By Jackie Hawley, Artistic Director: Cantiamo Choirs of Ottawa
2020 has been a challenging year for choirs all over the world with the Covid-19 pandemic making choir rehearsal, as we knew it, physically unsafe. Fortunately, the choral community is full of creative, proactive, positive, energetic people who know that singing MUST happen! Some of these people belong to an organization called Sing Canada Harmony.
Sing Canada Harmony has this vision:
Enriched lives, healthier communities, and a better Canada through singing.
Sing Canada Harmony is a Canadian charity dedicated to empowering all Canadians to become healthy, creative, and responsible members of society by providing access to vocal music education programs and resources.
Clearly, Sing Canada Harmony and Cantiamo are united in spirit!
Sing Canada Harmony recently awarded the Cantiamo Choirs of Ottawa $600 to help offset the cost of the music literacy books we purchased for all of our choristers this season. We are extremely grateful for this financial and moral support especially during this challenging time of the pandemic.
With chorister numbers down and ticketed performance opportunities on hold, our choir and many other choirs are looking for other ways to generate income so we can continue to keep singing happening!
With the generous support of Sing Canada Harmony, Cantiamo is able to offer an intensive music literacy program to our choristers this season. We have revised our choral program to allow for more time teaching and learning music literacy. This will strengthen the theoretical knowledge of our choristers and contribute to building confident sight readers and possibly inspire some new young composers!
Along with our music literacy component, choristers continue to learn vocal technique through voice building, singing solo repertoire, and singing choral repertoire. When we can all sing together in person again, the Cantiamo Choirs of Ottawa will be ready to continue in our role as mentors for our OCDSB Choralfest project serving 350 students from nearly 10 schools, as well as our Music Monday music education advocacy event at the NAC serving nearly 500 students from a variety of school boards. Until then, we will continue to sing and learn and strengthen our Cantiamo community!
We are grateful to Sing Canada Harmony for this monetary support as well as their belief in our program and their dedication to vocal music education. Together we will keep Canada singing!