cantala womens choir

Beverly Lewis' Five Texts of William Shakespeare

Every year I receive many scores from composers near and far asking Cantala to consider learning and performing their music. So I decided to add on a spring project every year into Cantala’s season where we will workshop and record this music for these composers. It is exciting work and we are thrilled to do it.

Petites Voix: 5 reasons its a Choral Gem

This past January I took out my score of Francis Poulenc’s Petite Voix,: 5 Choeurs faciles pour 3 voix d’enfants to prep for rehearsal. I quickly started feeling regret for picking such a dissonant, difficult piece. Would we survive? Surprise! This is the story of how the piece entered our hearts and dug a bore for life.

Choral Cartoons

In 2005 I came to audition at the University of Toronto for choral conducting. I was staying with my cousin in Richmond Hill and at dinner he says to me “ Choral conducting…hmmm…So you’re studying coral reefs?”. This was just the beginning…

Cantala's collaborating musicians

It is always very special to share music making with collaborators. We have two special artists that will be joining us for our coming Christmas Concert, A Ceremony of Carols tomorrow night, 7pm, in Toronto. Come and join us!

Rehearsing in a Circle

This is a guest post from choir director Chris Rowbury. He has a website called From the Front of the choir where he muses about all sorts of choral related topics. Here we discuss the pros and cons of rehearsing in a circle; something Cantala loves to do.

Agnes Grossman, on warming up the choir

Years ago I had a very experienced choral singer come up to me in Cantala and tell me that I spend a lot of time on warming up and inquired "isn't there an urgency to get to rehearsing the repertoire?".

That's What I'm Talking about

One can always add another reason to join Cantala. If you already sing in Cantala, then someday, by passion, perseverance, hard work and a little bit of luck, you may get the chance to sing again at Lincoln Centre in New York City, under the direction of one, Eric Whitacre, famous conductor and composer. Guest post by a passionate Cantala choral member.

Russian Beauty: Spring Concert Program

The final concert of our 10th Season is quickly approaching and we are celebrating in many ways, including performing Rachmaninoff’s Six Choruses for Treble voices, op. 15; a special gem from the Women’s choral literature in May. 

Sight reading: Musical experience and confidence needed

Enthusiastic singers can be nervous about sight reading. Sight reading takes practice. Read here how to build these skills. 

7 tips for Preparing the Singing Breath

The way in which we prepare our bodies and breathe to sing greatly influences the quality of the sound that is produced afterward. It starts prior to the intake of the breath and the shaping of the vocal track.

11 Tips on auditioning for Cantala-Part 2

Last year I wrote about some quick tips on how to audition for Cantala. Here 11 more tips on making the most of your voice and musical talent in the audition for Cantala, Part 2.

Warming up the choir

Everyone seems to come to choir exhausted. It’s the end of their work day and while I know they are looking forward to creating music, their sense of listening and often also their vocal apparatus are fatigued. They are ready for the couch and some tv, but you are asking them to get up, smile and sparkle. Warming up the choir is an important transition from tired work day to musical brilliance.

The Enchanted Forest: A Cantala Spring Concert

It has been a few years since I first heard the women of the Vancouver Chamber Choir sing “Lu-Li-Lo-La”, the final piece in R. Murray Schafer’s work “The Enchanted Forest”  but it made a lasting impression on me.

What is Breath support anyways?

Have you ever been told to “support” your voice?  The idea and description of “breath support” can be a confusing one. Read on to learn more.

Benefits to singing in choir

If you have ever come to a rehearsal feeling exhausted and grumpy you know that choir can change all that around....

Inspiring Ideas: Fall 2016 Repertoire

As I sit in the hot summer heat I find myself, again, whistling jingle bells to myself. This is the time of year when I get inspiring repertoire ideas for my upcoming Fall choral seasons with my women’s choir, Cantala and my church choir.