Central Region

The CMCA board met in summer for an intensive session of planning and organizing the main events slated for the Central Region this fall, namely, the Senior and Junior School Choral Workshops, the Central Manitoba Youth Choir, CMYC’s tour itinerary, and the third annual Jazz Workshop. Central Manitoba Choral Association, a group of dedicated volunteers, has successfully presented these choral programs for the past thirty-four years to promote and enhance choral music in the Central Region.


Each fall season, this choir provides a high quality choral experience for 50 senior high singers. CMCA’s board of directors is excited to welcome Dorothy Dyck to the podium for CMYC 2018. Dorothy is a recent winner of the Wpg. Music Festival’s Michael J. Proudfoot Award, presented annually to a conductor exemplifying passion for choral excellence. CMYC’s beloved super-pianist, Loren Hiebert, is returning for the 13th consecutive year! The rehearsal camps have taken place, and we can now catch this sensational group in their concert tour October 11-15, 2018 as detailed in the poster below. More info can be found at http://centralmca.weebly.com.

 Central Manitoba Youth Choir 2018

Central Manitoba Youth Choir 2018

The Senior Choral Workshop will be held in Crystal City on October 11, 2018. Conducting will be Vic Pankratz (Grade 9/10 Choir), and last year’s CMYC conductor, Kristel Peters (Grade 11/12 Choir). The evening concert will take place at 7:30 pm at the Cornerstone Ministries Church, 131 New Hope Drive, Crystal City, and will feature these choirs, along with CMYC. Admission is $5.

The Junior Choral Workshop will be held in Austin on October 15, 2018. Clinicians are:
Grade 5 choir - Heather Neufeld, with pianist Mel Koop
Grade 6 Choir - Debra Yacheson, with pianist Carla Plosz
Grade 7/8 Choir - Millie Hildebrand, with pianist Kim Lapatha
These three choirs will perform at 4:00 at the Austin Evangelical Fellowship Church, 8 South Avenue. This will also be CMYC’s final performance of their tour. Admission is $5.

Central Region Vocal Jazz Workshop

Last year’s Vocal Jazz Workshop was a rousing success, and the CMCA committee has planned the next one for Thursday, February 14, 2019 at the Manitou Opera House, with clinicians Stacy Nattress and Alisa Wiebe directing the event.
Karen Giesbrecht, president of CMCA, attended this fabulous event last year, and submitted the following:
"The Central Region Vocal Jazz Workshop took place on Thursday, February 15, 2018 at the Fossil Discovery Centre in Morden. It again proved to be a fantastic and highly successful day with the two outstanding clinicians, Sonya Williams and Jana Zens. The day featured ten jazz choirs from Winkler, Morden, Manitou and Altona, with over 200 participants (including several from Miami). Running our second year with our new "shorter day" format, feedback from participants was very positive. A huge thank you goes out to local organizer and teacher, Rachel Hiebert, and her committee in Morden. By all accounts, the Vocal Jazz Workshop was a rousing success, and the CMCA committee already has plans in place for February 2019.

 CMCA Jazz Workshop, Feb. 2018

CMCA Jazz Workshop, Feb. 2018



 CMYC 2017 poster


 Central Manitoba Youth Choir (CMYC) 2016 Concert Dates


Central Manitoba Youth Choir 2013

Submitted by Loretta Thorleifson

In October of 2013, fifty excited and talented young singers from across the Central Region combined forces with conductor Stuart Sladden and accompanist Loren Hiebert to embark on the 29th tour of the Central Manitoba Youth Choir. A project of the Central Manitoba Choral Association, CMYC once again provided an opportunity to build a strong community among the young singers of the region, as they shared their music in fourteen communities across the region.

The singers prepared for the tour with two intensive weekend rehearsals at Circle Square Ranch, where they sang, ate, sang, rode horses, sang, slept, sang, and had talent nights where they – you guessed it – sang. Sladden connected immediately with the group as they built a powerful and energetic program, while Hiebert, a much loved fixture in the group by now, worked his magic at the piano. Many parent chaperones and committee members chipped in to make these weekends run smoothly.

The tour ran from October 17 – 21, and began in Portage la Prairie (Senior School Choral Workshop), continuing to Gladstone, and Elm River Hutterite Colony, where the group was treated to a tour of the community. They continued on for a much celebrated return to the Manitou Opera House, Pilot Mound, and Pembina Valley Provincial Park, where a highlight was singing around the outdoor Stone Circle at the Arocha site. Then it was on to Carman, Morden, Elm Creek, Winkler and Altona. The final day featured performances in Morris, where the choir had not performed for many years, Elie, and finally St. Francois Xavier (Junior School Workshop), where they departed amidst a flurry of tears, smiles, hugs, and promises to meet again.

Tour manager Al Thorleifson and Chaperone Cynthia Mayo kept the tour machine running smoothly, fueled by the wonderful music and delicious meals served by communities along the way. Many people opened up their homes to billet the singers for night, providing the singers and staff with bag lunches, and following the choir around to take in multiple performances.

The Central Manitoba Choral Association would like to thank everyone who helped to make this tour a success, including parents, teachers, committee members, billeters, audience members, and our many generous donors. The Central Manitoba Choral Association is proud of the Central Manitoba Youth Choir – they are representative of our region’s choral future, and judging by this year, it is in good hands!


Postcards created by Morris School students after seeing the choir.

CMCA Executive

President: Karen Giesbrecht
Past President: Theresa Klassen
Recording Secretary: Crystal Jochum
Contract Secretary: Melissa Cole
Corresponding Secretaries:
Al and Loretta Thorleifson
Treasurer: Al Thorleifson
MCA Representative: Mary Siemens
Members at Large: Christina Banman, Heather Clyde, Cheryl Dousselaere, Rick Heppner-Mueller, April Hiebert, James Reynolds, Melanie Urichuk