Articles tagged with: Rachel Rensink-Hoff

  • Avanti Chamber Singers to commemorate the Christmas Truce at first concert of the season

    The Avanti Chamber Singers are led by conductor Rachel Rensink-Hoff during rehearsal for their upcoming performance Saturday, Nov. 24 at St. Thomas’ Anglican Church in St. Catharines.

    (From The Brock News, Wednesday November 14, 2018 | By: Jaquelyn Bezaire)

    On Christmas Day, 1914, French, British and German soldiers along the Western Front laid down their weapons, emerged from the trenches and joined in song to celebrate the season. Now referred to as the Christmas Truce, the unofficial ceasefire was a symbolic moment of peace and humanity amid the violence of the First World War.

    To mark the 100th anniversary of the 1918 armistice, conductor Rachel Rensink-Hoff will lead the Avanti Chamber Singers in a performance to remember the truce on Saturday, Nov. 24 at St. Thomas’ Anglican Church in St. Catharines. This marks the first performance of the season for Brock’s choir in residence.

    Titled And on Earth, Peace, the concert will include Remembrance Day tributes, popular songs from the time of the First World War and classic Christmas carols. Songs will be performed in English, German and French, and the audience will be invited to sing along to carols that soldiers would have sung.

    “The moving story of the Christmas Truce was fitting inspiration for our first performance of the season,” said Rensink-Hoff, Assistant Professor of Music in the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. “As we look back to Remembrance Day and forward to the holiday season, we will join together in song — just as those soldiers did more than 100 years ago.”

    Many differing stories about the Christmas Truce have been shared. Even today, it is still unclear exactly what happened on Christmas Day all those years ago.

    The most commonly shared account is that soldiers all sang carols together in celebration on Christmas Eve before emerging to wish their enemies a Merry Christmas the next day. After the soldiers ceased fire, they met to exchange small gifts and souvenirs.

    The Avanti Chamber Singers is comprised of 30 musicians from around the Niagara region.

    Rensink-Hoff said she works with different individuals every year, and hopes to showcase the hard work and talent of this year’s choir at the opening concert.

    “The challenge with a new choir is gelling together as a group — not just musically, but interpersonally,” she said. “This is now my second season with Avanti and it makes a big difference when you know people more closely because it helps all of us feel that we are in this together.”

    Accompanying the Avanti Chamber Singers will be pianist and organist Lesley Kingham and guest trumpeter Timothy White.

    And on Earth, Peace takes place Saturday, Nov. 24 at 7:30 p.m. Advanced tickets are available through the Avanti Singers website, at Thorold Music and Booksmart, or from choir members for $20 for adults and seniors. Tickets at the door are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors. A $5 ticket is available for students and eyeGo program members.

    The Avanti Chamber Singers will also be performing on Feb. 23 and April 27 at St. Thomas’ Anglican Church.

    Rensink-Hoff is also the conductor for the Brock University Choirs, which includes both the chamber choir and the new women’s choir. Their first performance will take place Dec. 1.

    For more information about upcoming choral performances, visit the Brock University Music website.

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    Categories: Events, Faculty & Instructors, Media Releases, News, Viva Voce Choral Series

  • Auditions for Brock’s new Women’s Choir open to the public

    Brock’s new Women’s Choir, to launch this fall, is open by audition to Brock students and Niagara community members.

    (from The Brock NewsWednesday, June 20, 2018 | by )

    Voices from the Brock and wider Niagara community will come together in harmony this fall as the Department of Music launches a new Women’s Choir.

    The all-female ensemble will be open by audition to Brock students as well as the general public.

    “I am hoping that this choir brings together women from the University and the Niagara region to offer something very special to our local arts community,” says Rachel Rensink-Hoff, Assistant Professor of Music who will direct the new group.

    The Women’s Choir will rehearse on Thursday evenings beginning this fall, readying for performances with Brock’s Chamber Choir on Dec. 1 and March 30 at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

    The department’s established mixed-voice Chamber Choir is also open by audition to all Brock students and staff.

    Also included among Brock’s choirs, an integral part of the Music program, is the Avanti Chamber Singers. The community-based adult ensemble, also directed by Rensink-Hoff, is the department’s Choir in Residence.

    “The choirs allow students the opportunity to rehearse and perform in the fantastic FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre,” says Rensink-Hoff. “My hope is that more students from across campus and members of the public will consider joining us.”

    To audition, previous singing experience and some ability to read music are required.

    Students who successfully audition can enrol in choir for academic credit.

    For more information or to schedule an audition, please visit the Music Department’s website.

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Future Students, Media Releases, News

  • Viva Voce! Choral Series & The Regional Women’s Choirs present a concert for International Women’s Day: “She Rises”

    sherisesThe Viva Voce Choral Series includes Brock’s student choral ensembles (men’s and women’s choruses) as well as the Avanti Chamber Singers, a mixed ensemble including several Brock staff and Music alumni. Under the direction of conductor Harris Loewen, the ensembles perform multiple concerts throughout the academic year, and engage in community outreach, collaborative work with other Ontario choirs and special recording projects.

    When: March 8, 2014 – 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
    Location: St. Thomas Anglican Church, 99 Ontario St., St. Catharines
    Admission: $17 adults; $15 seniors & students; $5 for the eyeGo ticket program for high school students.

    Click here for the event poster.

    Regional Women’s Choirs present a concert for International Women’s Day: “She Rises”

    On Saturday, March 8, 2014, at 7:30 pm, the Brock University Women’s Chorus hosts guest ensembles: the McMaster University Women’s Chorus and the Queenston Ladies Choir, in a concert showcasing the beauty and power of women’s voices. This event, in celebration of International Women’s Day, takes place at St. Thomas Anglican Church, 99 Ontario Street, St. Catharines.
    Conductors Lisa Brillon (Queenston), Harris Loewen (Brock) and Rachel Rensink-Hoff (McMaster) will conduct their individual choirs, as well as the massed chorus of over 100 women’s voices, in this rare festival performance by three elite, treble-voice ensembles.
    The concert will have a clearly contemporary flavour. The majority of works to be performed were written in the 20th and 21st centuries – a number of them published in just the last few years. The program will also include works by 19th century composers Bruckner and Mendelssohn, as well as wonderful arrangements of traditional folk songs and spirituals.
    One of the featured works is the Canadian premiere of “She Rises” (2011), a piece for double women’s chorus with lyrics and music by American composer Catherine Dalton. The words speak of the inspiring Celtic sun goddess Brigid, as well as St. Brigid of Kildare (Ireland). The music, a Celtic-style melody accompanied by rich harmonies and creative vocal sound effects, is “a jubilant celebration of the energy and light that resides without and within all of us.”
    Other massed choir works include Eric Whitacre’s lyrical “Seal Lullaby,” Clifton Noble’s exciting spiritual arrangement “Hold On,” Dale Warland’s pensive “Sed Amore,” and Canadian songwriter Leon Dubinsky’s inspiring “We Rise Again,” in an arrangement by Toronto’s Lydia Adams.
    Dr. Harris Loewen, Associate Professor Music at Brock University, states: “This celebratory and wide-ranging program, presented by the very best women’s choirs of the region, will appeal to a really broad audience. If you’ve never been to this kind of choral feast, exclusively by women’s voices, this is a terrific way to celebrate International Women’s Day, and support choral endeavours by women.”
    Concerts in the Viva Voce Choral Series are presented by the Department of Music as 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 moving celebration on March 8 at 7:30 p.m., held at St. Thomas Anglican Church, 99 Ontario Street, St. Catharines. Tickets are available at the Centre for the Arts Box Office, or at the door.

    For more information contact:
    Marie Balsom, Communications
    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
    T: 905-688-5550, ext. 4765 | E: | W:

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