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.
Al and Loretta Thorleifson
Members at Large:
Cheryl Dousselaere, James Reynolds, Melanie Urichuk,
April Hiebert, Heather Clyde