Monday, March 24, 2014

Weekend Update

It was a blur of activity all weekend. Here's a quick weekend update!

I had the pleasure once again of remounting Hildegard von Bingen's Ordo Virtutum on Friday night.  It was difficult to squeeze in rehearsals for this performance with my Madama Butterfly staging rehearsals. I definitely had my moments of "I am standing in the wrong spot... I should move to the right spot" and then executed this thought out with purpose. However, I was glad I was able to sing with this amazing group of women once again.

All Cory Christopher event photos by Nanc Price.

The following afternoon was a performance with my friends from the Edmonton Opera Chorus for Cory Christopher's Spring: it's here! interactive floral art installation. Cory works wonders with color and texture while while creating an immersive 3D environment. I could see him doing set design for any musical performance since he took Operatic music, such as the Lakme Flower Duet, as inspiration for his vision. Walking up to Cory's studio, I just thought how we need more artistic pods like this in the city. It may feel like you're just walking through an alley and into a garage studio, but when you enter, there is another world created inside.

It was also such an honor to sing with such passionate singers and filling the space with our voices. We all took turns singing solo pieces and duets together and it was amazing what we sounded like in these different arrangement. It will not be the last time we reunite to make music. There was also a point where I could kick off my heels and have a picnic on the grass while sipping Glow Juice.

With the creator of the space, Cory Christopher

On Saturday night, Pro Coro's performance at the New Music Festival got a stellar Edmonton Journal review. I do admit that I need to work on better mental compartmentalization when I have such diverse gigs all in one weekend. To go from staged medieval chant, into a capella Opera arias, and then Canadian Choral New Music requires significant focus and stamina. 


The weekend was rounded off with Sunday rehearsals for the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra's No Tenors Allowed Concert Monday March 24, 2014. The three Baritones, Gordon Bintner, Elliot Madore, and Phillipe Sly are all regular faces on the Barihunks blog and they are all singing together with the ESO and Edmonton Opera Chorus today at the Winspear. By seeing the reactions of the Edmonton Opera Chorus in response to the arrival of some of the most talented and attractive Baritones, this is not a concert to miss. Also, using the promo code: BARITONE gets you 50% off tickets.

Take care readers, I hope you all had a great weekend as well!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Choir Girl's Weekend

Not every one of my weekends is like this but it seems that I have a trio culmination of performances. It's going to be a fantastic time spend with amazing musicians and collaborating with local Artists. Feel free to check out the details below:

Ordo Virtutum

The Ordo Collective is remounting the production of Hildegard von Bingen's Ordo Virtutum. 

Friday March 21st at 7:00 pm
Tegler Centre, Concordia University College of Alberta
7128 Ada Boulevard
Tickets $21 at the DOOR or online

Cory Christopher Spring: it's here!

Opera singers + Spring + Interactive floral Art installation and you have Cory Christopher's 
SPRING: it’s here event. See Cory's Instagram to get a peek into the inspirations for his exhibit this weekend. Come to hear some Opera works to get you in the mood for the opening of Edmonton Opera's Madama Butterfly on April 5, 2014.

March 22nd & 23rd
11 am – 9 pm
tix $12 + gst each
Spring: it's here tix available on Eventbrite

Madama Butterfly tickets available online from Edmonton Opera

Mini Opera performances at 2 PM and 7 PM on March 22, 2014. I'll be singing at 2 PM.

Pro Coro Canada's New Music Edmonton: Now Hear This Festival

Pro Coro Canada is bringing works performed at Soundstreams in Toronto for the Now Hear This New Music Edmonton Festival audiences.

Saturday March 22 at 8:30 PM
Holy Trinity Anglican Church (10037 84th ave.)
Tickets from Tix on the Square
Here the Sounds Go Round – R. Murray Schafer
Magic Songs – R. Murray Schafer
Missa Brevis (selections) – Mathew Emery

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

New Music Edmonton: Now Hear This Festival


The Quatuor MolinariPro Coro Canada, Strathcona String Quartet, WindRose Trio, and the Violet Collective are some of the headlining Artists performing at the third annual festival of New Music Edmonton, Now Hear This. The prospect of New Music may be daunting for unfamiliar audience members; however, NME resolves to reverse such perceptions by programming a diverse array of New Music offerings that allows audience members to sample a full spectrum. The festival focuses on the works of R. Murray Schafer, a Canadian composer considered to have coined the term “soundscape.”

Juno award-winning, Quatuor Molinari, travels to Edmonton to perform Schafer’s quartets, which won them the 2014 Opus Prize for Concert of the Year.

Many professional Edmonton musicians are on the festival roster, such as the Strathcona String Quartet and Windrose Trio. This NME festival will also be the debut of the Violet Collective, named after the founder of NME, Violet Archer. Archer was a formative figure in Canadian music history as a composer, pedagogue, organist and pianist which led her receiving the Order of Canada in 1984. She had strong ties to our Edmonton music community since she held a Faculty position at the University of Alberta in the Department of Theory and Composition until her retirement.

In addition, Pro Coro Canada, performs the works of R. Murray Schafer. Schafer's Hear the Sounds Go Round had its Canadian premiere at the Soundstreams Choral Celebration concert back in February 2, 2014. Pro Coro Canada joined the Vancouver Chamber Choir and Elmer Iseler Singers in Toronto to celebrate over 60 years of professional choral singing in Canada. Pro Coro Canada brings Schafer's newest piece to NME to share the whimsical text and twisting melodies of Schafer. Pro Coro will also sing Missa Brevis selections by Mathew Emery, an undergraduate composition student at the University of British Columbia. Emery already has numerous compositional accolades and is a name that has the world of Canadian choral music buzzing.

Q&A with festival organizer, Roger Admiral:

The New Music Festival is now celebrating it's third anniversary, what do you feel is the current state of new music in Edmonton and what hopes do you have for the festival to increase new music awareness in our community?

There has been some level of new music activity in Edmonton since the 1970s, mostly organized by composers. Only in the last 10 years or so has it been consistently performer-driven. A festival allows one to be immersed for a prolonged period.

Audiences often are looking for musical accessibility and new music may have the reputation to be more abstract for mainstream audiences, what thoughts could you provide in order to encourage unfamiliar new music audience members? 

New music has a different approach to familiar concepts of melody, harmony and rhythm. Even though many new pieces do not follow a narrative kind of structure, one can still have a sense of drama (you never know what will happen next and you must give yourself entirely to being in the moment.) In addition to those underlying features there are surface attractions of new sounds and textural combinations of different instruments.

New music artists and composers all fall within a diverse range of styles and works. What does NME look for when they are designing and programming the festival?

We have a jury made up of diverse personalities, but all are looking for quality. Having some theme (i.e. Murray Schafer ) is also good for focus.

What inspired the festival to focus on works by R. Murray Schafer?

A concert proposal for Molinari Quartet to play four recent quartets by him.

New Music Edmonton invites professional level musicians to perform new music works, what motivated the NME to invite Pro Coro Canada, The Strathcona String Quartet and WindRose Trio this time for the festival?

We want New Music Edmonton to be a hub and a community member.

What performances are you personally looking forward to and why?

I am looking forward to the Violet Collective, because this will be their first performance, and I have good feeling about it.

What would be some of your future hopes for the Society of New Music or the New Music Festival in general?

More concerts, more listeners, working with more interesting composers. Unfortunately life is too short to hear everything, but let's try.

This post is cross-posted on The Sound + Noise

All tickets are available at Tix on the Square or at the door

Festival passes General Admission $50 / $40 students / $30 NME members available at Tix or at the door

More information:

Friday March 21, 2014
5:30pm – Contempo Ensemble concert at Convocation Hall, University of Alberta*
7:30pm – Molinari Quartet performs works by R. Murray Schafer
$20 General / $15 Students / $10 NME members
String Quartets Nos. 9-12
9:30pm – Semi/Conductor - a concert of electronic works
$15 General / $10 Students / $5 NME members
Would You Like Fries With That? – Brian Garbet
Untangle My Tongue – Robert McClure
Luna – Mike Lukaszuk
De la Fenêtre – Roxanne Turcotte
Post Concert: Opening Night Reception featuring John Huck (aka DJ Wijit)

Saturday March 22, 2014
1:00pm – Soundwalk*, exploring the soundscape of our city
2:00pm – WindRose Trio concert
$20 General / $15 Students / $10 NME members
Leviathan – Thom Golub
It’s a Crowd – George Andrix
Reeds – Emily Doolittle, with dancer Gerry Morita
3:30pm – Violet Collective debut, performing electro-acoustic works
$15 General / $10 Students / $5 NME members
The Sorrowful Mysteries – André Mestre
Strata – Colin Labadie
Jeu de Téléphone – Paul Steenhuisen
Ghost - Raimundo Gonzalez
4:45pm – The Canadian League of Composers round table discussion with Ian Crutchley, Heather Hindman, John Estacio, Gary James Joynes, and Michael Frishkopf*
7:00pm – Violet Collective, the unplugged concert
Rebirth - Bob Pritchard
À propos du concert de la semaine dernière - Samuel Andreyev
Year Without Summer (Daumernkino) - Jacob Gotlib
Twelve Ball-bearings - Kerrith Livengood
Follow Me – John Beckwith
Refraction – Keith Hamel
8:30pm – Pro Coro Canada, conducted by Michael Zaugg
Here the Sounds Go Round – R. Murray Schafer
Magic Songs – R. Murray Schafer
Missa Brevis (selections) – Mathew Emery
9:30pm – Astral Ghosts – a concert of electro-acoustic works
All three evening concerts for one price! $20 General / $15 Students / $10 NME members
Improvisation by Thom Golub (bass) and Kate Stashko (dance)
The Ghosts that Guard the Gateway – Gene Kosowan and Marion Garver Fredrickson
Weld – Tony Marasco
Astral Migration – Pigeon Breeders featuring visuals by Lindsay McIntyre
Meshes of the Afternoon – Greg Samek

Sunday March 23, 2014
11:00am – Deep Listening Workshop*
2:00pm – Strathcona String Quartet
String Quartet No. 2 - George Andrix
String Quartet No. 1 - Jan Jarvlepp
String Quartet No. 2 (Looking Back) – Alfred Kunz
Elusions – Colin Labadie
Mobius Train – Ken Read
Affinity – Matthew Tozer
Lake Manitoulin – Kent Williams
5:30pm – Violet Collective
Two afternoon concerts for one price! $20 General / $15 Students / $10 Students
Matemalista - Nico Arnáez
Epanoui – James Harely
LYS – Ron Hannah
Elea - Gordon Fitzell
*all concerts marked with an asterisk are free admission
All events are at Holy Trinity Anglican Church (10037 84th ave.) unless otherwise noted

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Yeggies 2013

The Choir Girl Blog has been nominated yet again for a Edmonton New Media Award Yeggie.


That is what I feel. I thought my nod last year would be my first and last time but the support from my readers have put me on the shortlist once again.

THANK-YOU again to my readers. Nomination or not, the fact that you read my posts drives me forward to continue producing content that highlights the work and preparation process of not just choral musicians but all Artists.

Take a look at the other Yeggie nominees here.

Monday, March 3, 2014

#TheChoirGirl Readers!

Photo credit: Nanc P backstage at Edmonton Opera
I issued a reader challenge these past few weeks. I put out a call for all my readers to send me a pic indulging in their musical pursuits or to find me while on tour in Toronto. Here are the following pictures that people tagged with #thechoirgirl on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram or pics people have taken with me. Enjoy!

Fellow Pro Coro chorister, Cat Kubash
My Edmonton Opera crew gets creative, Laura @heartysushi, Adam @musicdeviant, Natasha @fohn_seah_kah
Madrigal Singer alumni, Mary-Ellen @M_ERayner, and Becky reunited in Toronto
Fellow Madrigal Singers alumni, Justin
Pro Coro blog readers, Carole and Gillian @gbkursch
Edmonton Opera Chorus showing off their flexibility
Opera peep, @teiyakasahara post Pro Coro concert
baby Ingrid! from Con Fuocoian, Steph
(L-R) Dawn, Nadia, Me, and Leanne 4/5 of Con Fuoco
@CanMensChoir and @VicScholars #represent
Tom from Vancouver Chamber Choir

Science Undergrad friend, Ross and Children's Choir Travel Buddy, Nicole
More #TOchoir friends from @CantabileTO with @cherpod25 and @subversible front and centre.

Friends from the Vancouver Cantata Singers @CantataSingers, soprano Missy @mister_sissy, and composer Kristopher Fulton @kristophfulton
My blog photographer collaborator, Nanc @Mad_Me

Many of my lovely ladies from Belle Canto are avid readers
Marian @madolu (The Choir Project) at her "office" with iPad, scores, and coffee nearby

Michael van der Gaag out in Charlottetown, PEI is rocking a recital

Shumka friends, Mandy @mandy_macrae, Peter and Sandra

Backstage with the Captain, @HegedusStephen

Latvian composer, Uģis Prauliņš, whom I often rave about on this blog.
Opera crew including Christina, Krista, @kswkrokkk and Steph, @thekeyofsteph
The #EOChorus crew and Nanc Price outdid themselves!

And there you have it! A sample of #TheChoirGirl readers! If you still wish to be included, send me your pic at