Forty-one of Canada’s finest young choral singers, representing all ten provinces and one territory, have been chosen to form the prestigious 2016 National Youth Choir of Canada (NYC), a program of Choral Canada. Every two years, singers between the ages of 18 and 25 are auditioned across the country to form this exceptional choir, bringing our nation to life through song.
The choir unites on May 7th at the University of Alberta, Augustana Campus in Camrose for a week of challenging rehearsal and choral training, followed by an intensive week-long tour of several concerts and workshops across Alberta.
The first concert takes place at Augustana campus on Friday, May 13th at 7:30 pm in the Faith & Life Chapel.
The choir will perform “…A Riveder Le Stelle!”, a concert program themed around the last lines of Dante’s Inferno, describing the ascent from the Underworld to the Heavens, with help of the ‘guide’ to see the stars again; a story which provides a wealth of sacred, secular, naturalist and humanist perspectives. The title of the concert translates to “…we again beheld the stars!”.
The program includes pieces by Poulenc, Mendelssohn, Ešenvalds, Allan, and newly commissioned Canadian works. The singers will dissect difficult works in five languages including Estonian and German, pushing them into new territory vocally, intellectually, and emotionally.
Initiated in 1984, the choir has won critical acclaim across Canada. Maestro Michael Zaugg will conduct the choir with assistance from NYC Apprentice Conductor Kathleen Allan. Swiss Canadian Michael Zaugg is known for his innovative programming and for the diverse, colourful sound of his choirs. He is Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of one of Canada’s foremost professional choirs, Pro Coro Canada, based in Edmonton. He has worked with many of Canada’s most prestigious choirs, is frequently a Guest Conductor and clinician, and has led workshops for provincial choral organizations from coast to coast. Zaugg was the first Swiss conductor to be accepted to the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, Sweden, in its highly regarded post-graduate Diploma for Professional Choir Conducting.
Throughout this two-year program, Michael worked weekly with singers of the world-renowned Swedish Radio Choir and also had the opportunity to work with Sweden’s gems – the Adolf Fredrik’s Girls Choir and the Mikaeli Chamber Choir. He has toured Europe and Asia with professional groups including the Swiss Chamber Choir, the Chamber Choir of Europe, the World Chamber Choir, the World Youth Choir and the Stockholm Chamber Choir.
Kathleen Allan – conductor, composer and soprano – is rapidly becoming internationally respected for compelling performances and engaging compositions. She has recently been appointed as the Director of Choral Studies and Associate Conductor of Orchestras at the Vancouver Academy of Music.
The 2016 NYC choristers will be provided with the rare opportunity to receive training from
Canada’s best in the choral industry. The hope is that the singers bring back these new skills to
their home provinces and enrich their local choral communities, emerging as leaders and more
highly skilled choral musicians.
As each province and territory takes its turn to host the National Youth Choir and Podium (Choral Canada’s national choral conference), it will be many years before the NYC will be back in Alberta with a new complement of top singers. May 13th is your opportunity to hear this amazing ensemble and experience the best choristers and choral music Canada has to offer!
For tickets and further information, contact the Augustana Fine Arts Office ph. 780-679-1532.