Selected by audition from across the country, the National Youth Choir of Canada returns to Kingston on Sunday, May 15 at The Spire (4:00 pm). First initiated in 1984 as a biennial project of Choral Canada, 40 singers aged 19-26 form the prestigious ensemble. Each iteration of the National Youth Choir has received great critical acclaim and has since its inception. This year, the choir will meet in Ottawa and undertake a week of intensive rehearsal, professional development and workshops before touring Ontario for the first time since 2012.
This year, conductor Jean-Sébastien Vallée, apprentice conductor Thomas Burton, and collaborative pianist Irene Gregorio have been selected as the artistic team. Jean-Sébastien Vallée has conducted ensembles throughout North America, Europe and Asia and has prepared choruses for leading orchestras including the Toronto Symphony, the Montreal Symphony, and the National Arts Center Orchestra.
The program, entitled Make Me A World, is a concert addressing important social issues through a diverse array of musical selections. The human voice is the simplest and yet one of the most complex musical instruments. A choir is a micro representation of an ideal society, that is, many individuals with different and unique voices working together diligently to create harmony and unison of intent. Being both vulnerable and powerful, the human voice, especially in choral music, speaks directly to the soul and this is why choral singing is so important. This program is both a reflection on our society and a tribute to our world – a world where music allows us to find common ground and look towards a better and more inclusive future.
The concert features the world premiere of works by Toronto-based Palestinian Jordanian composer Shireen Abu-Khader and prominent Winnipeg composer of Cree decent, Andrew Balfour. The program also includes 'Wind Rising In The Alleys' by Vancouver composer Nicholas Kelly, the winner of Choral Canada's 2022 Competition for Choral Writing. The concert also features works by J.S. Bach, Eric Whitacre and William Byrd.
Presented by the Cantabile Choirs in the performance hall at The Spire, this concert is the first chance to see the National Youth Choir locally in a decade. A digital replay of the concert is also available to stream on-demand May 20-22. Tickets to both are on sale now through the Cantabile website - www.cantabilechoirs.net.