Let The People Sing!
February 23, 2019
1:25 pm

Let The People Sing! Festival Chorus 60th anniversary workshop

Are you an amateur singer with experience participating in ensembles? Are you a choral or classical music enthusiast?

We welcome community participants from Calgary and surrounding areas to join the Festival Chorus in celebrating its 60th anniversary with a special public workshop!

You’ll have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sharpen and enhance your skills alongside world-renowned conductor and master teacher, Jon Washburn. You’ll be singing with members of the internationally touring Vancouver Chamber Choir and learn two contemporary staples of the choral repertoire: Laudamus te (from Gloria) by Francis Poulenc AND O Magnum Mysterium by Morten Lauridsen. The event will conclude with a joint performance of both prepared pieces, with all choirs and participants. Public participants can then be seated and enjoy a finale performance by The Festival Chorus and The Vancouver Chamber Choir.

The workshop will be held on February 23 & 24 in state-of-the art Bella Concert Hall at Mount Royal University.

Register here!

What is included:

  • Participation in the workshop (and break-out sessions) on February 23 & 24th. Light refreshments included. Please note: meals are not provided.
  • Copies of the Poulenc and Lauridsen selections, for you to keep.
  • A seat in the Bella Concert Hall for the remainder of the Sunday afternoon performances.
  • Attendance of an exclusive post-concert reception with the Vancouver Chamber Choir and The Festival Chorus. Drinks and light fare to be provided.

Agenda overview

Day I: 2 pm – 9:30 pm (pauses for regular breaks & dinner)

Day II: 1 pm – 5 pm

The Sunday performance starts at 2:30 pm. Reception to commence after the audience has cleared, around 4:45.


Participant requirements

It is strongly suggested that participants are able to:

  • Read music;
  • Are comfortable with music in multiple parts and singing in close harmony (in a contemporary style) with a degree of tonal and rhythmic complexity;
  • Be prepared to practice on their own in order to prepare the music.

Additionally, in order to properly prepare for the workshop, registered participants must attend AT LEAST ONE of the below practice dates, to rehearse alongside the Festival Chorus (confirmation will be via email with the event organizer):

Saturday, February 2, 11:00am-12:30pm

Grace Presbyterian Church  1009 – 15 Avenue SW

Tuesday, February 5, 7:15-8:30pm

Jack Singer Rehearsal Hall, Arts Commons (entry via Stage Door, 9th Avenue)

Tuesday, February 12, 7:15-8:30pm  

Jack Singer Rehearsal Hall, Arts Commons (entry via Stage Door, 9th Avenue)

Tuesday, February 19, 7:15-8:30pm

Jack Singer Rehearsal Hall, Arts Commons (entry via Stage Door, 9th Avenue)

Questions? Please email the event organizer:

Danielle Kondruk @ DKONDRUK@gmail.com


About Jon Washburn

Jon Washburn is the longtime Conductor and Artistic Director of the Vancouver Chamber Choir. Well known internationally for his mastery of choral technique and interpretation, he travels widely as guest conductor, lecturer, clinician and master teacher. He is also an active composer, arranger and editor and has had many compositions published, performed and recorded around the world.

In 2001 Mr. Washburn was named a Member of the Order of Canada (the nation’s highest civilian honour) and in 2002 received Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee Medal for his lifetime contribution to Canadian choral art. Mr. Washburn received a Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors in the spring of 1996 and the Louis Botto Award from Chorus America in June 2000, in recognition of “innovative and entrepreneurial spirit in the development of a professional choral ensemble of exceptional quality.” He was given the Friends of Canadian Music Award 2000 by the Canadian Music Centre (CMC) and the Canadian League of Composers in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Canadian composers’ music. In the fall of 2009, he was named a CMC Ambassador and in 2010 received a star on the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame’s Starwalk. In 2012 Mr. Washburn received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. In June 2014 he received the Michael Korn Founders Award for Development of the Professional Choral Art, presented by Chorus America.

About the Vancouver Chamber Choir

The Vancouver Chamber Choir is one of Canada’s national treasures, an outstanding professional vocal ensemble noted for its diverse repertoire and performing excellence.

The Choir has been performing to audiences at home in Vancouver and on tour across Canada since it was formed in 1971 by conductor Jon Washburn. International excursions have taken the Vancouver Chamber Choir to the USA, Mexico, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Finland, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine.

Honoured with the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence by Chorus America, the Vancouver Chamber Choir has to its credit countless performances and broadcasts, 32 recordings and numerous awards. Foremost supporters of Canadian music, Jon Washburn and the Choir have commissioned and premiered more than 250 Canadian choral compositions. Over the years they have sung over 3,000 performances of 350 pieces by 120 Canadian composers in addition to their extensive international repertoire.

The Choir’s award-winning educational programs include the National Conductors’ Symposium for advanced choral conductors, Interplay interactive workshops for choral composers, Focus! professional development program for student singers, OnSite visitations for school choirs, the biennial Young Composers Competition, and many on-tour workshops and residencies.