Articles tagged with: Choir

  • Brock Choir sings new tune for virtual 2020-21 season

    (including content published THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 03, 2020 | in The Brock News by )

    Choir at Brock University will look a little different this fall by moving to a virtual rehearsal format.

    “Given the known risks of singing together in groups, we will not attempt to do what we normally do until health guidelines permit us,” says Rachel Rensink-Hoff, Associate Professor of Music and Choir Director.

    While not being able to safely gather and practice in person together is a challenge for those in choir, Rensink-Hoff sees it as an opportunity.

    “We have a unique opportunity to get to know and learn from one another in new ways through online discussion and active engagement.”

    Rensink-Hoff will focus the choir on pursuing some of the things they haven’t usually had time for, such as building individual skills in vocal technique and stage presence, analyzing music as a vehicle for storytelling, and reflecting on the historical and cultural contexts of songs. There will also be a “Shared Perspectives” series of guest interviews and workshops with conductors, composers and vocal-choral specialists from across Canada and the U.S.

    Choir members will need headphones, a video recording device such as a phone, computer or tablet, as well as internet connection.

    The Treble Choir (sopranos and altos) will rehearse together virtually on Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m., and the Mixed Voices choir (sopranos, altos, tenors and basses) will meet Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:30 to 4 p.m.

    “Our work will emphasize the process, rehearsing, over the product, performing,” says Rensink-Hoff. “This is a tough transition for those of us in the arts, but it is also a chance to for us to strengthen our performance skills and to reflect on the significance of live performance to individuals and communities.”

    Choir auditions are open to Brock students, faculty, staff as well as members of the wider Niagara community. Both new and returning choir members may book their auditions online before the deadline on Thursday, Sept. 10 at 11:59 p.m.

    For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:
    * Michelle Pressé, Brock University Communications, mpresse@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x4420 or 905-246-1963


    SING@BROCK ONLINE EDITION: audition for choir 2020-21

    Open by audition to all students, faculty, staff and members of the Niagara community!

    For the 2020-2021 academic year, choir will be fully online until guidelines allow for other forms of gathering. As such, the course will be less about performance outcomes and more about the process of learning, connecting, exploring and innovating as key elements of ensemble participation.

    Singers will engage with a diverse body of choral repertoire in sessions on vocal technique and choral skill development, explorations of movement and stage presence, analysis of music and text, workshops with guest artists, and collaborations through innovative singing projects. Rehearsal and performance skills will be developed in the context of a supportive community that promotes cross-cultural understanding and self-expression.

    Previous singing experience and ability to read music is required.
    For more information contact:
    Rachel Rensink-Hoff, rrensinkhoff@brocku.ca
    SEE >>> brocku.ca/sing

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    Categories: Alumni, Alumni, Announcements, Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, Future Students, In the Media, Media Releases, News, Special Events, Uncategorised

  • GUEST ARTIST RESIDENCY with CHARLES BRUFFY. A Special Walker Cultural Leader Event!

    Director of the Kansas City Chorale and Chorus Master of the Kansas City Symphony, Charles Bruffy is a distinguished choral conductor, pedagogue and clinician. It will be our privilege to have him conduct masterclasses with our choirs during the week of November 26-30, 2019. He will also be visiting a few local school and community ensembles throughout the week. His visit is generously supported by the Walker Cultural Leaders Fund, the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation and the Humanities Research Institute.

    One of the most admired choral conductors in the United States, Charles Bruffy began his career as a tenor soloist, performing with the Robert Shaw Festival Singers in recordings and concerts in France and in concerts at Carnegie Hall. Shaw encouraged his development as a conductor. He received his undergraduate degree from Missouri Western University in St. Joseph, and completed his master’s degree in conducting from the Conservatory of Dance and Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

    He has been Artistic Director of the Kansas City Chorale since 1988 and Chorus Director for the Kansas City Symphony since 2008. He is also Director of Music for Rolling Hills Presbyterian Church.

    Respected and renowned for his fresh and passionate interpretations of standards of the choral music repertoire and for championing new music, he has commissioned and premiered works by composers such as Jean Belmont Ford, Ola Gjeilo, Matthew Harris, Anne Kilstofte, Libby Larsen, Zhou Long, Cecilia McDowall, Michael McGlynn, Stephen Paulus, Steven Sametz, Philip Stopford, Steven Stucky, Eric Whitacre, and Chen Yi.

    Under his supervision, MusicSpoke and the Roger Dean Company, a division of the Lorenz Corporation, publish choral series specializing in music for professional ensembles and sophisticated high school and college choirs. His eclectic discography includes five albums on the Nimbus label and eight recordings for Chandos Records, three of which have been recognized by the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences with Grammy® awards for Best Choral Performance. In 2017, Bruffy was recognized with the Signature Sinfonian award conferred by national fraternal society Phi Mu Alpha, recognizing “alumni members who have achieved a high standard of accomplishment in their field.”

    In his spare time, Bruffy breeds and raises Arabian and Saddlebred horses on his ranch just south of Kansas City in Cass County, Missouri.

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    Categories: Announcements, Events, Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, Uncategorised, Viva Voce Choral Series

  • Choral season to wrap with final show

    The Avanti Chamber Singers, under the direction of Rachel Rensink-Hoff, will close out the 2017-18 Department of Music season on Saturday, April 28 at St. Thomas Anglican Church.

    The curtain will close on Brock’s 2017-18 Music season with a final performance by the Avanti Chamber Singers.

    Boundless, the last concert of the academic year, will be presented by the Department of Music and the Avanti Chamber Singers on Saturday, April 28 beginning at 7:30 p.m. at St. Thomas Anglican Church, 99 Ontario St., St. Catharines.

    The show features celestial-inspired music, exploring the harmony and mystery of the universe with a range of primarily 21st-century works.

    The program includes pieces such as Gloria Patri by Urmas Sisask, And Einstein Said by Trent Worthington, Stars by Eriks Ešenvalds, and the centerpiece of the program, Lux Aeterna by Morten Lauridsen.

    The Avanti Chamber Singers is a mixed chamber choir comprised of experienced choral singers from across the Niagara region. The group performs under the direction of Artistic Director Rachel Rensink-Hoff, who is also conductor of the Brock University choirs, Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music Education at Brock University.

    “It has been a wonderful year,” she said when describing the choral and concert season as a whole. “We are seeing more and more people from the local community coming to our concerts, which is so exciting and motivating for our performers.”

    Looking forward to the 2018-19 Music season, there will be new choral opportunities for students and the community. The Brock choirs are being restructured to feature two ensembles: a mixed chamber choir and a women’s choir. Both are open by audition to all Brock University students, staff and faculty. New for this year, the women’s choir will also be open to the wider Niagara community “in hopes that it will function as a bridge between Brock’s music program and the wider singing community here in St. Catharines,” Rensink-Hoff said.

    Women’s choir rehearsals will be on Thursday evenings from 6 to 8:45 p.m. in the Cairns Recital Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre. Interested singers from the community are encouraged to contact Rensink-Hoff by email at rrensinkhoff@brocku.ca for an audition.

    Advance tickets for the last choral concert of the season are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and $5 for students and under the eyeGo program. They can be purchased at Thorold Music, 289 Glendale Ave.; Booksmart, 350 Vine St.; online through Eventbrite; or through members of the Avanti Chamber Singers.

    Tickets will also be sold at the door for an additional $5.

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    Categories: Announcements, Events, Special Events, Viva Voce Choral Series

  • Music presents the Brock University Choirs: WINTERSONG

    The Viva Voce Choral Series features Brock’s student choral ensembles (men’s, women’s and mixed choruses).

    Under the direction of newly-appointed conductor Rachel Rensink-Hoff, these excellent choirs perform multiple concerts throughout the academic year. They have also engaged in community outreach, collaborated with choirs in Canada and the U.S., and produced CD recordings of works by Niagara composers.

    Viva Voce! Choral Series: Brock University Choirs

    conducted by Rachel Rensink-Hoff, featuring a Canada 150 Performance composed by Stephanie Martin

    Saturday, December 2, 2017
    Time: 7:30 p.m.

    Location: Cairns Recital Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

    Tickets: $15* adults; $10* seniors & students; $5* eyeGo program. *No CCIF applied; other applicable fees and taxes are extra.

    Available from the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Box Office: 905.688.0722 or Long Distance Toll Free: 1.855.515.0722; online: firstontariopac.ca

    This is a special Canada 150 event.

     

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    Categories: Announcements, Events, News, Viva Voce Choral Series

  • Brock University welcomes Dr. Rachel Rensink-Hoff!

    Brock University welcomes Dr. Rachel Rensink-Hoff to the Department of Music at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine & Performing Arts.

    Dr. Rachel Rensink-Hoff is the newly appointed Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music Education at Brock University. She has also been named Artistic Director of the Niagara-based Avanti Chamber Singers.

    Former conductor of the McMaster University Choir and founder of the McMaster Women’s Choir, Dr. Rensink-Hoff completed her Doctorate and Master of Music degree at Western University, pursuing additional studies at the Eastman School of Music Conducting Institute, the Voice Care Network of St. John’s University, Minnesota, and the University of Toronto. She has engaged in master-classes under conductors Helmuth Rilling, Joseph Flummerfelt, Anton Armstrong, Dale Warland and the late Sir David Willcocks.

    Vice-President of Programming for Choral Canada, Rachel Rensink-Hoff is the 2014 winner of the prestigious Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting awarded by the Ontario Arts Council. In 2015, her McMaster Women’s Choir was awarded first prize in the National Choral Competition for Amateur Choirs of the CBC and Choral Canada. That same year she was nominated for the Excellence in Teaching Award at McMaster University.

    She publishes regularly in the Choral Journal of the American Choral Directors’ Association as well as in Choral Canada’s Anacrusis and The Canadian Music Educator. Rachel works frequently as guest conductor, adjudicator, conference presenter and workshop clinician. Current engagements include a session on Canadian and American women choral composers at the 2017 national conference of the American Choral Directors’ Association in Minneapolis, Minnesota and a presentation on Canadian choral music at the 2017 World Symposium on Choral Music in Barcelona, Spain. She also looks forward to serving as guest conductor of this year’s 2017 Nova Scotia Provincial Youth Choir.

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    Categories: Announcements, Faculty & Instructors, News, Viva Voce Choral Series

  • Dr. Brian Power joins the choir of Central Presbyterian Church, Hamilton, in their Good Friday performance

    Dr. Brian Power, choral tenor, will be singing in the first modern performance of the Requiem Mass by 18th-century French composer François Giroust, chapel composer to King Louis XVI of France. The work has likely not been heard since its composition in 1775, when it was performed for the King and Marie Antoinette at Versailles.

    Power joins the choir of Central Presbyterian Church, Hamilton for this modern premiere of a pre-Revolutionary French work performed as part of their annual Good Friday concert, April 14, 2017 at 8:00 PM.

    (Central Presbyterian Church: 165 Charlton Avenue West, Hamilton ON , L8P 2C8  – (905) 522-9098)

    See more in today’s Hamilton Spectator.

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    Categories: Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News

  • Brock University Choirs and Brock Music Alumni – Finale

    Brock University Choirs and Music Alumni join conductor Harris Loewen in his farewell concert, “Finale”

    Saturday, April 1, 2017 marks the end of Dr. Harris Loewen’s career as conductor of the Brock University Choirs with a festive concert appropriately titled “Finale!”  The current men’s, women’s and mixed choirs will be joined on stage by 50 Music alumni, the Walker String Quartet and other guest artists to celebrate his 30 years of choral music-making at Brock University.

    The Department of Music invites all Music alumni and former choristers to attend this musical event, held in Cairns Recital Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.   Additional activities for alumni are planned for the weekend, including social events and tours of the new Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts building.

    Joining the choirs and Music alumni on stage will be the recently established Walker String Quartet (WSQ), along with guest artists Fil Stasiak (double bass) and Devon Fornelli (percussion). The WSQ is a professional ensemble completing its first year as quartet-in-residence with the Department of Music.

    The concert program will feature a variety of repertoire, opening with Vivaldi’s “Magnificat,” which Loewen first performed with the choirs in his debut concert at Brock University in the fall of 1987.  Several new works written by colleague Dr. Matthew Royal will also receive their premiere performance.  This continues the tradition that Loewen has established throughout his career, in both concerts and recordings, as a champion of choral music by Niagara composers.

    Loewen has also been active as a community choral conductor throughout Southern Ontario, founding both the Niagara Vocal Ensemble (1991-2011) and Avanti Chamber Singers (2006) locally.  With these ensembles he has recorded five albums in the “Voices of Niagara” CD series, documenting the choral works of area composers.  He has also been active as a baritone soloist, performing in both classical and jazz styles, as well as an arranger, choral composer and choral clinician. Several of his choral arrangements and original works are now being published by Cypress Choral Music.

    Loewen states, “I have been privileged with an extremely rewarding career at Brock University.  I have enjoyed my students, had good collegial relations, and fulfilling opportunities to serve the university and community.  Most of all, I have loved the experience of making music, whether as a choral conductor, singer, clinician or composer.  I really can’t imagine having done anything else! ”

    The Viva Voce! Choral Series, presented by the Department of Music, is a key part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate in building connections between the community and Brock University.

    Join us for this choral celebration on Saturday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m., held at Cairns Recital Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, 250 St. Paul St., St. Catharines. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and students, and $5 for the eyeGo program. They are available from the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Box Office: 905.688.0722 or Long Distance Toll Free: 1.855.515.0722; online: firstontariopac.ca.

    For more information contact:
    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
    T: 905-688-5550, x4765 | E: miwsfpa@brocku.ca | W: brocku.ca/miwsfpa

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    Categories: Events, Media Releases, News, Viva Voce Choral Series