Friday, December 30, 2011

A Choir Girl Year In Review

Greetings readers,

It is nearing the end of the 2011 year! Thus, it's time for some cyber self-reflection. It's nice having a blog because it serves as a comprehensive timeline of my choral activities throughout the year.

Pro Coro

I began this year as a substitute member and managed to become a core member by the end of the year. I must say, it's not a bad musical progression! It's amazing what happens when timing and determination aligns :) Some particularly memorable Pro Coro concerts for me were the Space concert, the Easter performance of Bach's St. John's Passion, and the three concerts with the Pro Coro artistic director candidates: Solomon, Bailey, and Zaugg. Strangely enough, I wrote two posts on the aspect of full-voice singing in Pro Coro. Once when Gervais was conducting the choir in March and again with Zaugg in November. Hopefully this is an area that Pro Coro continues to explore in the new year.  I'm also looking forward to the announcement of the new artistic director. It signals the start of a refreshing and exciting change for the choir.

Belle Canto

Some memorable performance with the ladies this year included putting on the concert version of "Les Miserables." I got to be a lady-of-the-night. Actually, since we're putting on the Oliver musical this coming February, I get to play a different lady-of-the-night: a bar wench. I must say, the diversity of female chorus roles does not look promising. As well, Belle Canto had the opportunity to work with Simon Carrington when he visited Edmonton last March. It was interesting to get some group coaching with him as he worked with Belle Canto and Chorale St. Jean. Other than that, the Belle Canto year has been pretty formulaic: weekend retreat, music festival, Spring concert, the Dessert auction, & Christmas caroling. However, there were some awards in the Cantilon family since Belle Canto was awarded first place in the CBC Choral Competition this year and the Cantilon Chamber Choir (the choir of my teen years) toured to Wales won first place in the Youth Choirs category. I'm looking forward to Belle Canto's tour to Ottawa this May to sing at Podium 2012. If you're going to be there, let me know, I'm hoping hear as many choirs as possible and go on a blogging blitz.


The release of Virtual Choir 2.0 arrived in April 2011. I finally got to see the efforts of my four submitted videos (S1, S2, A1, A2). The Virtual Choir 3.0 project has been released and video entries are due January 31, 2012, I don't know if I'll have the time to make four videos this time around. I'll have to see...

In August 2011, I was also greatly saddened by the news of a fellow chorister, Suzanne Abele, who passed away unexpectedly during a University fieldwork accident. She will be sorely missed by the Edmonton choral community. I just feel honoured that she was a blog follower and that I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sing with her. 

The summer was also filled with excellent music festivals: the Edmonton Folk Music Festival and the Symphony Under the Sky Festival. They composed some of my favorite weekends in the entire year. During Folk Fest, I got to hear some fantastic music from Jeremy Fisher and Del Barber and I even participated in my first lantern parade. At the Symphony Under the Sky Festival, I attended a majority of the concerts--- being in the park and listening to the symphony--- a perfect way to enjoy a summer evening. As well, I had the chance to participate in an electroacoustic caroling event known as Unsilent Night since Edmonton hosted it for the first time this year.

Overall, 2011 was an extremely productive and eventful year! I'm expecting more of the same in 2012 as I'm auditioning for some new musical projects. I'll keep you posted :)

Until next year readers, take care!

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