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Choir-pa-looza!

Choir small.jpgIt's like a folk festival for choirs! Or a Woodstock for the choral community! Last year, Saskatoon hosted Podium 2010, a gathering of choirs from across the country, and CBC Saskatchewan was there to record all the notes. Tune in this week to SoundXchange to hear the National Youth Choir of Canada (left), the Canadian Chamber Choir, and Saskatoon's Childrens Choir. It'll be choir-some and choir-ific!

This afternoon's concert features selections from three wonderful choirs who were featured at Podium 2010, a national gathering organized by the Association of Canadian Choral Communities (ACCC). The event brings together choirs from across the country for a week of concerts, workshops and community-building. Last year's conference took place in Saskatoon.

The Canadian Chamber Choir (CCC) is to choral music what the cadillac is to cars. They are a finely tuned machine, capable of delivering a very smooth ride, great acceleration, and plenty of power. They are unlike any other professional choir in Canada by the simple fact that the members of the choir live in virtually every part of the country. A few times a year they come together for short, intensive periods of rehearsal, performance and as workshop leaders.

The choir has a strong commitment to performing music by emerging and established Canadian composers. This concert is a perfect exmaple of that mandate in action, since all but two of the songs fall into that category. As conductor Julia Davids says, "The diversity of Canadian choral music continues to amaze and delight us and we take great pride in elevating the profile of composers who might not otherwise have a venue for the performance of their music."

While the choir is currently celebrating it's 10th year, this concert marked the release of their first CD 'In Good Company'. Much of the music in this concert is featured on that CD.

The critically acclaimed National Youth Choir of Canada (NYC) features some of our country's finest young choral singers. Every two years, singers between the ages of 18 and 25 from every corner of Canada come together for a few weeks of intensive music-making. Then they embark on performing schedule, which culminates at Podium 2010. Last year in Saskatoon the choir, under the direction of Dr. Victoria Meredith, captivated an audience of choral enthusiasts at Knox United Church in the city's downtown.

The Saskatoon Children's Choir (SCC)is an international award-winning organization with a remarkable history of combining humanitarian work and artistic excellence. They strongly believe that "music crosses all cultures and borders, that all children can be a voice for peace, and that they have an obligation to building a future of hope for the world."

Over the years, the organization has been honoured with many awards from the International Choral Kathaumixw. This bi-annual festival gathers together up to 40 choirs from around the world to take part in competitions, conductor's seminars, and showcase concerts. In 2000 and 2004, the Saskatoon Children's Choir won the festival's Elmer Iseler Award for best performance of a Canadian work. They also won first place in the folk category in 2000, as well as second place in both the Children's Choir and Folk categories in 2004. In 2002, the choir won first place in the children's choir category at Festival Internacional de Musica de Cantonigros in Spain.

In July 2009, they travelled to Europe on a performance tour of Austria and the Czech Republic. While in Vienna, they participated in the prestigious Summa Cum Laude Festival, where they were awarded two first prizes - First Place "with outstanding success" in the category of treble choirs, and the Summa Cum Laude Award of the City of Vienna for best choir of the festival.

This year, they are planning a summer tour to South Africa. 

Would you like to hear a preview of the concert? Or perhaps you'd like to hear it all over again? CBC Radio 2's Concerts on Demand is your link to live music. You can hear the NYC and the CCC.

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