balfour’s powerful piece “Take the Indian,” fundraising concerts for Oomama (the Stephen Lewis Foundation), and preparing commissioned pieces with Alice Ping Yee Ho and Natalie Fasheh for our Podium concerts. We also always enjoy performing at our own concerts here in Oakville and singing everything from contemporary choral repertoire to vocal jazz to musical theatre.

What is the importance of fostering choral singing for your choir?

SM: It’s important to provide welcoming spaces for young people where they can express themselves, create, feel safe, be themselves, and take risks. We strive to make our choir one of these spaces and use choral music as our vehicle for collaboration, learning, expression, and sharing. Further, we feel that young people should have access to excellent music education programs and often the role of a community children or youth choir acts to support and enhance music education programs in schools where there are, sadly, not always singing opportunities. Singing is central to the mental health and wellness of young people – it’s also vital to the expression of values, culture, and stories. 

Describe challenges of programming because of the vocal development of your preteens entering puberty end up by the performance date, where do you begin when you start building a programme list coming to Podium? 

SM: Our many years of experience working with adolescent females has challenged us to hone our resources regarding appropriate choral repertoire. Because we are working with young females only, we do not have the additional challenge of the more dramatic transitioning young male voice; however, the transitioning female instrument also presents unique circumstances that need to be monitored and acknowledged when program building. In very general musical terms, we seek pieces that remain within a healthy vocal tessitura for our young voices, and that encompass a spectrum of styles and languages.
It has been equally important in our programming choices to seek choral literature that serves to support an atmosphere of a creative, collaborative sisterhood and the power of singing as a vehicle for positive self-expression. We are pleased to be presenting an interest session at Podium where we will address vocal technique aspects specific to female adolescent singers such as voice classification and phases of vocal maturation, as well as pedagogical strategies that serve to support these singers.

Where do you begin when you start building a programme list coming to Podium? 

SM: We started building our program list at the end of last season when we were applying to sing a spotlight concert at Podium. We had a vision of presenting a concert inspired by stories of girls and include stories from across different times and stylistic perspectives. We also intentionally included works by female composers who we have had the honour of working with such as Andrea Ramsey, Moira Smiley, Alice Ping Yee Ho, and Natalie Fasheh.  Our program vision and repertoire has shifted throughout the year, but the original spirit and intention has remained the same.  

What inspires you when you are working with youth singers? 

SM: Young people have such energy, passion, and curiosity that they bring to their singing and musical lives. They can be fiercely independent, but at the same time often need support; the strength of young people coming together cohesively as an ensemble is formidable. Our singers will often tell us of the stress in their lives and how coming to choir is the best way to join together with friends and find a positie and supportive space. Our singers inspire us to continue to grow and push ourselves as musicians and conductors through their questions, ideas, and ability to make incredible art through choral music.  

What can audiences hope to see from your choir at Podium? 

SM: One of the most powerful elements of the music that we are bringing to Podium is the opportunity to share stories through song text. Through our performance, we will assume a wide range of female characters including the three witches from Macbeth, Canadian teenage swimmers Marilyn Bell and Shirley Campbell, Millie Dillmount and her 1920s flapper friends, and Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ. We will also intersperse these characters and their stories with our own voices and stories through original poetry and text presented in our spotlight concert. We are very excited to share our performance with Podium delegates from across Canada.

Explain your musical upbringing and what eventually drew you to choral music? 

SM: I was fortunate enough to grow up in a very musical household where informal music-making was a focus. My parents are not professional musicians, but I recall singing songs around many campfires at our family cottage and creating harmonies by ear with my sister. I also grew up singing in church choirs and our family even sang Sunday anthems – we were known as the “Morrison family singers.” At the time, I was a bit embarrassed, but I love it now! I was fortunate to have piano, theory, and vocal lessons growing up as well as to sing with amazing choirs in the Greater Toronto Area including the Toronto Mendelssohn Youth Choir under the direction of Robert Cooper. Along with classical and choral music, I have always had a love of musical theatre and found myself happiest when I was playing a character. Many an afternoon was spent singing along to show tunes with ‘Oklahoma’ and ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’ being my favourites. I believe that my love of singing and acting combined with my understanding of the power of choral music – to be a part of something so beautiful that is bigger than the individual – was what drew me to choral music as a career. I also love being around people and the skills needed to lead a children and youth choir organization align with my passions for music, communication, and education.

CP: Like Sarah, I also grew up in a family who loved to make music and who prioritized musical training for us kids. It was expected that all of us would learn instruments, and it was normal for us to sing together in harmony at family gatherings, church events, and other occasions. After high school, I left Vancouver for Winnipeg to pursue my musical training and, although I arrived as a pianist, I left that city as a singer. The fantastic choral music in Winnipeg inspired me more than any other musical experience I had had to that point. At that formative time in my life, I was privileged to work with Dr. William Baerg at the Mennonite University where I was studying, and through his leadership we were exposed to great oratorio works, a new Bach motet each year, and such internationally renowned guest choral conductors as Robert Shaw and Helmuth Rilling, We toured across the country, laughed a lot, and built lasting memories and friendships that have shaped my love of singing to this day. I have been privileged to sing in and lead many other choirs since then, and I continue to be inspired by the camaraderie, the collaboration, the fun, and the emotional depth that choral music generates in its participants and listeners. As choral musicians we breathe together, listen carefully to each other, and create something larger than each person can produce individually. What could be better than that?!

Dr. Sarah Morrison is the Artistic Director of the Oakville Choir for Children and Youth and the Director of Learning and Teaching Innovation at Appleby College. A passionate educator, she serves as an adjunct faculty member at Queen’s University teaching courses in the Faculty of Education. Her choirs have won awards at international levels including a Gold Medal at the 8th World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia. Dr. Morrison is known for her energy and creativity in working with young voices. Dr. Morrison is the 2010 winner of the Leslie Bell Award for Choral Conducting awarded by the Ontario Arts Council. She writes the Youth Choir column for Choral Canada’s Anacrusis and served the board of Choirs Ontario as the Vice-President. Dr. Morrison sang soprano with the JUNO-nominated Canadian Chamber Choir for the past decade and is a frequent conference presenter and guest conductor in Canada and the United States.

Dr. Charlene Pauls is the Associate Music Director of the Oakville Choir for Children and Youth and the Artistic Director of the London Pro Musica Choir. She is also on the teaching staff at St. Michael’s Choir School in Toronto.  As a conductor, she has been particularly influenced by her experience as a professional singer and voice teacher to inform her work on developing healthy choral technique and blend. She has appeared as a Soprano soloist with orchestras across Canada and Europe, including the Vancouver Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra, and with ensembles in Germany, Spain, France, and England. Her work as a voice clinician has led to invitations to adjudicate vocal and choral festivals across the country.

Thank you so much, Sarah and Charlene!

The Oakville Choir for Children & Youth performs on Monday, July 2nd, 2:00pm at the Cochrane Centre as a Spotlight Choir for #Podium2018.

You can follow the Oakville Choir for Children & Youth on social media:

Facebook: @oakvillechoir

Instagram: @oakvillechoir

Twitter: @OakvilleChoir

- Blonde in the Choir

Thursday, April 12, 2018

PODIUM 2018 Choir blog series: Capital Chamber Choir

Today's blog post is the fourth of many interview previews of performing choirs for PODIUM ON THE EDGE taking place from June 28 - July 3, 2018 in St. John's NL.

Check out my previous blog posts with The University of Redlands Chapel Singers, Toronto Children's Chorus, and Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal!

I am particularly thrilled on today's preview as I got to interview my own choir, 

Capital Chamber Choir with Artistic Director, Jamie Loback!

The Capital Chamber Choir is an auditioned ensemble of advanced singers from the Ottawa region. The choir and Artistic Director, Jamie Loback, are committed to bringing a diverse range of choral music—in particular modern, Canadian, and local works—to audiences through high-calibre and engaging performances. Community outreach as well as support for new composers and local musicians are important elements of this mandate.

Founded in 2009, the Capital Chamber Choir has become known for its energy, versatility, and musicianship. The choir is a true collaboration, emphasizing the importance of collegiality in generating an integrated choral sound. 

Each season, the choir presents its own concert series, and also performs in collaborative projects with other musicians and organizations. The choir has performed with distinguished musicians and composers such as Ēriks Ešenvalds, Ola Gjeilo, Morten Lauridsen, The Chamber Players of Canada, Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra, Kathleen Battle, Sandra Graham, Emma Kirkby, and Daniel Taylor & The Theatre of Early Music. 

The ensemble made its National Arts Centre (NAC) debut in October 2015 with a performance during the NAC Orchestra’s "Roaring Twenties Festival". In 2017 the ensemble performed Mozart’s Requiem with the National Arts Centre Orchestra (NACO) and recorded Ana Sokolovic’s “Golden Slumbers…” with the NACO under the direction of Maestro Alexander Shelley.

The 2017-2018 season brings many new projects such as three core concerts in December, March, and May as well as our first NAC performance of Handel's Messiah on December 22. The season will continue with our first domestic tour as a Spotlight Choir for PODIUM Choral Conference & Festival in St. John's, NL. The season will end with a performance and workshop with prolific composer John Rutter alongside The Elmer Iseler Singers and the Ottawa Children's Choir during the Music & Beyond Festival in July 2018. 

What do you feel makes your choir unique from other choirs?

JL: I think our group is unique in many ways – from our founding, to our mandate, to the way we operate. The choir was founded in 2009 when Sara Brooks brought together 16 friends and fellow University of Ottawa students, all of whom wanted an opportunity to sing more contemporary and Canadian music. Since then, we've grown to become a 40-voice, auditioned ensemble, but we've maintained our commitment to ambitious programming and showcasing the best in contemporary and Canadian choral music, contemporary international works, and traditional works in the Western choral-symphonic music canon.

For the Capital Chamber Choir, being in an ensemble is about more than simply learning notes. It’s about collaboration and creating an integrated choral sound. To achieve this, we emphasize preparation and musicianship of course, but also a relaxed (but focused!) rehearsal atmosphere, teamwork on choir projects, an Executive Board led by volunteering choristers, and socializing outside of rehearsal.  

The choir cannot be labelled as a professional ensemble as that would imply that choristers receive payment etc.  However, the approach we take is certainly one that could be perceived as being at a professional or semi-professional level.  Choristers are expected to arrive having prepared the material so that rehearsals are focused on ensemble concerns, interpretation, and polishing!  All rehearsals are unaccompanied (even when the repertoire is written with an instrumental element, the choir must still rehearse without the aid of the piano, at least for the initial preparatory rehearsals).  I have found that this approach has had a tremendous impact in developing the strength and ability of the Capital Chamber Choir.  In addition, we are fortunate that all of our members have significant choral experience and musical training.

Photo: Amy Reckling

What are some recent highlights you have had with your choir?

JL: This is a tough one, as our choir has had a number of tremendous experiences over the past nine years. We’ve been fortunate enough to work with distinguished Canadian and international artists such as Ēriks Ešenvalds, Ola Gjeilo, Morten Lauridsen, the Chamber Players of Canada, Kathleen Battle, Emma Kirkby, Daniel Taylor & The Theatre of Early Music, Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. But I think it’s safe to say that recording our debut album The Delight of Paradise, which was released in 2017, has been the ensemble’s greatest milestone thus far. We are tremendously proud of this all-Canadian record and are proud to have been able to highlight so many works composed by local composers on the album.  The Capital Chamber Choir was also recently involved with the National Arts Centre Orchestra’s most recent album, “New Worlds” in which the choir formed part ofthe chorus in Ana Sokolović’s "Golden slumbers kiss your eyes… ".

Where do you begin when you start building a programme list coming to Podium?

JL: I see Podium as not only a tremendous learning and developmental opportunity for our ensemble, but also a chance to bring exciting new Canadian music to a wider audience. I wanted to ensure that our programme for Podium would show those unfamiliar with our ensemble exactly what we're all about. My focus was therefore on contemporary Canadian works that are not yet widely known and that would also demonstrate our choir’s musicianship. 

Photo: Anthony Boxell Photography

What can audiences hope to see from your choir at Podium?

JL: At our July 2 Spotlight Concert, we will present the title piece from our debut album, "The Delight of Paradise" by Ottawa's Nicholas Piper, which is a setting of colourful sacred poetry from The Odes of Solomon. This seven-movement cantata has received rave reviews at home, being described as a "surprising, memorable, and shockingly accomplished piece by a prodigiously talented young composer” (Ottawa Citizen, 2015). We could not be more thrilled to bring this choral tour-de-force to Podium!  I believe that this work is truly a masterpiece of Nicholas Piper’s compositional brilliance and I hope that other choirs will begin performing the work in their communities.  Since we premiered the work several years ago, I have always believed that this composition will become a standard work in the choral repertoire over time.

Photo: Marie-Helene Urro

How important is it for choirs to promote the works of contemporary Canadian Composers?

JL: As you can probably glean from my previous answers, this is an area that the Capital Chamber Choir feels very strongly about. Canada has a rich choral tradition that is certainly deserving of celebration. We know that there is an exciting future for choral music in this country as well, which is why we are committed to promoting contemporary Canadian music, and particularly giving greater exposure to works by new and up-and-coming composers. 

What are the challenges when you are looking at repertoire to program for?

JL: In the Capital Chamber Choir, I am so fortunate to work with a group of skilled and dedicated musicians who are always looking for new challenges. I think you can see this drive in our programming each season.  When establishing a program, I always aim try to craft the repertoire list in a way the audience will be engaged throughout.  In my view, diversity of tempi is required as well as diversity in terms of style and, at times, theme.  I must also ensure that the repertoire is something that the choir will embrace in the rehearsal process and performance.  This is not to say that I try to program based on what everyone simply likes to sing, but rather selecting repertoire that the choir can appreciate in terms of its compositional complexity, nuance, or structure.  This can be a delicate balance to strike! 

Photo: Emma Bider
Explain your musical upbringing and what eventually drew you to choral music?

JL: I grew up on a farm near Rankin, Ontario – a rural community near Pembroke in the Ottawa Valley. While the music scene is not nearly as big or as varied as Ottawa’s, there are a number of longstanding and popular classical music organizations in the area. I began studying piano at the age of ten and remember attending Ottawa Valley Music Festival concerts with my aunt and uncle during summer.  The local church I attended as a child had a very fine organist.  I remember listening to her intricate preludes and postludes on Sunday mornings and remember thinking that I wanted to explore this kind of performance, as well as church music more generally.  I began taking organ lessons and later in high school I began playing percussion and any kind keyboard accompaniment with the local Pembroke Symphony Orchestra.  I also provided piano accompaniment for a few productions put on by the local musical theatre group (at the time it was called the Pembroke Musical Society) and I was accompanist for the children’s choir of Holy Name Parish in Pembroke, ON for several years during high school.  I would say my love of choral music came much later.

I studied piano in my undergraduate degree at the University of Ottawa and eventually completed my master’s in Music Theory and Analysis (throughout this time I took the choral and orchestral conducting courses that U. Ottawa offered as well as a directed study in choral conducting with Laurence Ewashko during my master’s).  I thought at first that I might become a music teacher or continue on to do my PhD and have an academic career. That all changed with my immersion in Ottawa’s wonderful choral music community. During my undergrad, I began working at St. Joseph’s Parish, at first as a pianist and organist, but I eventually became the choir director. From there, I’ve been able to build a career as a choral conductor. I think it’s safe to say that I’m hooked! In addition to the Capital Chamber Choir, I also conduct the Ottawa Children’s Choir (Chamber Choir and Boys’ Choir), the Ottawa Regional Youth Choir, and have maintained my position as Director of Music and Liturgy and St. Joseph’s Parish in Ottawa.  I consider myself tremendously fortunate to have the opportunity to work with such a diversity of choirs and people.  I find this to be extremely rewarding.

Photo: Emma Bider
 What are some future goals of the choir?

JL: Performing at Podium has been a long-standing goal for this ensemble and we are honoured to perform on this national stage for our colleagues from across Canada.  Making the choir’s name more known nationally will continue to be a goal for us.
I also feel that another important step will be an international tour, which would allow us to make new connections and expose international audiences to the exciting music being composed here in Canada.  In recent years, we have developed a relationship with the ambassadors from the Baltic states as we have performed a significant amount of repertoire by composers from that region.  We are in the early stages of planning a performance tour/exchange to those countries which will take place in the early 2020s.

I know that we will continue to challenge ourselves in terms of the repertoire that we sing. I feel that, going forward, we will aim to advance our mandate through more commissions of Canadian and local works and collaborations with other Canadian musicians.  While we will continue to perform international works, our founding mandate to promote Canadian choral music will never waver.

Photo: Dar-Lens Photography
Jamie Loback holds a Master’s degree in music from the University of Ottawa. Since 2005, he has served as Director of Music at St. Joseph’s Parish, and currently serves as a conductor of the Ottawa Children’s Choir (Chamber and Boys’ choirs) and the Artistic Director of both the Ottawa Regional Youth Choir and the Capital Chamber Choir. He led the Ottawa Children's Choir on a tour to France in April 2017, conducting feature performances at Notre-Dame de Paris and the commemorative ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial.  Jamie recently completed an album with the Capital Chamber Choir featuring the music of Canadian composers. Upcoming engagements include the Capital Chamber Choir's first domestic tour as a Spotlight Choir for PODIUM, Choral Canada’s national conference and festival, in St. John’s, Newfoundland, July 2018.  In May 2018 he will lead the Ottawa Children's Choir (Chamber and Boys' choirs) on a performance tour of Eastern Canada which will include concerts in Quebec City, Halifax, and Charlottetown.           

Thank you so much, Jamie!

The Capital Chamber Choir performs on Monday, July 2nd, 2:00pm at the Cochrane Centre as a Spotlight Choir for #Podium2018.

The choir will also be performing a FREE concert in St. John's comprised of their favourite works by Veljo Tormis, Paul Mealor, Eric Whitacre, Uģis PrauliņšĒriks EšenvaldsJaakko Mäntyjärvi and more. 

Stop on by in between Podium events on Saturday June 30th, 3:30pm at the Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Baptist Church (16 Church Hill Street)!

You can follow Capital Chamber Choir on social media:

Facebook: @capitalchamberchoir

Twitter: @CCChoirCA

Instagram: @capitalchamberchoir

Youtube: Capital Chamber Choir

Spotify: Capital Chamber Choir

- Blonde in the Choir