Now in its 40th year, Saskatoon Men’s Chorus continues to demonstrate resilience and creativity as it embarks on a unique season crafted for unique times. Our deep need for music in our lives, and for the bonds that singing creates among us, inspire us to find new ways to keep our choral community thriving. Starting September we’ll be meeting weekly via the video conferencing platform, Zoom. With guidance from Director Deborah Buck and Assistant Director Lynn Driedger the SMC will focus on building skills, improving musicianship, learning repertoire, collaborating with other musicians and lending our voices in support of several community organizations. We’re excited to start work on an intergenerational “virtual choir” project for Remembrance Day that builds on our rewarding past collaborations with Silverwood Heights and Brownell Schools. Besides the joint piece with the students, SMC will prepare “After the War,” the evocative theme song from the movie Passchendaele, arranged by Mark Sirett— one of SMC’s most-frequently programmed composers.
In December we’ll share “Christmas Greetings from SMC” as a gift to our audiences and a fund raiser for Saskatoon Food Bank and the Chorus. This virtual sampler of seasonal music will feature a beautiful, transparent setting of “Ave Maria” by Canadian composer Stephanie Martin--whose piece “When You Are Old” became a favourite with our singers last year. Community carolling is an SMC tradition which we hope to continue this holiday season, while respecting safety protocols. Keep an eye out for SMC’s “Love Notes” in February. For a donation, members of the Chorus will prepare a musical Valentine for digital or doorstep delivery to your special someone. Proceeds from “Love Notes” will be shared between SMC and the Saskatchewan Intercultural Association (SIA), an organization dedicated to “promoting harmony among all people.”
SMC members will have some unique learning opportunities through the year, beginning with Saskatchewan Choral Federation’s workshop about lifetime care of the voice, led by Dr. Victoria Meredith, writer of Sing Better as You Age. In October we’ve invited a past SMC guest artist, mezzo- soprano Professor Julia Jamison of the University of Saskatchewan Drama Department, to share a breath warm-up tailor-made for our singers. This short routine is based on the principles of Qi Gong—a centuries-old practice incorporating breath, slow-flowing movement and mindfulness. We’re also thrilled to announce “Meet the Composer” Zoom Chat Tuesdays with prominent and personable Canadian artists like Stephanie Martin and Mark Sirett. Our singers will gain insight into the pieces we’re learning from the people who wrote them, while getting a sneak peek into the life of a composer. Each chorister is this year being offered a one-on-one coaching session or personalized “one-singer- sectional” with either of the directors or our accompanist Karen Reynaud. And just for fun, two Zoom Coffee Houses will give Chorus members the chance to showcase their hidden talents—so brush up your act!
Our dream is to wrap up the year with our highly anticipated 40th Anniversary Concert, which was postponed last Spring due to the pandemic. Stay tuned for details of this celebratory live performance including guests Larry Klopoushak, Louella Friesen, Robert Dick, Zackary St. Louis, Anna Bekolay, and a Reunion Chorus of some twenty SMC alumni. We sincerely hope to see you in the “not-too-distant” future!
Stay Tuned for updates.
Phone: 306.652.0379 (Deborah)
Phone: 306.220.0812 (Lynn)