Choir Profile

The 24 trained voices of Winnipeg Singers, one of Canada's finest choral ensembles, performs music that spans from the Renaissance to the present.

The Winnipeg Singers

Choir Profile

The Winnipeg Singers, Winnipeg's premiere choir, has long been regarded as on one of Canada's finest choral ensembles. The choir's mandate is to make a diversity of choral music, performed to the highest standard, accessible to a growing audience. The Winnipeg Singers consists of 24 trained voices, performing music that spans the times from the Renaissance to the present. Each year the choir commissions new Canadian works and premieres other new works for its Manitoba audiences. It presents a concert series each year, engaging some of North America's finest musicians as guests. The Winnipeg Singers have performed joint concerts with such diverse organizations as Shakespeare in the Ruins, The Ron Paley Trio, MusikBarock Ensemble, Winnipeg's Contemporary Dancers and Les danseurs de la rivière Rouge. The Singers regularly appear as guests of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, and have given concerts and workshops for local social agencies, business firms, and high schools.

SOPRANO
Jan Byrd, Marni Enns, Kristel Peters, Allison Phipps, Alisa Wiebe

ALTO
Jodie Borle, Claire Fast, Donnalynn Grills, Nicki Kirton, Pat Wray

TENOR
Craig Kremer, James Magnus-Johnston, Doug Pankratz, Michael Schellenberg, Gregory Wiebe

BASS
Blake Collis, Greg Cooper, Ben Erickson, Michael McKay, Bruce Waldie

History

The Winnipeg Singers can trace its origins to a choir begun in the 1930s by composer and voice teacher W. H. Anderson for radio broadcast on the CBC. This choir, known as The Choristers, performed secular music and on occasion offered public concerts. Filmer Hubble, who conducted the group for a national weekly CBC radio broadcast of sacred music called Sunday Chorale succeeded Anderson in the 1950s. This choir also performed a series of yearly concerts. Hubble was succeeded by a student of W. H. Anderson, Herbert Belyea, also a composer and voice teacher. In the early 1970s, William Baerg was asked by the CBC to form a group of singers which would perform concert broadcasts. This choir, the CBC Winnipeg Singers, was devoted to the exploration of both sacred and secular works from all eras and initiated the form of The Winnipeg Singers as it exists today. In 1973, when the CBC was no longer able to support the choir, The Winnipeg Singers began to produce its own annual concert series, which it has done ever since. Past artistic directors of The Winnipeg Singers include William Baerg, John Martens, Wayne Riddell, Mel Braun, Vic Pankratz and Rudy Schellenberg. The current Artistic Director and conductor, Yuri Klaz, began his association with the Singers at the start of the 2003/2004 Season.

 

Tours

1989
The Winnipeg Singers conducted a three week tour of Austria and West Germany, serving as choir-in residence at the Classical Music Festival in Eisestadt, Austria.

1999
In the spring of 1999, they toured Alberta and Saskatchewan.

2002
The Winnipeg Singers performed at the Toronto International Choral Festival in June 2002.

2004
In May of 2004, the choir performed at the Gala Concert of Podium 2004, the national biennial convention of the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors, held in Winnipeg.

2005
The Winnipeg Singers traveled to Taiwan and Japan in July of 2005 where it was honoured to represent Canada at the 6th Taipei International Choral Festival and the 7th World Symposium on Choral Music in Kyoto. While in Japan, the choir performed in Setagaya, a sister-city of Winnipeg, in Tokyo at the Canadian Embassy and in Kobe for a Symposium sponsored satellite concert.

2016
European Concert Tour - On July 9, 2016, the Singers landed in Frankfurt to start their 16 day tour. Performances took place in Rothenburg, Regensburg, Munich, Salzburg, Venice, Florence and Rome. The highlight took place at the Florence International Choir Festival where they were the winners of the Golden David, the award that goes to the best overall choir at the competition. The Singers also won two of the three categories it entered: chamber choir and sacred.
The choir departed Rome for Winnipeg on July 25, 2016.
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Recordings

The Winnipeg Singers are regularly heard on local and national CBC radio. They have released four CD recordings, O Praise Ye the LordPrairie VoicesSwingle Bells, and Sid Robinovitch: Choral Odyssey. The Canada Council, with the awarding of the Healey Willan prize has twice recognized The Winnipeg Singers for their excellence in choral music.