Help the Canadian Chamber Choir make its first professional recording

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m on the Board, and among the pool of singers, for the Canadian Chamber Choir, a fabulous national choir made up of auditioned singers from across the country. I’ve sung on two projects, one in Ontario and last fall one right here in Saskatchewan, and I can’t praise the choir and its director, Dr. Julia Davids, highly enough. If you love choral music, you would love to hear this choir sing.

Except, of course, you have to be somewhere where they’re touring to do so.
But that will change in the near future. The Canadian Chamber Choir is currently raising funds to make its first professional recording this summer. (I won’t be one of the singers, alas, since I’m not available–I’ll be off at the World Science Fiction Convention.) If this sort of thing interests you, consider making a donation! Even small amounts mean a lot.
Below is the official fundraising letter from Dr. Davids, with the address you can send donations to. As you can see, it’s being sent primarily to people who have helped out the choir in the past–but I figured I’d throw it out to a wider audience. Give it serious thought, won’t you? And if you do donate–tell ’em I sent you!

Dear Friends and Supporters,

As you know, the Canadian Chamber Choir started as the dream of a handful of singers who wanted Canada tohave a choir that truly represented the amazing diversity of this great country and would provide concerts and workshops in all sizes of Canadian communities. It is hard to believe that it has been eight years since the Canadian Chamber Choir began! Eight years of development, success and struggle, and we have evolved into the organization’s current form. We have developed the Choral Collaboration workshop formula, held a Young Composer’s Competition, provided conducting and gesture workshops at major universities across the country, apprenticed three Canadian choral conductors, commissioned two major works, debuted and featured the music of emerging and established Canadian composers in concerts, and have been hosted by communities in nearly every province. A lot to be proud of and we thank you for the part you have played in the CCC’s evolution.

The glaring omission from our list of accomplishments is a professional recording. We have long dreamed of a project that would allow us to record but the cost has been prohibitive. Flying singers in from all over thecountry, housing and feeding them, hiring the support musicians and technicians, reserving the venue – these are all especially difficult things for a choir that does not meet on a weekly basis.

We have decided to take a huge leap of faith and finally make a professional recording of the Canadian Chamber Choir a reality! The first week of August 2009, twenty-one singers will meet in Gretna, Manitoba at the state-of-the-art Buhler Hall on the campus of the Mennonite Collegiate Institute to make a permanent mark in Canada’schoral history by recording an all-Canadian cd. Works by Eleanor Daley, Lionel Daunais, Mark Sirrett, Jocelyn Morlock, and others are planned. The centre-piece of the recording will be our brand new commissioned work, At Sunset, by Elmira, Ontario, composer Jeff Enns. This work features Julliard graduate and brilliant mezzo soprano Christianne Rushton of Wolfville, NS, and sets the stunningly evocative poetry of Mohawk Canadian Pauline Johnson.

This is the time when we come to you, our loyal fans, to ask for your support. To all of those who have donated in the past, we thank you again for supporting the many endeavours of the Canadian Chamber Choir. We ask you to thoughtfully consider a donation specifically towards this recording project. Our singers have all agreed to donate their time and each of them have committed to make financial donations above and beyond this in order to make the recording a reality. We are incredibly determined to make this project happen.

As the Artistic Director, I am personally going to match all donations up to $5,000 – not because being a choral conductor is a lucrative profession, but because I sincerely believe that the Canadian Chamber Choir deserves to be heard by a wider audience and I too am whole-heartedly committed to making this happen. In this climate of economic uncertainty, foundations and corporations are unwilling to take a chance on an ‘unproven’ entity suchas the CCC. I am willing to take that chance – the CCC has never failed to compel audiences and move people wherever it has travelled. I hope you will join me and see your donation go twice as far.

We will gladly accept (& tax receipt!!) donations of any amount. A suggested donation of $100 would certainly help in the realization of this dream CD. For donations of $100 or more you will receive a copy of the CD, your name will be included in the list of thank-yous in our liner notes and on our webpage, you will have our eternal gratitude and most importantly, the knowledge that you are a part of something so vital in the Canadian choral community. Please make cheques payable to the Canadian Chamber Choir and address them to:

Canadian Chamber Choir
c/o Mark Roberts, Treasurer
33 Troy St.
Mississauga, ON
L5G 1S6

The Canadian Chamber Choir and I deeply appreciate the support you have provided us in the past and sincerely hope that you will choose to join us in this exciting and ambitious project!

With sincerest gratitude,
Dr. Julia Davids
Artistic Director

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