Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Auditions for EKOS Singers

EKOSingers Auditions

Sept 7 - 9, 2011

Calling all sopranos, altos, tenors & basses who love performing. Blur the line between choir concert & theatre, experience the energy of one of Edmonton’s most established & spirited adult choral groups.

This season's activities include 2 full scale productions involving solo and ensemble opportunities for choir members. A trip to Vancouver is also in the works. EKOSingers traveled to Cuba in 2010 and staged their first cabaret to a sold out crowd in January 2011 while maintaining their regularly scheduled events.

For those interested in participating in quality performances accompanied by professional Edmonton musicians, please call Laura at 780-462-4911 to book your audition time.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Concert Highlights for the 2011-2012 Season

The 2011-2012 concert season is shaping up to be an exciting one and here are some of my highlights that I will be seeing and hopefully writing about this year.

Gustav Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde (Song of the Earth) dominates September with this enormous work scaled down to the stark setting of piano and vocalists.  The all-Canadian triple threat of Benjamin Butterfield, tenor, Elizabeth Turnbull, mezzo-soprano and John Hess, piano will perform this marathon of a love song to nature at Convocation Hall on September 23rd.  Put this on your calendar as Das Lied von der Erde is rarely performed and even rarer still in an intimate concert.

Run - don't walk to see James Ehnes, violin at McDougall United Church on Saturday October 1st.  How many times to you get to see an internationally renound violinist in a small church?  Thanks to the Edmonton Chamber Music Society for arranging what I'm sure will be a great concert.  

Pro Coro has an exciting year to choose their new conductor - you have a chance to see all three hopefuls in action at three concerts in October, November and February.  I'm sure we will see some great work this year as the finalists will want to impress!

I already have my ticket for the Edmonton Chamber Music Society's presentation of Dido and Aeneas by Daniel Taylor's Theatre of Early Music at Convocation Hall on Monday February 13th.  OK, a small confession here - I already have my ticket because I've had a big schoolgirl crush on Alexander Dobson's (Aeneas) voice for a long time so I'm very excited to see him in this role ... of course everyone else is great too!! Daniel Taylor, one the great countertenors of the world, and Noemi Kiss (Dido), Benjamin Butterfield, Grace Davidson, and Julia Doyle will all be performing.

The operatic theme continues with the University of Alberta's Opera Performance program which brings us Orphée aux Enfers on Sunday March 25th at 3pm at the Winspear Centre.  Orpheus goes into the underworld again with Offenbach's satire of Gluck's Orfeo and Euridice - yes, opera can be funny.  I have to admit I'm surprised time and time again at opera audiences in Edmonton who are unpretentious enough to laugh out loud and really enjoy their opera - so 'loosen up' everybody else!

Edmonton Opera's season culminates with Beethoven's only opera Fidelio on April 21, 24 and 26 next year.  This all Canadian production is the first ever in Alberta and may be director Brian Deedrick's swan song as he leaves his post as Artistic Director of Edmonton Opera (we hope not Brian!)

Finally, how do you get to Carnegie Hall?  Be a member of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra!  Maestro Bill Eddins gives us a preview of the Symphony's Carnegie Hall performance on May 4th next year with several Canadian soloists and composers. 

I hope to see you at a concert! I'll be the one scribbling on my notepad trying to look inconspicuous ...

Kaleido Family Arts Festival September 9-11, 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Auditions - Edmonton Columbian Choirs

The Edmonton Columbian Choirs (Edmonton’s family of choirs), under the direction of Artistic Director Heather Bedford-Clooney, is pleased to announce auditions for its 45th Season.

Auditions will take place on Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at St. Joseph Catholic High School (10830 109 Street) starting at 6:30PM.

The Edmonton Columbian Choirs have opportunities for singers in the following choirs:

Young Columbians (Boys and Girls aged 6-11) – conducted by Elaine Dunbar, BMus, ARCT, BFA, Edmonton Voice and Piano Teacher – Rehearsals are Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8:00

Vocal Motion (Boys and Girls aged 11-15) – conducted by Vern Slipetz, BMus, Choral Director at Louis St. Laurent Junior/Senior High School – Rehearsals are Monday evenings from 6:30-8:00

Chanteuses Ladies’ Choir (Adult Women 18+) – conducted by Heather Bedford-Clooney, BEd, ARCT, ATCL, LTCL, Edmonton Voice Teacher and Executive Director of the Edmonton Kiwanis Music Festival – Rehearsals are Thursday evenings from 6:30-8:30

For information on the choirs and to arrange an audition time, please contact either Brenda Thiru-Chelvam at 780.760.3270 or or Heather Bedford-Clooney at 780.484.8325 or

Monday, August 22, 2011

Classical Banff-A Symphony of Taste (like you needed an excuse to go to Banff!)

Classical Banff - A Symphony of Taste

Saturday, September 17, 2011 - 4:00 pm
Shaw Amphitheatre

Adult $49.00 Student / Senior $45.00

The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra brings your favourite melodies to life in the spectacular outdoor setting and majestic natural acoustics of The Banff Centre’s new Shaw Amphitheatre. Led by Resident Conductor Mélanie Léonard, this 90-minute concert featuring acclaimed cellist Shauna Rolston is sure to be a culturally rich way to end the summer. Book your culinary experience package and accommodation for a marvellous mountain getaway.

A Symphony of Taste Packages - Each package includes a concert ticket.

1. VIP Pre-Show Access with VIP Concert Seating 

3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
$94.00 adult $90.00 student / senior

Be one of the few special guests who will enjoy a pre-show conversation with CPO Music Director Roberto Minczuk, drinks and hors-d'oeuvres overlooking the splendid new Shaw Amphitheatre and Special VIP seating reserved for the Classical Banff concert.

2. Post-show Reception

5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
$99.00 adult $95.00 student / senior

Following the concert, stay for a glass of wine and a fabulous dining experience at The Banff Centre.

3. All In Package with VIP Concert Seating

3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
$145.00 adult $140.00 student / senior

Be our VIP guest for the day, visit with CPO Music Director Roberto Minczuk, enjoy premium reserved seating for the outdoor concert, and stay for a divine post-concert reception overlooking the Shaw Amphitheatre in the heart of Banff National Park*.

* The show will be held outdoors unless weather conditions do not allow musicians to perform.

Need to know:

Mélanie Léonard, conductor
Shauna Rolston, cello


Copland: Fanfare for the Common Man [3]
Dvorák: Finale from the “New World” Symphony [12]
Borodin: Polovtsian Dance No. 6 [3]
Saint-Saëns: Cello Concerto No. 1
Shauna Rolston, cello [20]
Fauré: Elegy for Cello and Orchestra
Shauna Rolston, cello [8]
Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral” (Movement I) [9]
Tchaikovsky: Finale from Symphony No. 4 [10]

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sing with the Richard Eaton Singers, Edmonton Youth Choir, or Vocal Alchemy this year!

Richard Eaton Singers, Edmonton’s premier symphony chorus, will be celebrating its 60th anniversary in the 2011-12 season. We are accepting new members in all sections, by audition. Our auditions take place on Monday, August 22, from 5-10 pm, in Room 1-29 Fine Arts Building, U of A Campus. The first rehearsal is on Tuesday evening, August 30, also in Fine Arts 1-29. To register for an audition, go to

Audition requirements are posted there as well. We look forward to hearing you sing!

Vocal Alchemy accepting new singers. The choir is a diverse and inter-generational community choir, formed in 2002. We learn and perform a broad variety of music including classical and folk, historical and contemporary music.

We will accept new members of the choir for rehearsals beginning in September 2011. We rehearse Tuesday nights at St. Andrew's United Church in the west end of Edmonton, September through May. The time commitment is a little greater around concert time with extra rehearsals.

We have no formal audition. We work hard to achieve a great choral sound on a variety of repertoire with a large group of mixed levels of ability and experience, and to provide a challenging and fun experience for everyone. The 2011-2012 season, our 10th anniversary and 5th season under the direction of Jordan Van Biert, will include 3 main concerts.

For more information, see To get in touch with us, email

Edmonton Youth Choir, Girls and Boys Choirs, and the (new!) Primary Choir are all running auditions for the season beginning September 2011. For more information on this award-winning choral organization, please visit

Audtions will be running periodically in August and September; prospective singers are invited to inquire now to reserve a time with one of our conductors.

General information:

Primary Choir (Grade 3-6): Meghan Rayment

Boys' Choir (Grade 6-9): Adam Robertson

Girls' Choir (Grade 7-9): Susan Farrell

Youth Choir (Age 15-24): Jordan Van Biert