The Schooner Cove Singers!
The Schooner Cove Singers was created as a way to celebrate the unique power and beauty of the organ and choir combo.
In 2018, world-class organist Jenny Vincent sought to create a top-notch choir that could showcase the amazing vocal talent on Vancouver Island and attract national attention and collaboration. Her goal has been to both continue the tradition of organ and choir music, as well as to propel the powerful musical combination into the future.
The organ is traditionally a church instrument and is often paired with choirs. The pairing has long been capable of filling both cathedrals and hearts with wonder and energy. However, many churches are cutting out the organ, meaning a great number of fantastic choral music is being forgotten.
Keeping these classics alive is part of Jenny’s goal with the Schooner Cove Singers. However, Jenny believes the organ and choir combo can live outside of church: that the pairing’s ability to create power and wonderment can be harnessed by contemporary composers for music-lovers of all kinds.
MAKING IT HAPPEN!
To do that, Jenny reached out to Dr. Elroy Friesen: the Director of Choral Studies at the University of Manitoba. A first-class conductor known throughout North America and Europe, Elroy enthusiastically accepted the post as the leader of the Schooner Cove Singers, bringing both passion and knowledge to the group, and his proven ability to get the best out of vocalists while pairing their abilities with Vincent’s skillful organ performance.
With a varied understanding of both Northern European choral music and contemporary Canadian composers, Elroy is the ideal conductor to aid in creating concerts that combine both traditional and new music.
The Schooner Cove Singers have quickly gained the attention of music lovers in the mid-Vancouver Island area and beyond with their inaugural performance in May of 2018 at Knox United Church in Parksville. The concert combined the traditional with the contemporary by performing Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem – one of the most famous works for organ and choir — as well as works by present-day Canadian composers Rachel Laurin, Timothy Corlis and others.
The choir has already gained such a reputation for performing new works that Corlis has since joined the choir as a tenor. Future plans include commissioning new works by Corlis and others for the Schooner Cove Singers to debut to the world.
The choir is well on its way to becoming one of the premier groups in the province; for its quality, its vision, and for the way it treats its singers.
The Schooner Cover Singers is the only professional choir on Vancouver Island. Every one of its singers is paid for their work.
For Jenny, the priority remains both maintaining a core contingent of the best singers on Vancouver Island, attracting singers and other performers from across Canada, and respecting those performers by valuing their work.
Co-Artistic Director, organist and Founder
One of Canada's finest organists, Jenny Vincent has performed as soloist throughout Canada and the United States and has enthusiastically shared the stage with other musicians and choirs from coast to coast. Jenny is recognized for her superior accompanying skills, as exemplified by her work in Toronto as accompanist for the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, Canada's first professional chamber choir dedicated to the creation and performance of Afrocentric music of all styles. In 2015, Ms. Vincent performed at the National Convention of Organists in Winnipeg, Manitoba, as accompanist for the Canzona Choir directed by Dr. Elroy Friesen, in celebration of the new Canadian Museum of Human Rights. Since her arrival in the Oceanside area on Vancouver Island, Jenny continues to demonstrate her dedication to the exploring of many genres of music for the organ, displaying the king of instrument's capacity for the traditionally classical as well as contemporary - from Bach, to Celtic, to Gershwin, to hits from movie soundtracks. Jenny's highly successful organWORX series at Knox in Parksville showcases her passion.
Dr. Elroy Friesen
C0-Artistic Director and Conductor
Praised for being "innovative, expressive and dynamic," Dr. Elroy Friesen is Director of Choral Studies at the University of Manitoba where he conducts numerous choirs and teaches graduate and undergraduate conducting and music education. Dr. Friesen earned degrees from the University of Manitoba (B. Mus., B.Ed., M.Mus.) and the University of Illinois (DMA) and is credited with extensive research on the practice and performance of Baroque choral music. Published research by Dr. Friesen includes studies of the choral music of Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara, and Nordic repertoire - especially new Canadian works. Dr. Friesen's award-winning ensembles have collaborated with outstanding arts organizations - the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra; the Royal Canadian College of Organists; Canzona; WSO New Music Festival; Soundstreams Canada; Groundswell; Vancouver Chamber Choir; Musik Barock Ensemble; Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, and the Latvian Radio Choir. Additionally, Dr. Friesen is co-founder of fikamusik (an intensive professional choral conducting program), and founder/past Artistic Director of Prairie Voices. Dr. Friesen has appeared as guest conductor with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the National Arts Centre Orchestra and is in demand as clinician, adjudicator and conductor throughout Canada, the United States and Europe.Add text
Our Board of Directors
The core Board of Directors of the Schooner cove choral society is composed of people filling the roles of President, Vice-president, Secretary, treasurer, Marketing and sponsorship. Other Board members focus on Special Events and Audience Development.
2020-2021 Choir Board
- Bill Laurie, President
- Jo Dunn, Vice President
- Greg Sabo, Treasurer
- Jenny Vincent, Secretary
- Ron Klusmeier
- Mary Warden - Executive Director
If you believe you would be an excellent addition to our board, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know you are interested.