ELORA – Like most cultural organizations, the pandemic hit the Elora Singers arduous, as stay concert events have been cancelled and it was tough to get collectively even simply to follow.
However each the Singers and the Elora Pageant, held over a number of weekends in the summertime, have managed not solely to maintain going however to flourish throughout this difficult time.
Most notably, the Elora Singers have been nominated for a Juno award for his or her CD Radiant Daybreak: Music for Introduction and Christmas – a second nomination for the choir and first for Mark Vuorinen, who got here on board in 2019 as the brand new creative director after Noel Edison left the group in 2018.
“That was a pleasant shock,” mentioned Vuorinen, who can be an affiliate professor of music on the College of Waterloo, and creative director of the KW Grand Philharmonic Choir.
He will likely be in Edmonton for the Juno Awards on March 13. The CD is nominated for Classical Album of the Yr: Giant Ensemble.
The Advertiser had a Zoom interview with Vuorinen, board chair Peter Barr and govt director Laura Adlers, who talked concerning the nomination, the sweeping adjustments everybody needed to adapt to throughout COVID, and a view to the way forward for the group.
If there’s a silver lining to the pandemic and cancelling stay performances, it’s the creation of the Singers’ on-line subscription collection, mentioned Barr.
“Plenty of individuals purchased subscriptions to the (on-line) performances, and we acquired subscribers from all around the world,” Barr mentioned.
“I feel that’s one thing we’ll maintain doing.”
The dearth of stay performances for nearly two years has made individuals able to return to the live performance corridor, he added. There’s some pent-up want and he hopes that can translate to robust ticket gross sales this 12 months for the 2023 version of the Elora Pageant.
The Singers are additionally engaged on a movie mission, Vuorinen mentioned, with a working title To Belong.
“This arose from the pandemic too,” he mentioned.
The movie asks what it means to belong, and the choir acts as a metaphor for all times.
Vuorinen predicted there will likely be extra migration sooner or later due to struggle and local weather change, so determining methods to belong in a brand new situation will likely be much more vital, he mentioned.
“The music is centred on that theme,” he mentioned. “How can we as Canadians assist in methods which are constructive? It’s a heavy subject but additionally fairly present. Music has a job to ask and reply these questions.”
The movie contains footage of the choir, woven with different performers as they grapple with these questions. It’s to be launched within the fall.
The Singers have three extra concert events of their winter collection:
- on March 5 they’ll be at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Kitchener for Baroque Meditations;
- on April 2 they’ll be at St. George’s Anglican Church in Guelph for Arvo Pärt’s Passio; and
- on June 21 they’ll be in Toronto for a repeat efficiency of Contemplating Matthew Shepard on the Metropolitan United Church.
However even because the winter season is wrapping up, the Singers are effectively into the repertoire for the Elora Pageant this summer season.
They usually have one other CD popping out – this one with the Elora Singers performing with TorQ, a percussion quartet.
They carried out with TorQ in July of 2022, “and went on to the Glen Gould Studio to file with them,” Vuorinen mentioned.
And eventually, Adlers just lately introduced that she is leaving the Singers and the Pageant to run her personal consulting agency.
Adlers got here to Elora from Ottawa in 2020 to be the manager director of the Elora Pageant and the Elora Singers and encountered the pandemic nearly instantly.
“The final three years have been such a trip,” she mentioned. “This has been a beautiful, intense, all-consuming three years. We’ve discovered a lot, completed a lot and located methods to make sure the singers might work.
“However for me, it is a good time to take a breath and hand the reigns to another person.
“I gained’t be far, and I’ll at all times be a fan,” she mentioned.
Vuorinen mentioned the Elora Pageant will announce the summer season line-up within the subsequent month.
To maintain updated on the Elora Singers and the Elora Pageant, go to elorasingers.ca and elorafestival.ca.