Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Review - Guest Conductor Demonstrates Pro Coro's Real Worth

From Sound and Noise · University of Alberta Music Students on Music
November 24, 2011

Fully professional choirs are rare in Canada. Edmonton is home to one of only three throughout the country, Pro Coro Canada. The others, Toronto’s Elmer Iseler Singers and the Vancouver Chamber Choir, have undoubtedly achieved more of a household status than the Edmonton equivalent. This will change if guest conductor Michael Zaugg, who led the choir through a remarkable concert on Sunday, takes the helm next season.

Zaugg was the third of three conductors to be shortlisted for the position of the ensemble’s new Artistic Director. If Sunday’s concert was any indication, I would be remiss not to guess that Zaugg has an excellent chance of a successful application. In speaking to several colleagues and concertgoers, we all agreed that we had never heard such a sound from Pro Coro. The entire program had an unrelenting energy that kept the entire audience hooked from start to finish. The repertoire was varied, with a good combination of known and unknown pieces, and the quality of singing was first-rate. Zaugg featured several members of the ensemble in small solos throughout, and special mention goes to Catherine Kubash for her hauntingly peaceful performance in Lili Boulanger’s “Soir sur la plaine.”

Sunday afternoon’s concert was one that made me excited for the future of Pro Coro. I am glad that Edmonton has now witnessed the choir’s full potential. I believe strongly that such energy will catapult the choir to the household status of its fellow professional choirs in this chorally minded country.


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