This fall, the Cantiamo girls had the pleasure of collaborating musically with Les Choristes, a women’s choir from the University of Western Ontario. The young women were billeted with Cantiamo families for two nights. Both choirs rehearsed in preparation for a Remembrance Day concert “Between Friends” on November 10th, 2013.
Two years ago in 2011, Les Choristes were hosted by Cantiamo, so for some girls this was a return visit. Besides two rehearsals and a concert, the busy weekend included a pot luck dinner at Woodroffe United with lots of great food and companionship. As well, the host families had an evening together on Saturday night to play games, relax, watch movies, and generally have fun.
Two choristers, one from Cantiamo and one from Les Choristes, were invited to share their thoughts on the weekend of music and friendship.
Christine from Les Choristes wrote:
This collaborative weekend was a fantastic experience for all involved, myself especially. It was a positive experience to mentor a younger choir, but I feel like we were taught much in the process as well. I think Les Choristes collectively decided to try our best to act and sound mature and to be positive role models. As a result we sounded more mature and put-together than we ever have before. In an effort to impress the younger choir, we ended up impressing ourselves as well! I hope that we were able to help and positively influence the girls of Cantiamo, because they certainly positively influenced us.
I also think I speak for the whole choir when I say I really appreciated the warm welcome we received. We were treated so well by our billet families. I hope our two choirs can work together again in the future, because it was a wonderful weekend, and definitely a lot of fun!
Karen of Cantiamo Girls Choir wrote:
The Les Choristes experience will forever remain in my mind. It was an outstanding event where we, as singers, were able to grow and mature. It was an opportunity to make lasting friendships with people equally passionate about music. During the few short days I spent with Les Choristes, my voice developed and became more rich and full, just from singing next to them. It was cool to be singing and then all of a sudden have the realization that my voice could do so much more.
The weekend was not just about the concert or vocal development. My favorite part will always be the Saturday night when we came back after a day of rehearsal and decided, of all things, to continue singing. It was an evening of show tunes and drinking tea; it was the most fun part of the entire weekend. I am so thankful that I was able to be a part of this experience and I will keep it with me forever.
Artistic Directors Jennifer Moir and Jackie Hawley have worked together with their choirs on other projects including the recent CD “The Song My Paddle Sings” and the “Kaleid on the Road” music festival. Cantiamo Girls look forward to the next enriching experience with Les Choristes.
– Julie Gourley