Amabile for Girls & Women
There are four levels of auditioned choirs for girls and women within Amabile.
The Amabile Da Capo Choir (Da Capo) welcomes girls aged 8 to 11, with a focus on providing a choral venue for young choristers and to serve as a training choir for the Junior Amabile Singers. Da Capo meets weekly for instruction in vocal production, sight singing, ear training, basic rudiments and choral performance discipline.
The Junior Amabile Singers (JAS) was founded in 1989 to give young women between the ages of 9 – 14 an opportunity to develop an understanding of choral music, self-discipline and artistic expression. Under the direction of Jacquelyn Norman and Wendy Landon, the Junior Amabile Singers perform regularly in the London area and Southwestern Ontario in addition to seeking national and international performance opportunities. The most recent tour took the JAS to England and France where they performed massed choir concerts in Canterbury Cathedral and Southwark Cathedral, London under the direction of David Flood and Henry Leck, as well as a solo performance at Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris. Previous concert tours have taken the JAS to California in 2012 (The Golden Gate International Children’s and Youth Choir Festival – 2 gold awards, first Folk, 2nd Historical), Hawaii in 2009 (Pacific Rim Children’s Choir Festival), St. John’s, Newfoundland in 2007 (Festival 500), France, Belgium, Germany in 2004 (3rd Choir Olympics, Bremen, Germany – Gold, 5th place), British Columbia in 2002 (10th Choral Kathaumixw, Powell River), to Austria and the Czech Republic in 2000 (1st Choir Olympics, Linz, Austria – Gold, 5th place), to England, Scotland and Wales in 1997 (Llangollen International Eisteddfodd, Wales) and in 1995, to the Des Moines International Children’s Choral Festival (Iowa). The choir has been named national finalist in two CBC Biennial Competitions for Amateur Choirs, placing second in 2000. In 1998, the choir released its first CD entitled Canadian Portraits and their second CD, She Shall Have Music, in 2005.
The Amabile Youth Singers (AYS) welcomes experienced female choristers ages 12 to 18. Founded in 1985 by John Barron and Brenda Zadorsky, the choir has won 11 national competitions, including the 2000 CBC National Competition for the Amateur Choirs Youth Category and the Best Performance of a Canadian Work. They also won the Youth Category award for Let the Peoples Sing which is the European International Choral Festival. In 2005, the AYS were awarded the London Music Award for the best Classical Ensemble and in 2007, 2011 and 2014 were the recipients of the Jack Richardson Music Award. While on tours the AYS have won 5 international competitions. Most recently, they received 2 gold medals and were nominated as the Best Overall Choir in the International Choral Competition in Preveza, Greece, 2013.
Prima: Amabile Women’s Choir (Prima) was founded in 2007 to further enhance the Amabile experience for women, allowing them to perform challenging repertoire at the highest level and to move audiences with their artistry. Prima excels at performing the latest compositions of Canadian composers such as Christmas, Daley, Emery, Enns, Hatfield, Raminsh, Sirett and Smallman.
The Amabile Youth Singers & Prima joined together as the Amabile Young Women’s Ensemble to record Ripple Effect to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Amabile’s founding.
In celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Amabile Youth Singers hosted a reunion concert on May 31/15 featuring 71 present and 76 past choristers. AYWE premiered a new composition honouring this occasion written by Matthew Emery, an Amabile alumni and Amabile composer -in-residence 2014-2015.
Summer 2016 sees the Amabile Young Women’s Ensemble touring Prague, Vienna, Salzburg and Budapest where they will sing in such beautiful venues as St. Nicholas Church, in Old Town Prague, Dome in Linz, Austria and St Stephan’s Cathedral in Vienna.
Amabile for Boys & Men
The Amabile Boys & Men’s Choirs, founded in 1990, draw singers from across southwestern Ontario and provide musical experiences of the highest level for male singers in the region. The focus is on character development through singing and artistic excellence, as well as mentorship. Trebles whose voices change have immediate access to the tenor-bass youth choir and opportunities to continue their vocal and musical education. This season, the choirs will be involved in a recording of alumnus, Matthew Emery’s choral compositions for the Canadian Music Centre, and will be guest artists for Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with #WePlayOn Musicians of the former Orchestra London, and with the Canadian Chamber Choir.
We welcome Kathy McNaughton, as our new conductor of the Amabile Treble Training Choir (TTC) this year. The focus in the TTC is on learning to work together as the boys gain experience singing and performing, while learning proper vocal technique, posture, breathing, tone production, how to read music, and basic music theory. They also study recorders as part of the program. The TTC performs as part of our regular concert series and this season, will be the featured performers at the benefit banquet for Hope for Rural Children and Orphans (HORCO).
Experienced male singers with unchanged voices, ranging from 10 to 15 years old, are invited to become members of the Amabile Treble Concert Choir (TCC). Mentored by the Amabile Young Men’s Ensemble, and conducted by alumni, Jeff Beynon and Don Sills, the program consists of rehearsals and performances of the traditional boychoir repertoire and Grade 1 Theory & Rudiments. As well as singing on world stages, they have been guest performers with the Toronto International Film Festival, Orchestra London, the Windsor Symphony, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. The choir has performed for such notable persons as Bishop Desmond Tutu and the Prime Minister of Canada, and has toured extensively over the years to Europe, Caribbean, and across Canada.
The Amabile Young Men’s Ensemble (AYME) is made up of young men with changing voices up to the age of 19 and they perform under the direction of Carol, Jeff, Don and Mark. The AYME focuses on healthy vocal development during the changing voice period, and the young men are given an introduction to challenging male voice repertoire. The choir performs with, and is mentored by, Primus on a regular basis. Performing locally, nationally and internationally, they have been featured several times on CBC, Radio L’espace, French public television, and Czech Public Radio and were winners of the National Choral Canada Competition for Youth Choirs – Equal Voice Male in 2004, 2008, and 2015. Senior members of the AYME also sing with the senior members of AYS in the newly formed SATB Chamber Choir. This season, the choir is honoured to be invited to participate in the All-Carolina Male Choral Festival at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Primus: Amabile Men’s Choir (Primus), conducted by Carol Beynon and Mark Payne, is known for its deeply sonorous and rich sound that rewards listeners with a strong identity without sacrificing the sound of one uniform voice. Formed in the fall of 2000, Primus involves students and professionals in all walks of life who enjoy the pursuit of the choral art and the camaraderie that develops so naturally in male ensembles. The members act as active mentors to the high school choristers and boys in the treble choirs of the Amabile organization. The men also provide leadership development workshops on a regular basis for music educators, university music education classes, and students in schools, promoting the healthy benefits of being a male singer. In its short history, the choir has achieved an international reputation that places it in a leading position in the world of male choral singing. Primus was thrilled to be invited to perform for choral conductors at two of the world’s largest conferences, the Sixth World Choral Symposium in Minneapolis (2002) and the national convention of the American Choral Directors Association in Los Angeles (2005). The men have also been honoured to act as choir-in-residence for the 1st World Festival of Singing for Men and Boys in Prague during 2004 and were again invited to co-host the event in the 2008 season. This role provided Primus with the opportunity to showcase a strong Canadian presence on the world stage. Most recently, the choir won the 2013 National Competition for Canadian Amateur Choirs, Equal Voice Male Category. Locally, Primus has performed with the renowned Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Autorickshaw, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestra London, and has been invited to perform at national meetings of Choral Canada (2002, 2006, 2014). The choir was also featured in the CBC Radio 1 documentary, Where Have All the Tenors Gone?