Manitoba Sings!


Sunday, November 6, 2016
7:00 p.m.
Centennial Concert Hall, Winnipeg, MB



Performers & Producers


Jocelyne Baribeau

Recently awarded the Francophone Artist of the Year 2016 at the WESTERN CANADIAN MUSIC AWARDS, Franco-Manitoban songwriter Jocelyne Baribeau presents her songs as a true reflection of herself, a veritable cocktail of sugar and salt. In them one discovers a musical universe that is both charming and off-beat. By day, Jocelyne is the award winning children's songwriter Madame Diva and has joyfully toured extensively throughout Canada getting to work with children from all the provinces and territories.  
Jocelyne has also been nominated for the SOCAN SONG OF THE YEAR and Female artist of the year at LE GALA COUNTRY in Québec, and in the French Songwriter of the Year category of the 2015  CANADIAN FOLK MUSIC AWARDS.


Buffalo Gals

The North End Women’s Centre’s “Buffalo Gals” have been drumming and singing together for twelve years. Drumming and singing is a way of discovering one’s voice and a sense of empowerment. Culturally it is a return to traditional ways and reconnection to community. The intercultural aspect of the group allows non-indigenous women to understand at a deep and personal level some of what their sisters’ endure by developing cultural sensitivity and compassion. Tonight’s performance is in memory of one of Buffalo Gal’s founding members, Aseema Ikwe.


Canadian Mennonite University Singers
Westgate Mennonite Collegiate Concert Choir

The CMU Singers is an auditioned ensemble comprised of students from a variety of undergraduate academic programs at Canadian Mennonite University, and is conducted by Dr. Janet Brenneman. The Westgate Mennonite Collegiate Concert Choir is comprised of students in Grade 10 through 12 at Westgate Mennonite Collegiate and is under the direction of Mr. Vic Pankratz. Both choirs are known for challenging and diverse repertoire with music from all eras and musical cultures. CMU Singers and Westgate Concert Choir each keep busy performance schedules in concerts and worship services throughout the city of Winnipeg and in communities across Manitoba. Each choir also plans for choir tours that take them across Canada and into the United States. CMU Singers and Westgate Mennonite Collegiate Concert Choir are pleased to collaborate for this celebration concert of the Manitoba Choral Association.

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Sofia Costantini

Sofia Costantini, producerMaster Teacher, choreographer, producer, educator, author, and motivator, Sofia is known for her high intensity, insanely challenging dance classes. She has choreographed and performed for many television specials, movies, and professional theatre companies. Sofia has had the honour of working with talented Canadian and American actors and dancers including Patrick Swayze in One Last Dance, Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez in Shall We Dance, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Make It Happen. You may have also seen her in the Treehouse children’s television series, The Toy Castle.
Sofia conducts dance seminars, adjudicates, and appears as a guest teacher all across Canada. She consults with dance-industry based organizations on everything from quality to curriculum. Over the years, many of her students have gone on to pursue successful careers as studio owners, professional dancers, performers and more. Currently, Ms Sofia runs the dance program at Tec Voc High School and leads Dance Tec Company.


Flin Flon Community Choir

Started in 1996 soon after the arrival of Mark and Crystal Kolt, the Flin Flon Community Choir has been a driving force in the development of professional quality musical production in Northern Manitoba. Built upon a strong local musical tradition fostered by the dedicated and talented Flin Flon Glee Club which flourished in the postwar period,  the 60 to 100 voice “Choir” alternates between Musical Theatre Productions and Classical Masterworks seasons. The FFCC has had the opportunity to perform with  numerous Canadian symphonies, a variety of renowned soloists, and with the DCINY (Distinguished Concerts International New York) participating in the 2013 concert MESSIAH REFRESHED in New York’s Lincoln Centre. After 15 years of asking the FFCC received the rights to produce the hit musical Les Misérables with Canadian director Ann Hodges in May 2015 followed by another invitation by DCINY to perform Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna in Carnegie Hall in June 2016 with an additional invitation to join the Jonathan Griffith Singers in Barcelona in July 2017.


Allen Harrington

Allen Harrington is an Associate Professor at the University of Manitoba Desautels Faculty of Music where he teaches saxophone, bassoon, and chamber music. A native of Saskatoon, he holds degrees from the University of Saskatchewan (B.Mus.) and Northwestern University (M.Mus.). He maintains a busy schedule outside his university teaching career as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician, and adjudicator. Allen has appeared as a concerto soloist with more than a dozen orchestras in Canada, Europe, and South America. He has given countless recitals across Canada, including recital tours for Debut Atlantic, Prairie Debut, and Home Routes Classical. He has received rave reviews for three of his CDs recently released on the Ravello Records label: Metropolis, The Postcard Sessions, and Vanishing Point. On bassoon, Allen plays as a regular extra with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and second bassoon with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. 


Hymn Sing

Produced at CBC Winnipeg, the television show Hymn Sing is arguably one of the most successful Canadian music programs. It spanned three decades from its inception in 1965, as a 13-week filler, and soon morphed into a 36-week annual series that ended in May of 1995. The format for the weekly half-hour program included group and solo selections, sung by a sixteen-voice choir, under the capable direction of Eric Wild (1965 to 1978) and Winnifred Sim (1978 to 1995).
Wholesome young people singing familiar hymns and gospel music appealed to loyal fans, demographically middle aged or older from diverse Christian denominations, living from coast to coast in Canada and in the northern USA. In 1969, the show was aired on 26 of the country’s 44 CBC affiliated stations, and over one million viewers watched Hymn Sing on a weekly basis.
In a letter to the CBC dated from 1969, a listener from Nashwaaksis, N.B. wrote, “In this day of the hippie, with precious little for the old people to praise, Hymn Sing fills a need…it is really thrilling to listen to those young voices….they are a credit to this country”.


Nikki Komaksiutiksak

Nikki Komaksiutiksak is an Inuit woman from Chesterfield Inlet, Nunavut.  She is a mother of four and currently works for the Department of Manitoba Justice. Though Winnipeg is now her home, Nikki has found the strength to preserve her “Inukness” living in the southern part of Canada. Nikki is an active member with the Inuit community in Winnipeg, and uses her knowledge and understanding of the south to assist other Inuit moving to the big city. Nikki is an inspiration to the young and old everywhere, and truly demonstrates a passion for her cultural identity. 
Nikki is an experienced throat singer, teacher of Inuit history and culture, and a heartfelt musical performer. Nikki has been featured in many events around the world, always sharing her identity and teaching about her Canadian Inuit Culture. The Inuit of Canada are an integral part of Canadian history and culture, but sadly are often excluded, overlooked, and forgotten. Nikki truly believes that it is critical that Inuit culture is remembered, recognized and celebrated throughout all of Canada.


La chorale des Intrépides

In 1960, the well-nown Franco-Manitoban musician Marcien Ferland founded La Chorale des Intrépides, the oldest French-language choir in the province. Its primary aim is to promote the joy of singing in the French language through a broad repertoire, both sacred and secular, and ranging from the Renaissance period to contemporary times.  For a period in the 1980s and more recently, since 2014, Bruce Waldie has conducted the choir.


Manitoba Children’s Choir

The Manitoba Childrens’ Choir is comprised of members of the Winnipeg Girls’ Choir and the Winnipeg Boys’ Choir.
Established in 1944, the Winnipeg Girls’ Choir offers choral music education and performance opportunities for girls of varying singing abilities. It is for girls from grades four to twelve. Under the direction of Tricia Penner, the program is designed to develop singing technique and the ability to read and understand music. The Winnipeg Girls’ Choir performs in a number of languages and has a wide-ranging repertoire representing many musical styles -- from classical to folk, traditional and contemporary.
Formed in 1925, and one of the oldest choirs in Manitoba, the Winnipeg Boys' Choir is an auditioned group dedicated to high-quality music making and vocal training in a convivial atmosphere. Under the direction of Carolyn Boyes (trebles) and Spencer Duncanson (changed voices), young singers learn the deep enjoyment that comes from working hard and achieving excellence as they rehearse and perform music of all types, in many languages, with a wide range of expression. It is an ideal place to nurture young male voices as they sing their way from developing treble through the voice change and beyond, to become strong tenors or basses ready to move on to adult choirs.


Manitoba Youth Choir

In the summer of 1979, the Manitoba Youth choir was established. It was comprised of singers aged 18 to 25, from across the province. This choir existed until the 1990s. However, it provided a huge incentive for the formation of regional youth choirs – Central, EastMan, WestMan and most recently, the Interlake Youth Choir. When warranted, these choirs now form the Manitoba Youth Choir.
Now in its 36th year, the singers of the Western Manitoba Youth Choir come from different towns stretching from Russell in the north to the US-Manitoba border and east to Highway #5. The singers have the opportunity to develop their skills in an intensive choral setting with experienced conductors, this year featuring Sarah Hall (Brandon) and Rob Monson (Winnipeg).
In its 31 years of success, the Central Manitoba Choir has enjoyed numerous collaborations with other choirs and projects, including the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, concerts with Ecco and Prairie Voices, and in 2000, a Gala Millennium Celebration concert with Westman and Eastman Youth Choirs. CMYC 2016 is directed by Geung Kroeker Lee and accompanied by Loren Hiebert.
The East Manitoba Youth Choir was formed in 1989 and over the years has encouraged the growth of choral singing by performing at various venues annually throughout Winnipeg and Southeastern Manitoba. This year the choir is directed by Philip Lapatha and accompanied by Kim Bestvater-Sidorchuk.
The North Manitoba Youth Choir has come together especially for this concert, and draws its choristers mainly from the communities surrounding Flin Flon and The Pas, with the majority coming from the Hapnot High School choir under Kim Jones. In preparation for the MCA’s 40th anniversary gala concert, Cynthia Peyson-Wahl came to Flin Flon to work with the NorMan choristers. As the singers are accustomed to smaller choirs, they are thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of a massed youth choir.
Interlake Youth Choir is in its inaugural year! The auditioned singers selected from across the Interlake region, have recently completed their first concert tour, performing in Arborg and Selkirk. The IYC is directed by Scott Reimer and accompanied by Beth Emmers.

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Sandra McEwing, Stage Manager

Sandra’s most recent stage management credits include:  assistant stage manager for Alice Through the Looking-Glass at RMTC, West Side Story at Rainbow Stage, The Heart of Robin Hood (at RMTC in Winnipeg and the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto), Good People and Jane Eyre at RMTC, and stage manager for Big Mama! The Willie Mae Thornton Story at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.  Sandra also stage managed Little Opera Company’s Hansel and Gretel.


O.Koshetz Choir

As Winnipeg's O.Koshetz Choir commences its 70th season, the 55-member chorus continues to keep Ukrainian choral music a vibrant entity in Canada.
 The group originated from summer music courses conducted by Maestro Oleksander and Tetyana Koshetz at the Ukrainian National Federation Hall in Winnipeg. For five decades, the choir flourished under the leadership of Walter Klymkiw, travelled internationally and gained a reputation as one of Manitoba's most noted community choirs. In 1992, the choir became the first cultural entity outside of Ukraine to be awarded the prestigious Shevchenko medal and was lauded for "meritorious bridging work between Canada and Ukraine and propagation of Ukraine's musical heritage." Since 2008, conductor Miroslava Paches has led the choir.


Aidan Ritchie, Videographer

Aidan is an artist, designer and documentarian. He is a craftsman that works in film, video, design and much more - using almost any medium that he can get his hands on. Film being his most social art and favourite combines all his talents and interests to create, communicate and share stories. Video also is a stronghold art form that exercises his abilities as an attention grabber and advertiser. His key tool in all his forms of creative arts begins with the pencil. Whether it is a finished piece of web art or a fictional narrative, he begins with a pencil and paper.
'There is one rule in Art, get the message across.''

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Muriel Smith, Writer/Narrator

In 2007, Muriel Smith moved to Manitoba and became intrigued by the richness of the province’s vocal cultures. This sparked a research project that culminated in a PhD dissertation investigating the development of vocal cultures in Winnipeg over the 20th century. For aspects of this work, Muriel received the 2015 MUSCAN/SOCAN Postgraduate Award for writings on Canadian music. Currently living in Gimli, she maintains a small voice studio, conducts the West Shore Singers and is involved in a variety of writing projects. She is delighted to be part of the MCA’s 40th Anniversary Gala Concert, as the author of narrative.


Sawatsky Sisters

We five sisters, Millie Hildebrand, Katherine Hogue, Winnie McNabb, Loretta Thorleifson and Dorothy Dyck, along with our two brothers, grew up on the family farm near Oak Lake, Manitoba. Here, amidst work and play, school and church life, we forged a love for singing together. The flame beneath the forge was fanned by our parents. Our father’s hearty baritone renditions of German and English hymns often filled the morning air. Our mother, who loved to reminisce on her rich childhood musical environment, taught each of us to play the guitar. In the absence of a TV, evenings would often turn into family sing-alongs. Mom passed on to us those songs of her youth . . . tales of orphans, cowboys, gamblers, prodigals, and other ne’er-do-wells, the last thoughts of who inevitably circled around to a mother’s love. The seven of us went on to our separate professions; some left the farm, some stayed. The joy of singing together remained. We lost our mom this past January, and the worth of what we had learned at her knee multiplied a thousand fold. For us, to sing is a cherished privilege; it is an expression of the bond that holds us in its ever-glowing flame. – photo by Daniel Crump

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Those Guys

Made up of eight performers who represent a cross section of the Winnipeg music and theatre community, Those Guys have built a reputation for dynamic, feel good performances since 2009. Their repertoire, which ranges from Billy Joel to Bruno Mars, features complex (often original) musical arrangements performed without a single instrument. Those Guys have released three albums, “That Album” (2012), “Live!” (2014), and “This Christmas” (2015). In 2016, Those Guys had the honour of opening for The Nylons during their Farewell Tour.


Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir

The Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir, Western Canada’s longest-established adult choral group, has a well-earned reputation for excellence. A choral trademark for the City of Winnipeg, the Phil’s repertoire covers a broad range of music including oratorios, masses, songs, and choral symphonies with a focus on major choral works with orchestral accompaniment. Priding itself on premiering original music, the Phil has commissioned works by composers from both Manitoba and across Canada. The choir has also captivated audiences in Toronto, Vancouver and New York’s storied Carnegie Hall.
Each season, under the direction of Maestro Yuri Klaz, the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir provides music lovers of all ages a subscription series of three concerts that bring to life some of the world’s finest choral works. As it enters its 94th season, the Phil continues its tradition of performing works that are dramatic, profoundly moving and always entertainingly full of heart.