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Frank RackowVocal Latitudes is a non-auditioned, world music, community choir in Calgary, Alberta. Our director is Frank Rackow.

 

Our accompanist/pianist is Faye White. 

 

 

We will be starting an Online Choir experience Tuesdays, beginning Sept 15, 2020.

  • Please visit the “Fall Online” tab for registration and details.
“[Choir] will start at 7:30 pm (MT) and go to 9 pm. The first half hour will be orientation, welcome and social time. The rehearsal will last one hour,  from 8-9. We will be singing (mostly muted), listening and learning together. It’s going to be a different kind of choir, but still a lot of fun. 
I’m looking forward to seeing many of you and to our unique fall session”  ~Frank
 
  • While we’re waiting for the next session to begin, here’s the Vocal Latitudes Virtual Choir singing Brian Tate’s “Greater Than”.

 

Fall Online 2020

Vocal Latitudes Virtual season   Autumn 2020

Hello choristers,

I hope everyone is staying healthy and doing well in this unusual summer.

A small group of Vocal Latitudes members met earlier this summer to come up with a plan for our autumn session and I’m pleased to give you some details.

First, there will be a Vocal Latitudes session this autumn. However, due to COVID and the closure of the Calgary Unitarians’ Space, we will have to operate virtually.

We will meet on Tuesday evenings from 8pm-9pm, online using Zoom. (Optional social time from 730-8pm – see below for details including cost and links to Registration.)

Our ‘rehearsals’ will be a bit shorter – one hour, with an optional period for socializing beforehand. Obviously rehearsals will be a bit different, but you can expect warmups, some sing-alongs, part-learning, as well as video watching and other activities.

The choral repertoire will mostly consist of the songs we were working on when the spring term was interrupted, but we will also sing unison songs (pop and other) and rounds. We may dip into our back catalogue if there are songs that might work better in a virtual format.

Most of the activities will be done with microphones muted, with different soloists leading us. But there are times when we may be able to make some sounds together. We will use the break-out room function of Zoom as well for smaller group work.  It’s a bit of a work-in-progress and we will adjust as we go along – particularly in response to your feedback – as we see what does and doesn’t work.

And our wonderful accompanist, Faye White, will be with us again this year.

Time of rehearsals and length of session:  The session will start on Tuesday, September 15th and conclude on December 15th. There will be an optional social session for 30 minutes from 7:30 to 8 (there may be some structured activities during this time and different members may suggest and lead them, eg. our own Pechakucha, mini Ted talks, or games). The formal rehearsal time will be 8-9 pm.

Concert:  Although we can’t have a normal concert, we will conclude our fall session with a Virtual Cabaret. One feature will be the premiere of a new virtual choir piece (like we did with Greater Than in the spring). A virtual cabaret could also feature smaller virtual groups and individual performances. More details to come. The Virtual Cabaret would take place on December 15th for the concluding night of the fall session. 

Cost: Fees for the term are based on cost-recovery and will be $100 per member. For those members who would still like to participate but may have lost their jobs or had a reduction in their income during this period, please contact Heather at [email protected] for reduced payment options (or select this option on the registration form). We do not want cost to prevent you from joining us this fall.

Who can join: Because we are operating virtually, membership will not be limited geographically. If you know someone (maybe a former choir member, family member, or friend) who would like to join us, please let them know. We are hoping to have a group of 30-40 people join us for the fall session.

Registration process:   

This is a 2-step process:

1) Please fill in the registration form at this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScjhpO3skLGyCc3Y5EqaMmvGH_UDRcEIrxkHb6E0vp4tZS_Hw/viewform?usp=sf_link

2) Please send your payment of $100 via etransfer to our treasurer, Mike Francis, at [email protected] and note in the message section “VL Fall fees”. **If you are requesting a reduced fee, please hold off payment until you have been contacted by Heather.**

Once you have completed both registration and payment, you will receive email details and links to access our rehearsals.

 

 

 

 

 

Spring 2020 [archive]

This is the start of VL’s 15th anniversary season. To kick off the celebrations, we have special guests, The Foothills Brass, joining us for our May 9 concert. More about this to come.

We will also be singing at the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer as part of the ProArts at Noon series on Wednesday, April 29.

At the end of March, eight of us are going to NYC to sing at Lincoln Centre in a concert directed by Christopher Tin.

Coco Love Alcorn will be doing workshop with Vocal Latitudes, followed by a concert on Mar 7. RSVP to Vocal Latitudes required as it is nearly full. Please see her site for other dates in Alberta and beyond!

 

 

About

Do you love to sing?  Love music from a variety of traditions and eras? Vocal Latitudes is a non-auditioned world music community choir. We sing for two terms a year, September–December and January–May; each term closing with a public concert.

 If you want to experience the benefits of singing in a welcoming vocal community, Vocal Latitudes may be the choir for you.  Vocal Latitudes meets Tuesday evenings at 7:30 PM from September to May in a convenient central location.  Repertoire includes jazz, gospel, African, Canadian, Renaissance, pop, original and contemporary.

You do not need to be able to read music if you wish to join. It is important that you love to sing and can carry a tune!  Please be aware that we are quite ambitious and our repertoire can be quite challenging, but you can also count on great supports to help you learn your parts and become a better singer!

 If you are interested in singing with us, feel free to come and visit us on Tuesday night or use the contact us button on this page and send us an email.

Vocal Latitudes is a World Music Community Choir which is managed by the Vocal Latitudes Choir Society,  a registered non-profit organization. The society’s board is elected at our AGM. Our current chair is Robin Smith.

Our director, Frank Rackow has been trained in music at Concordia and McGill universities in Montreal. As a woodwind player, he has performed at clubs and festivals across the country. In addition, he has acted as music director for theatre productions in Ottawa, Toronto and Hamilton.

F.A.Q.

Q.: What is a world music choir?

A.: For us at Vocal Latitudes (VL), a world music choir is a choir that can sing anything it wants to!  Each season our Artistic Director works to choose a varied musical adventure for us to present to our audiences.

We sing songs from different musical traditions from around the world, in many different languages. This has included traditional African music, gospel, jazz, Latin chants, Finnish Christmas Carols, Top 40 songs, Broadway hits, original compositions, Japanese poetry, Haitian Creole, themes from Video Games . . . the list goes on and on.

Q.: When are rehearsals/shows?

A.: We rehearse on Tuesdays at 7:30 PM, when in session. We have two terms, one that starts in September and ends in December and a second that starts in January and ends in May. In addition to the main rehearsals, each vocal section has two or three additional rehearsals in each session. We host major concerts at the end of each term in December and May. We also perform at seniors residences and by invitation at community events.

Q.: Who runs Vocal Latitudes?

A.: Vocal Latitudes is managed by the Vocal Latitudes Choir Society, a registered non-profit organization with a board of directors. The members on the board are elected annually and they are responsible for managing the choir. Rehearsals are run by our Artistic Director, Frank Rackow.

Q.: What are membership fees?

A.: The fees are set annually by our board of directors. The fees for the 2019-2020 season are $150 for a single term or $250 (a $50 discount) if you pay for the full year.

Q.:  Do I need to practice at home?

A.: Definitely! Although we are a non-auditioned choir, we are also a choir that works hard to create a great vocal performance for our audience and that means practice at home is a must!

Q.: I don’t read music. Can I participate?

A.: You must love to sing and be able to carry a tune (match pitch). The Members Area of our choir website contains audio files that you can use to practice with. Each section rehearses their parts separately about 2-3 times/session. Although it is certainly easier if you have some basic knowledge of music notation, our helpful choristers will do everything they can to help make you be successful.

Q.: Can children join?

A.: Unfortunately, not at this time. Choir members must be 18 years or older.

Q.: In how many languages have you performed?

A.: At last count it was 17. (18 if you include the gibberish language, Cirquish, that Cirque du Soleil invented.)

Q.: Can I sit in on a session before I commit?

A.: Absolutely. Come to the Calgary Unitarians building to visit us at rehearsal time on Tuesday from 7:30 – 9:30pm. Contact via the “contact us” page to let us know you are coming!

Contact

Happiness Cartoon

Thanks for your interest in Vocal Latitudes, an unaffiliated community choir.  Our email form is below. We will get back to you as soon as we can!

  • Do you have questions about the choir?
  • Are you thinking of joining but would like more information?
  • Would you like to book us for a performance?
  • Are you an artist who would like to collaborate with an enthusiastic choir?

We practice Tuesday evenings at Panabaker Hall, in the Calgary Unitarians building on 1st Streen just north of 16th Ave NW