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Dear Ray & Tom...

"... I want to thank you ever so much for the first-class service, assistance (and let's not forget the humour) that you provided to me when I was teaching choir… From music 'wild goose chases' to really helpful and needed suggestion and guidance, I thank you so very much."

- Karen Hughes, Victoria B.C.

Choral & Classroom Music Department

Ray Horst

Ray Horst

Choral Music Specialist

Tom Ellis

Tom Ellis

Choral Music Specialist

Welcome to the Choral Department, where we carry a wide selection of music and classroom resources from all major publishers (and most smaller publishers) from North America and Europe.

We are proud to be the Canadian distributor of the Music First Express catalogue from Hal Leonard Publishing, which has many of the latest materials, including musicals, for the elementary classroom.

If you require assistance in planning your next concert or finding the right materials for your classroom, our expert choral staff is here to help, and would love to hear from you. Remember, if it's in print, we can find it for you.

 

Tom Ellis - Choral Specialist
Tom Ellis
Choral Specialist

Healey Willan

My first memory of singing something specifically Canadian, would take me back to the early 1980's when I was a chorister in the men and boys choir at All Saints Anglican Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We sang Healey Willan's beautiful motet “Rise Up my Love” for Easter Sunday.

Easter Sunday service was unique. There was an extra long procession where we would do an additional “lap” around the church. This gave us boys the unsupervised opportunity to fool around. We were dressed up in our cassocks, surplices, and ruffs choking around our necks. We looked like angels, we sang like angels, but we were no angels. The least of the mischief we would get ourselves into were competitions of genuflection, or rather which of us could bow the lowest or most elaborately (this was a competition I excelled at), or perfecting ones look of total innocence at “accidentally” lighting the boy in fronts 1980's hair style “rat tail” on fire.

Willan is considered by many to be the father of Canadian church music. “Rise Up My Love” in particular is a work that unites choral musicians in this country from coast to coast. The line “For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear upon the earth.” works so perfectly for Easter Sunday, although I never did get the whole rain rather than snow for winter thing, that is until I moved to Vancouver. Willan's music has influenced a whole generation of composers from Canada who are now recognized and acclaimed around the globe.

In the church I now sing at here in Vancouver, every Easter Sunday we sing “Rise Up”, and every year I am transported to the beautiful old church of my past.

Healey Willan's “Rise Up My Love, My Fair One” is published by Oxford University Press (and available for purchase online and in-store). Here is a great performance of the work by Vancouver ensemble- musica intima:

 

Ray Horst - Choral Manager
Ray Horst
Choral Manager

Light and Gold

Never in my life have I seen a choral composer achieve rock star status like Eric Whitacre, who picked up a Grammy for best choral recording just a few weeks ago. When you sing Sleep or A Boy and a Girl you quickly realize why his music has become a worldwide sensation. His innovation in the creation of the virtual choir (view the first and second of these performances on YouTube) brought more than two thousand singers together from fifty-eight countries and has around three million views on YouTube.

The book Eric Whitacre - Selections from Light and Gold is a collection of pieces for mixed choir, suitable for advanced high school or community/university choirs. It is an economical way to purchase 9 songs which will undoubtedly become standard choral repertoire. A second collection, aptly entitled Eric Whitacre Collection, is also available. And if a collection is not in your budget, most of his music is available as separate octavos.

If you have not performed anything by Whitacre, it is time to find out first-hand what all the fuss is about.