Sunday March 11, 2018
Knox United Church, Parksville. Afternoon performance
The Vancouver Chamber Choir is Canada’s outstanding professional vocal ensemble. Based on the Pacific Coast in British Columbia, conductor Jon Washburn and his twenty singers are noted for their diverse repertoire and performing excellence. The ACDA Choral Journal has declared the Vancouver Chamber Choir to be “as fine a vocal chamber group as any in the world today.” In 1998, the Vancouver Chamber Choir and Jon Washburn won the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence for their outstanding contribution to the choral art. Mr. Washburn and the Choir were honoured with two awards at the 2000 Chorus America Conference, including the prestigious Louis Botto award, given in recognition of Washburn’s innovative and entrepreneurial spirit in the development of a professional choral ensemble of exceptional quality.
The Choir impresses audiences with the depth and range of its repertoire and interpretive skills. Their concerts might encompass a range of music, from chant to folksong, traditional to avant-garde, a cappella to orchestra, to jazz trio. Jon Washburn is noted for devising innovative and fascinating programmes, and unearthing hidden choral treasures. The singers, who delight in acquiring foreign language skills, have thus sung in over 40 languages. A leading advocate of Canadian music and composers, the Choir has commissioned and premiered nearly 300 new choral works in the last 45 years.
The Vancouver Chamber Choir has been performing at home and across Canada since its formation in 1971 by conductor Jon Washburn. The ensemble has gained international distinction through tours to the United States, China, Hong Kong, Finland, Russia, Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
In addition to touring and a busy season of concerts, broadcasts, and recording in Vancouver, the Choir offers an annual array of educational programmes: the National Conductors’ Symposium for advanced choral conductors, Interplay workshops for choral composers, Focus! for college and university music students, OnSite for elementary and secondary schools, the biennial Young Composers’ Competition, and various on-tour residencies and workshops.