Saturday, March 1, 2014

2014 Canadian Voices Tour

On Route to Toronto

We were having a workshop with a youth choir of some sort, seated next to me was a young fellow with the worst cough that I have ever heard. For three days I was to sit beside him while his whooping cough/tuberculosis germs (I was certain) were coming to get me. Needless to say, the conductor got a "high maintenance" earful, and of course I was moved.
Flash forward a few years, and we are on our way to Toronto, and I am that poor unfortunate soul. At least I'm on the recovering side of the illness, but for last few days everyone has been giving me a really wide berth. When it comes to remaining healthy, singers may be the most neurotic people in existence. Most are happy to show off some of their tricks to staying healthy. 

We made it to Toronto in under 4 hours. 

Went out for a quick bite, then had a rehearsal. This is gonna be a great tour! 
I have picked up every singers (not so) secret weapon...and am ready to go!

Soundstreams In Toronto

This is us in the first rehearsal with Conductor Kaspars Putnins of the Latvian Radio Choir. The mass choir was made up of us (Vancouver Chamber Choir), Elmer Isler Singers (Toronto), and Pro Coro (Edmonton)
He is amazing! We learned so much from him!
Melissa Morgan pictured here (right) with Jenny one of our altos, was a participant in our National Conductors Symposium a few years ago. She is singing with the Islers. It was great to re-connect with her.
Here is a picture of Jon with Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer. Over the years Vancouver Chamber Choir has sang so much of his music. The concert here in Toronto is featuring a new work by Murray for 3 choirs. So cool!
We trudged through the snow!
Each choir had its own mini-concert at St. Thomas's Church. It was great to be able to listen and support our sister choirs.

I am not too sure how long the live-stream of the concert will stay active, but it is a great show. Here is a link to Soundstreams live feed.


A Super Bowl Party!
Made it to Windsor. The Ambassador Bridge is the busiest border crossing between the USA and Canada.
We had a workshop with the University of Windsor Choir. We worked on blend, balance, tuning, and listening. These are the basics for any choir.


We left an hour early from Windsor in order to make it to Hamilton on time. We were driving through a huge storm, and passed accident after accident. 
I hope everyone was safe and okay.
A huge semi truck came speeding by on our inside (we were already stopped because of an accident on the inside lane). The truck was going too fast and didn't have enough time to stop, so it could rear end us or take out our mirror. Both drivers did some amazing driving so as to avoid a serious accident. 
Well we made it to McMaster University (only 15 minutes late). We sat among the students, and worked on a piece that they were singing. 

Jon and Rachel Rensink-Hoff from the University.
Thank you so much for having us!
The beautiful Christ's Church Cathedral in Hamilton is where we sang a great concert.
Cameron modeling his winter 2014 look.
I think he untucked his pants for the concert...


We drove up to Sudbury, and we got to work with a choir named Octatonic Decadence. We had a great time together.
The city of Sudbury encompasses over 300 lakes. It is very scenic, and I will definitely be coming back in the summer.
We had a workshop where we read 3 different composers' works. They were able to hear what their music sounds like being sung by a professional choir. The choir and Jon gave suggestions and encouragement to each of the composers.

Here is Jon with one of the composers, Joannie.

We tried some local beer.
Had a great after-concert party hosted by some dear old friends of the choir, David and Jan Buley (as seen here).
We were even made honorary citizens of Sudbury!


A very early morning flight to Montreal.
Real glasses on Porter air.
We were joined by 4 other choirs.
Here we are rehearsing a song that we will all sing together in the concert.
No trip to Montreal is complete without some smoked meat.
Here we are singing the concert in the beautiful church of Saint-Pierre-ApĂ´tre.