Coquitlam BC, April 28, 2015 — Local Children’s Choir exchanging with Nova Scotian choir
The Coastal Sound Music Academy (CSMA) Children’s Choir recently hosted 40 young singers from The Annapolis Valley Honour Choir (AVHC).
In 2013, Coastal Sound Artistic Director Diana Clark was conducting in Nova Scotia at Berwick Choral Camp in the Annapolis Valley. It was there that Heather Fraser and Clark met, promising that “one day we will have our choirs sing together!”
This April and May, their vision came true: first when Annapolis Valley Honour Choir arrived in BC and performed with local school choirs in Port Coquitlam, Port Moody and Nanaimo; sang a concert on “The Chief” at the top of the Squamish Sea to Sky Gondola; and visited places of cultural, artistic, historical and geographical significance. In mid May, Coastal Sound Children’s Choir heads to the Annapolis Valley to learn first hand, about the history of the area. Together, both choirs share repertoire that examines “where we live” in Canada through the lens of choral music. Singers have learned about each other, themselves and their choral art.
For Clark and her singers, it is a profound opportunity for professional and artistic growth. “Singing songs like The Blue Nose, while standing beside that same ship in Lunenberg, or singing Acadian music at the French Cross on the UNESCO world heritage site that is Grand Pré–one of the first French colonies that dates back to the 1600’s… these experiences will never be forgotten,” Clark says. It is also a valuable opportunity to trade songs and teach each other the local folk music. For the Nova Scotians, there are thousands of folk songs that have been collected, but Coastal Sound says they have had to research BC songs a lot! “We also have some workshops scheduled where we will be studying more folk song history and vocal technique.”
This twinning of these two choirs would not be possible without the funding of SEVEC, Society for Educational Visits and Exchanges in Canada. SEVEC exchanges encourage cultural sharing by granting airfare travel in Canada, with the understanding that twinned groups will stay in each others homes, build cross-Canada connections and experience first hand, places of Canadian significance.
Of all of the experiences, one the most fun and interesting is staying in each other’s homes! For many singers in both choirs, this is a first time away from home for any length of time. “There is a lot of nervous excitement and much anticipation at the idea of living with another family for a week, experiencing life and culture in their town,” says Clark, who herself remembers such experiences many years ago on school band program exchanges. “It is always surprising and reassuring to find kindred spirits with so much in common, in another part of the world. These exchanges build connection and understanding between people– sharing music together deepens the experience.”
The Coastal Sound Music Academy transforms lives and builds community through the pursuit of choral music excellence. From the 4-year-olds in the Sources song play program to the professional, award winning Youth and Children’s Choirs and DeCoro choir for adults, there is a place for singers to share a sense of spirit, artistry, heart and community. Whether they are singing “O Canada” at Grey Cup, Indie rock arrangements or traditional a cappella singing, Coastal Sound has gained a reputation for presenting artistic, entertaining and engaging performances. Friendly auditions for September placements with Coastal Sound Music Academy are now being accepted at coastalsoundmusic.com
For more information or to request an interview:
Coastal Sound Music Academy (CSMA) – Biography
Children’s Choir is one of seven choirs at Coastal Sound Music Academy. With the motto “Music for your WHOLE life”, Coastal Sound offers choral programs for singers 4 years old to adult.
Joy of singing, connection with others, and developing as choral artists are the core values of the Children’s Choir. The choir works with guest conductors and shares with other choirs and performers whenever possible. Recent highlights include performances and collaborations with Canadian composers Stephen Hatfield, Imant Raminsh and Kris Fulton; DragonDiva Opera Company; performances at TEDxKids BC conference, Grey Cup 2014, with Vancouver Chamber Choir and Michael Bublé, singing with him on his 2013 Christmas Holiday TV Special. Children’s Choir loves to connect and tour exchange with other singers, most recently with Guelph Youth Singers, Annapolis Valley Honour Choir and Anima Youth Singers of Chicago.
Diana Clark is recognized for her creative work with young singers. She has an eclectic background that includes a Master’s Degree in Music Performance and top program honours in a Master of Music Education from Northwestern University, Illinois. She teaches children through music at an Elementary school in Port Coquitlam, and serves as Artistic Director of Coastal Sound Music Academy where she leads a 9 member artistic team and two of the Coastal Sound choirs. Diana is a member of the BC Choral Conductors Mentorship Project, a member of the Advocacy panel for Choral Canada, and an adjudicator/ clinician specializing in working with children and repertoire for unchanged voices.
Barry Yamanouchi graduated with a B.Mus. from U.B.C. and an M.Mus. from McGill University with a major in Sound Recording. He works as an accompanist for several choirs and numerous solo singers. He also makes recordings in his home studio and is a teacher of piano and theory. In 2014, Barry was the recipient of the Joyce O. Maguire award presented by the BC Choral Federation, for his outstanding and dedicated service to the BC choral community. Barry is also in demand as a teacher of Bridge.