Here are the winners of the 2020 National Choral Awards

They were announced on May 17 by Choral Canada and CBC Music.

They were announced on May 17 by Choral Canada and CBC Music

Pro Coro Canada is a chamber choir based in Edmonton. (Epic Photography)

Every two years, Choral Canada joins forces with one of Canada's provincial choral organizations to present Podium, a conference that brings together members of the choral community for a four-day frenzy of masterclasses, workshops and concerts. It's also the occasion when the National Choral Awards are presented.

Unfortunately, this year's Podium, scheduled to take place in Montreal from May 14 to 17, has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But this has not deterred Choral Canada from announcing the winners of the 2020 National Choral Awards. You'll find all the recipients listed below, as revealed by Katherine Duncan, host of CBC Music's Choral Concert, on May 17.

Distinguished service awards

  • Ki Adams, honorary research professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland, founding co-director of the Singing Network.
  • Victoria Meredith, choral conductor, professor emerita at Western University.

Outstanding choral composition

Winner: This Thirsty Land, Leonard Enns.

Honourable mention: Following the Moon Road, Christine Donkin.

Outstanding choral publication

Pierre Robert, Motets pour la Chapelle du roy, Vol. 1, Andrée Dagenais.

Outstanding choral recording

Handel: Dixit dominus, Bach and Schütz: Motets, Ottawa Bach Choir, Ensemble Caprice, Lisette Canton.

Outstanding innovation

Winner: Pro Coro Canada and Michael Zaugg for their program, Choral Art: Composers, Conductors and Choirs, at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

Honourable mention: Orpheus Choir of Toronto for its project Raising her Voice: Celebrating Women in the Choral Art.

Outstanding student essay

Winner: To Blend or not to Blend: a Solo Singer's Guide to Singing in Choral Ensembles, Leslie Higgins (Western University).

Honourable mention: Technologized Ensemble Singing and Embodiment in the 21st Century, Eva Stone-Barney (McGill University).

Outstanding thesis or dissertation

Choral Arrangements of Nueva Canción Chilena: Exploring Socially Committed Song in the Choral Context, Allison Pauls (University of Alberta)

Additional awards

The winner of Choral Canada's 2020 Competition for Choral Writing and recipient of Choral Canada's Diane Loomer Award ($1,500, sponsored by Cypress Choral Music) is Kevin Pirker of Halifax for his composition She Walks in Beauty.

The recipient of the Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Foundation's prize ($4,000) and the Patricia Abbott Award ($150) is Thomas Burton, apprentice conductor of the 2020 National Youth Choir of Canada.