Duff Warkentin, conductor

Duff Warkentin has been a choral conductor and clinician for many years. His formal post-secondary education was at Canadian Mennonite Bible College in Winnipeg, the University of Waterloo, and the University of Regina. He has conducted children’s choirs, high school choirs, church choirs, university choirs, and community choirs. He has sung under the direction of noted conductors such as Robert Shaw, George Wiebe, Helmut Rilling, John Martens, Elmer Iseler, Wayne Riddell, Jon Washburn, and Bramwell Tovey. He has prepared and conducted many of the Requiems, Masses, oratorios, and other larger works in the standard repertoire. Two particular choral experiences stand out for him. He conducted the Station Singers of Rosthern, a non-auditioned community choir, since its inception in 2000. That choir discontinued at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this summer the decision was made to end the choir. It was a difficult decision, arrived at after considering a number of factors. He was honoured to conduct this wonderful choir. He also conducted a Warkentin family choir at their triennial family reunion. This experience too is one that is tremendously important and meaningful to him. The commonality between these two experiences is that both groups were, and are, amateur choirs, in the truest sense of the word. Singing for the sheer love of music and singing together, creating together what we cannot create alone, recognizing that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, building community through music, through singing together – this is what inspires and energizes Duff Warkentin, and he is thrilled to be able to participate in Handel’s Messiah again!

Leave a Comment