14 Jul Jubilate wins the Elmer Iseler award at Kathaumixw 2014!
We have just returned home from the biggest and most fun experience Jubilate has ever had. The International Choral Kathaumixw festival is a biennial competition and celebration of choral music that is held in beautiful Powell River, British Columbia. This was first festival experience for Jubilate, and most of us had no idea what to expect. We definitely had a shorter trip than most to reach the event, with choirs arriving from as far away as Slovenia, New Zealand, Russia, Taipei, Kenya, Uganda, and the Czech Republic.
Throughout the festival, we were treated to an incredible variety of extremely high-quality and exciting singing, and we left buzzing with new ideas for future repertoire and concerts. What sticks in our minds though, more than the competition and concerts, were the many amazing new relationships we made with other singers and our audience members.
A few experiences in particular stuck out: After hearing us perform Don MacDonald’s Tabula Rasa, the young men and women of Scott Leithead’s amazing and exuberant Kokopelli Youth Choir (who originally commissioned the piece) joined us on stage when we sang it again in a concert the following day, creating a warm, rich sound. What a treat!
We also met Clara, a young woman from St. Stanislav’s Youth Choir from Slovenia (who went on to win the grand prize of Choir of the World). She approached us during our downtime, told us about her home country and experiences singing across BC. She offered each of us a wildflower, which we wore on our shirts or in our hair for the rest of the day: a badge of a new friendship.
We ate a wonderful dinner at Magpie’s Diner, and treated the small staff to an impromptu belting of Roughnecks in the Trade (from Larry’s When I Think of Bridges cantata) and Royal Hudson. The diner had great acoustics!
At the end of an overwhelming and wonderful four days of singing, we were shocked and delighted to learn that we’d won the Elmer Iseler Award for best performance of a Canadian composition! This meant performing Royal Hudson during the Gala Closing Concert before an audience of 2500, including 1000 fellow singers. We were just a little terrified, but the enthusiastic response warmed our hearts and reminded us of how far we’ve come in the past few years.
We all feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to participate in Kathaumiwx, and are looking forward to many future collaborations with the amazing choirs and choristers we met. We only wish our 2014-15 rehearsals started earlier so that we can get back to singing together!