CHORALFEST SOUTH 2017 (CALGARY)
March 14-18 • Knox United Church
Evaluators • Dennis Coleman, Morna Edmundson, Scott Leithead
All Choralfest South 2017 performances are open to the public. Admission is by donation!
Dennis Coleman has led Seattle Men’s Chorus (since 1981) and Seattle Women’s Chorus (since 2003) to a position of artistic and administrative excellence with a combined singing membership that exceeds that of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He retired from that position in August, 2016.
Dennis is active as a clinician and guest conductor throughout the U.S. and Canada. He served for six years on the national Board of Directors for Chorus America and was on the founding Board of Directors of GALA Choruses. As a United Church of Christ church musician, Dennis has conducted the choir of First Congregational Church of Bellevue since 1981.
Dennis Coleman has commissioned and premiered choral works from many leading composers including, among others, Jake Heggie, Gian Carlo Menotti, Stephen Hatfield, Ned Rorem, Robert Moran, Conrad Susa, and David Diamond.
Morna Edmundson is one of Canada’s best-known choral conductors with a strong reputation for excellence. Passionate since childhood about choral singing, she obtained degrees and diplomas in vocal music in Vancouver, Bellingham, and Stockholm, Sweden where her teachers included Eric Ericson. In 1987, she co-founded Elektra Women’s Choir with Diane Loomer, a treasured partnership that lasted 22 years. In 2009, Morna became Elektra’s sole Artistic Director, continuing the choir’s strong leadership role in concert presentation, commissioning, recording, and mentorship. For 14 years Morna shared her love of quality repertoire with a new generation of singers in her role as Associate Artistic Director of Coastal Sound Music Academy, where she was Music Director of the mixed-voice Youth Chamber Choir. Morna has adjudicated in North America and Asia, conducted honour choirs in several states, co-directed the American Choral Directors Association National Women’s Honour Choir, and gives frequent workshops with choirs of all ages. In 2000 she was presented with the Healey Willan Award for outstanding service to the BC Choral Federation, an organization she serves as a member of the President’s Advisory Council. In February 2009 Morna was a recipient of the BC Community Achievement Award, which recognized her gifted organizational talent, leadership by example, and her encouragement of others to pursue their musical and choral goals. In June 2011 Morna received a Vancouver YWCA Woman of Distinction award in recognition of her work with Elektra. Since June 2013, she has served on the Board of Directors of Chorus America, the advocacy, research, and leadership development organization that gives voice to the choral field.
Scott Leithead is the founder and Artistic Director of Canada's Kokopelli Choir Association and TIME Association from Edmonton, Alberta. He has been invited to conduct provincial and state honour choirs on twenty-one occasions and he has presented workshops in North America and beyond. Notable appearances include: conducting the Alberta Youth Choir for the Alberta Choral Federation’s 40th Anniversary; conducting the 2013, 2015 and 2016 Ellison Canadian Honour Choir; conducting the 2016 ACDA NW Regional Youth Choir in Seattle. He has adjudicated both the ACCC National Competition for Amateur Canadian Choirs and the Kathaumixw International Choir Festival (2014 and 2016). Under his direction, Kokopelli was the winner of both the 2015 CBC National Competition for Canadian Amateur Choirs and both the 2015 and 2016 Canadian National Music Competition.
Scott has a passion for music from southern Africa and he has been invited to work with choirs in South Africa and Namibia on numerous occasions. In 2008/09, Scott was on sabbatical in Namibia where he worked with the Mascato Youth Choir and many other choirs in southern Africa. Scott’s passion for innovative and unique choral music experiences has shaped the direction of the Kokopelli Choir Association.
Scott is a longtime member of the advisory committee for the Canadian Rocky Mountain Music Festival. He is also president of the BrailleTone Music Society (for persons with disabilities) and three additional national boards in Canada, as well as the National Youth Music and Art Development Foundation of South Africa.
In 2016/17 he will present clinics and workshops across Canada and return to conduct numerous honour choirs including the 2017 Ellison Canadian Honour Choir. He will be the guest clinician at the University of Toronto Summer Conducting Symposium in July 2017. He will also be adjudicating at the prestigious Tampere Choral Festival in Finland next June.