Blog Post

Cantiamo Training Choir – a chorister’s perspective

By Anna C – Chorister

This is my second year in Cantiamo’s Training Choir. It’s been a wonderful experience so far.  Jackie and Laura choose (and even compose) lots of interesting music for us to sing, in different languages sometimes.  We sang Klee Wyck, a song about Emily Carr who is one of my favorite Canadian artists. I enjoyed how we worked with its unusual rhythm.  Jackie is great at holding the space during our rehearsals and at helping us learn lots of music in a short amount of time.

My favorite concert last year was our year end concert in June, when we collaborated with the Montreal English School Board choir. Singing with another choir helped me to understand what music they like and in what styles they sing.  It was a real treat to sing with a choir in many ways like Cantiamo.

This year, our first concert was in October.  It was held at Dominion Chalmers Church and featured students from Nunavut Sivuniksavut who sang, danced, demonstrated a traditional boys’ game, and even performed throat singing.  The college-based program is a silattuqsarvik (which can be interpreted as “a place and time to become wise”) that is dedicated to providing Inuit students fantastic learning experiences in language, culture, government and political science, and so many other things.

Also joining us at the October concert were violinists from the Bruno Studio Strings. The proceeds from the concert, over three thousand dollars, went to the Iqaluit Music Society to help children like us who live up North have a musical experience.

Since all the new members of our choir had already sung in their first concert and many rehearsals, I decided to ask two of them about how their first year in Cantiamo Training Choir is going.  Amelia, who is about to turn 8, particularly enjoyed singing songs with the older girls, the violins and the Nunavut Sivuniksavut at the October concert. She also loved the throat singing.

I like that everyone can go to choir and each person can learn something different that is important to them. Being part of the Training Coir has really helped me strengthen the rhythmic side of music, especially in my singing. “I found it interesting to learn that we have to open our mouths wide to sing,” said ten year-old Gaïa.  Amelia said “Jackie has taught me how to use my voice and sing even higher. She also says it’s okay to make mistakes and I like that.”