What we will sing in 2024

From our new concert program The Joy of Life on Earth, Vocal Latitudes is pleased to present I Dreamed of Rain, by Jan Garrett. This iconic song is inspired by rain’s ability to renew, cleanse, and restore life. The composer dreamed of the idyllic time in her youth when daily rain would fall on her small town in North Colorado, making everything smell fresh and alive. These memories would live with her forever, often appearing at significant times in her life, with the arrival of the rain providing spiritual comfort and healing. The song she describes as having wrote with the help of angels, and is an expression of the soul within. Read the full story of this song here: https://www.garrett-martin.com/news/dreamed_story.html

Larry Nickel’s flowing, lush arrangement features a warm, rich choral voicing, with some beautiful imagery in the piano part. Click here for a full recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APvcIaw-sr8

There are rhythmic complexities and some a cappella sections that will prove challenging to master, but it will be a fun journey, and we look forward to sharing it with our audience at the end. 

Come see this and many other choral works in concert! We are performing at St. David’s United Church (3303 Capitol Hill Crescent NW) on Friday, May 10th at 7:30pm. See you there!

What Will We Sing – Part 2

From our world folk songs fall program, entitled Come Travel With Me: we will be featuring Arirang, a famous Korean folk song, in an exciting arrangement by Hyo-Won Woo.

Listen here for a recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bg-Y-yUGfZQ

The well-known melody opens in unison over a gorgeous, flowing piano texture, before we get a full harmonic chorale, complete with key change. The arrangement’s final section launches us into a surprise rhythmic groove with a lot of percussion. We hear a different take on the famous melody and an amazing rhythmic vamp to end out the piece. Definitely a showstopper!

Be part of the fun! Join us on September 12th, 7:00pm at Calgary Unitarians (1703 1st St. NW) for our first rehearsal.

–Krishan Power, Artistic Director

What Will We Sing?

Here’s a sneak preview of what we’ll be performing in our December concert, Come Travel With Me: I am excited to feature Eatnemen Vuelie (Song of the Earth) as part of this program.

This creative, driving arrangement by Norwegian composer Frode Fjellheim, arranged by Emily Crocker, provides an energetic, rhythmic setting to the famous Silesian folk hymn tune. The arrangement centers on a repeated “Yoik” in the bass part, a syllabic pattern that establishes the groove and energy. The upper parts are layered in, creating a beautiful chorale over the rhythmic bass line, before the introduction winds down and our main tune is established.

We will be performing this one with percussion!

Stay tuned for one more update before the start of the season on September 12. I am looking forward to the upcoming season!

–Krishan Power, Artistic Director

Come Sing of Canada with Vocal Latitudes

Our Winter/Spring session will focus on great choral music and songs from the length and breadth of our country. Highlighting Indigenous composers and songwriters (Andrew Balfour), French songwriters (Gilles Vigneault, Michel Rivard etc) as well as Canadian legends like Joni Mitchell, Stan Rogers and Ian Tyson, as well as more contemporary pop songs by Woodpigeon and Dave Gunning. We’ll also look at the Canadian choral tradition, including works by Srul Irving Glick and Eleanor Daley. We’ll even sing in a made up language as part of a medley of the music from Cirque du Soleil.

It’s going to be a lot of fun and we will have a couple of chances to perform this repertoire. In addition to our own concert in May, we have been invited back to sing in the ProArts at Noon series at the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer. It’s simply one of the best places to sing in Calgary and the audiences are very appreciative. 

Frank Rackow
Artistic Director

Summer 2022

Here’s hoping that the new 2022-23 choir season feels like a return to normal. Vocal Latitudes community choir in Calgary has been around since 2005 and we’ve seen and done a lot. But the pandemic was a whole new level of challenge for our choral community.
When the pandemic hit in March of 2020, we stopped rehearsing in person. After all, one of the first mass transmission events occurred at a choir rehearsal in Washington State. Moving online proved to be challenging.
We did continue to meet via Zoom, quickly realizing that we would have to change our way of doing things.

We did virtual performances, singalongs, shared videos, etc., but it was a long 18 months. Fortunately, the choir was able to begin singing together (masked) in September of 2021, using a hybrid format that allowed members to follow along from home via Zoom if they were ill or uncomfortable with singing in person. I was on sabbatical that autumn and the choir was led by one of Calgary’s most able singers and choral directors, Paul Grindlay.

I returned to the choir this past winter/spring and we performed our first live concert in over two years in May. What a joy that was!
What has kept us going was the sense of community that Vocal Latitudes prides itself on. We have always been a welcoming, friendly group. While we enjoy singing a wide range of music and always seek to improve our performances, we put an equal emphasis on having fun and being together in song.
But it’s also true that we saw our numbers shrink during the pandemic, understandably. Now we are looking forward to a renewed choir and a 2022-23 season full of fun, singing and performance opportunities.
For the fall session (we divide the year into two parts, singing different repertoires), I’m excited about a couple of brand new songs. Vocal Latitudes (as the name implies) have always been up for the challenge of singing in many languages. (We’ve lost count of the number). This fall we’ll sing in Ladino again with a lovely arrangement of a lullaby from Flory Jagoda,  Durme Durme. And we will sing a gorgeous song from Cuba in Spanish called Sigue. As well, there will be some seasonal and Christmas repertoire, a bit of jazz, pop, and South African song as well. It’s going to be a lot of fun.
And the winter/spring session will highlight the work of Canadian choral composers and songwriters.
And I’m delighted to announce that our long-time accompanist Faye White will be returning to the choir as well.
So, things are looking up. We will continue to exercise caution regarding public health, and we will continue to offer the option of participating in Vocal Latitudes via Zoom. We would love to have you join us.
We will start up on September 13, 2022, at 7:30 pm at Calgary Unitarians, 1703 1st St. NW, Calgary.
We’re a non-auditioned choir. You don’t need choral experience or to be able to read music. If you can carry a tune, we can teach you the rest. We invite you to join our Calgary community choir.
Frank Rackow
Artistic Director