Musica Viva Singers was founded in 1997 under the direction of Brian Cameron in the basement of Glebe-St. James United Church. There were far too many altos, far too few tenors and no pianist. Within a year, we had a name and were ready to entertain an enthusiastic audience.
Toward the end of the fifth year, Brian’s untimely and tragic death in 2002 almost marked the end of our story. Two of Brian’s close musical colleagues, Matthew Larkin and Gordon Johnston graciously stepped in and directed the remaining rehearsals. Gordon directed the April concert.
But voices that sing together stay together.
James Calkin succeeded Cameron as Musical Director in 2002. Under his direction, Musica Viva Singers celebrated their 10th anniversary season in May 2007, by commissioning and performing the world premiere of Thomas Annand’s Lyrics of Earth, a setting of four poems by Canadian poet, Archibald Lampman.
Musica Viva Singers also benefited from the talents of Stephen Candow who was our interim director for our spring 2008 session.
From 2008 – 2013, Marg Stubington was Musical Director. Her energy and enthusiasm were infectious and her skill led the choir through a growing and challenging repertoire.
Three seasons ago, Musica Viva welcomed its current Musical Director, Scott Richardson. With a range of musical skills and experience, Scott and longtime piano accompanist Tom Sear consistently provide strong, capable directions for the choir. In addition to our always lush Christmas concerts, Scott has programmed concerts with themes. In May 2014, it was “Something ‘Bout This Country” featuring Ontario Folksongs Through the Years with special guest Ian Tamblyn. The following year, in May 2015, our concert was called Find the Cost of Freedom with guest Stephen Richer, Carleton University. The Freedom concert included operatic arias, civil rights and protest songs, and song that provided the concert title composed by Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills and Nash.
Our 2015 Christmas song was called A Green Christmas with a program of traditional carols about the blossoming and flourishing of trees and flowers, as well as music from several tropical countries that manage to celebrate Christmas without benefit of snow!
Please plan to attend our concert this on May 9, 2016! We are sure you will enjoy the music as much as the choristers are as we rehearse. The program will incorporate a range of music by young composers including teenagers, Mozart and Schubert, and contemporary Canadian composers like Matthew Emery and Kathleen Allan who are already eminent internationally.
Kathleen Stephenson, Tenor