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.


The Central Manitoba Youth Choir was thrilled to welcome Dorothy Dyck to the podium for 2018. Dorothy was 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 super-pianist, Loren Hiebert, returned to play for the choir for the 13th year! The rehearsal camps took place at Circle Square Ranch, with tour from October 11-15. Tour venues included churches, schools, senior homes, opera houses and the Manitoba Legislature in the communities of Altona, Sanford, Elm Creek, St. Francis Xavier, Portage La Prairie, Carman, Austin, Crystal City, Morden, Manitou, Winkler, Roland, Fairholme Colony, and Winnipeg. Read more about their singing adventure at http://centralmca.weebly.com.

CMYC outdoors at the Leg.JPG

CMYC open-air performance at the Manitoba Legislature.

CMYC in concert 2018.JPG

The Senior Choral Workshop was held in Crystal City on Thursday, October 11.
Grade 9/10 Choir: Vic Pankratz, conductor, with Gloria Johnston, pianist.
Grade 11/12 Choir: Kristel Peters, conductor, with Loretta Thorleifson, pianist
The evening concert, which also featured CMYC 2018, took place at the Cornerstone Church in Crystal City. CMCA board member, Kimberly Harms, provided leadership for this event.

The Junior Choral Workshop was held in Austin on Monday, October 15.
Grade 5 choir - Heather Neufeld, conductor, with pianist Mel Koop
Grade 6 Choir - Andrea Wicha, conductor, with pianist Carla Plosz
Grade 7/8 Choir - Millie Hildebrand, conductor, with pianist Kim Lapatha
The concert at 4:00 at the Evangelical Fellowship Church featured these three choirs and CMYC 2018's final performance. Carolyn Farquharson provided leadership for this event.

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.

 CMCA Jazz Workshop, Feb. 2018

CMCA Jazz Workshop, Feb. 2018


CMYC Tour.jpg



 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