It began as an unlikely dream nurtured by alumni of the 1999 National Youth Choir, and became a phenomenon that grew out of passion and determination. A decade and a half later, the Juno-nominated Canadian Chamber Choir has matured into an artistic force whose mandate to bring new and existing Canadian choral music to every corner of Canada has allowed singers, conductors, audiences, and composers to come together in celebration of the depth of this country’s choral heritage. Under the artistic direction of renowned conductor and music educator Julia Davids, the CCC has pursued artistic excellence in every performance while always remaining true to its core mission: building community through choral singing.
The CCC offers some of Canada’s finest choral singers a professional choral environment in which to nurture their gifts, and the singers in turn give of their talents to the communities in which they perform. Each CCC tour features workshops for local singers and conductors of all ages and stages, as well as performances of diverse music by Canadian composers both established and emerging. Through these interactions, the CCC has inspired, nurtured, and mentored thousands of choral enthusiasts while working tirelessly to champion the vast wealth of choral music created in Canada. The power of this unique vision has allowed the CCC to truly become Canada’s coast-to-coast chamber choir.
In order to make music with 17 singers, an artistic director, and an accompanist who are spread across Canada, the CCC organizes short ‘projects’ in different locations around the country. Usually 7-10 days in length, the choir will convene in the province of choice and spend 3-4 days in rehearsal; singers will have received their music in the mail and learned it prior to arrival. During the rehearsal period, a local school, choir, or community group will host the CCC’s residency, and in turn the CCC gives workshops to local choirs in the community. The CCC then hits the road on a mini-tour, giving a combination of concerts and workshops throughout the province.
The Canadian Chamber Choir was formed in July of 1999 by a group of young musicians energized by rich formative experiences in university and youth choirs. These enthusiastic singers were looking for professional choral opportunities, but many did not live in cities that supported professional choirs. Their desire was to create an artistic environment accessible to dedicated singers from across the country, one that would allow them to strive for and achieve the highest level of artistic excellence. It was decided that this could be best achieved in short intensive ‘projects’ held periodically throughout the year.
The CCC has spanned the country with projects in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Alberta, Saskatchewan and plans to continue reaching into all corners of Canada. Their varied concert performances include guest performances in festivals and concert series, as well as self-produced concerts and collaborations with local choirs and musicians. The CCC often affiliates itself with local schools and choirs in the areas they visit, resulting in a symbiotic relationship that is equally rewarding for the CCC and the community. The choir shows ease, skill, and good humour in facilitating workshops with choirs of all ages and abilities.
The CCC’s original artistic director, Montreal conductor Iwan Edwards, was instrumental in leading and mentoring the choir through its formative years. In passing the torch on to Julia Davids, the choir enters a new phase in their development – moving forward under the vision and talent of one of Canada’s rising new choral conductors.
The Canadian Chamber Choir/Choeur de chambre du Canada (CCC) is a national ensemble of professional level choral artists who travel from sea to sea to promote Canadian music and build community through singing. Under the visionary leadership of Julia Davids, the choir convenes in a different region of Canada at least twice a year, offering concerts and mentoring choral practitioners of all ages and stages.
Wherever the Canadian Chamber Choir performs, they are met with praise for their expressive, committed interpretations, and their warm enthusiasm for sharing their gifts in the community. Concerts feature world premieres on every tour, workshops draw singers at any ability-level into vibrant musicmaking, and masterclasses offer conductors and composers hands-on experience with one of the finest choirs on the continent.
Passionate vocal pedagogue and champion of Canadian repertoire, Julia Davids has been artistic director of the CCC since 2004. She is co-author of Vocal Technique: A Guide for Conductors, Teachers, and Singers (Waveland Press, 2012) and is consistently praised for her skill with singers at every stage of development.
The Canadian Chamber Choir joins the SSO for our performance of Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man on February 10th.