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.
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
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.]
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
from attending a wide array of sessions, I feel like the best way to
learn and experience what this country has to chorally offer is to
attend the concerts. This is where I plan to spend the bulk of my time.
Please excuse my inherent bias, since I am a Choir Girl of Belle Canto,
but not only are we the only choir representing Western Canada this
Podium, but we also get to share Thursday’s concert with the Estonian
treble choir, Tartu Ülikooli Akadeemiline Naiskoo.
I’ve been following their updates on social media, and even though I
cannot read Estonian, I feel like we’re choral-kin already. It will be
noteworthy to see the MacMillian Singers and Elmer Iseler Singers pay a musical homage to the work of Ruth Watson Henderson. I am intrigued by the biographies of the L’Ensemble vocal Ganymede, L’Ensemble vocal Sainte-Anne Singers, Concerto Della Donna, the Ottawa Bach Choir,
and Siren Women's Choir. I will be curious to hear their choral voices
as well. The Missa Gaia should also be quite the show-stopper with over
120 voices performing the work under the direction of Matthew Larkin.
Furthermore, you can probably expect to see me at every concert on Saturday. While I have heard many of these choirs, voces boreales, Quintessential, Hamilton Children’s Choir, High Park Choirs of Toronto, St. Michael’s Boy choir, and the Toronto Children’s Chorus Chamber Choir,
in recordings and on CBC radio, I have yet to witness live performances
from them. It’s quite the luxury to have them all performing on one
day. Of course, I think one of the concerts to see and be seen at is the
National Youth Choir (NYC) performance.
Even though I will be weeping silently inside while attending this
concert (I was accepted into the NYC but had to decline due to other
commitments), I won't turn down the opportunity to support my fellow
After giving my figures another glance, I think
my attempts at developing a plan of attack may be futile. I will merely
let these diagrams serve as an outline of choral possibility and be open
to whatever opportunities come my way. Whether that is scheduling some
blog interviews with session speakers or choristers, speaking with new
choral friends in the lobby of the Lord Elgin Hotel, or having coffee with a blog reader, I’m ready for all choral possibilities.
I'll be writing daily blog updates which will be cross-posted here on The Sound and Noise, The Choir Girl Blog, and the ACCC Choral Bytes Blog. As well, I will be live tweeting from @misssable if you wish to follow me during that time. You can also find all conference tweets and news using this hashtag: #Podium2012
Until next time readers, take care!