Montreal's a capella fest celebrates city's diversity
City's largest vocal music festival takes place this weekend
There will be beat boxers, gospel singers, barber shop quartets and college kids singing this weekend at Montreal's 3rd annual MTL a cappella festival.
It's happening at the Théatre Paradoxe, a refurbished church in Ville Emard.
Director Michael Dyck says the diversity of groups is what makes Montreal's festival unique.
"There are other a cappella festivals, especially in the U.S., it's quite popular, but they usually find either only barber shop or either only collegiate style a cappella," he said.
"Montreal a cappella is really unique in that we bring together all sorts celebrating the diversity of the city."
A cappella means singing with no instrumental backing.
Dyck discovered a cappella while studying physiotherapy at McGill, when he joined the group, Effusion.
"I didn't know what to expect and was soon swept off my feet," he said.
The festival features a number of performances and workshops including: how to beat box, how to arrange for female voices, how to use a loop, Georgian singing, and the business aspects of running an a cappella group.
It's all taking place in a new venue, the refurbished l'Église Notre-Dame-du-Perpétuel-Secours in the Ville-Émard borough.
The weekend line-up includes Montreal's women's choir, Choeur Maha, the Choeur international de Montréal, VoiceMale an award-winning all-male a cappella group from Brandeis University, Westmount's Burton Street Singers, and Minor Adjustments, the only co-ed, all-vocal group on campus at SUNY Plattsburgh.
MTL acappella runs May 9 to 11.