University SingersThe University Singers will join more than a dozen choirs in performance during the Windsor Choral Festival.

Festival to feature choral performances

The Windsor-Essex choral community is kicking off the new year with workshops, a concert, and guest performances by the Canadian Chamber Choir during the Windsor Choral Festival, returning for the first time since 2020.

On Saturday, Jan. 14, at 7:30 p.m., more than a dozen choirs including the University Singers and the Canadian Chamber Choir will perform in the Windsor Choral Festival Concert at the Capitol Theatre. Choral groups from across Windsor-Essex will sing repertoire selected by their music directors. The choirs will join voices for a massed finale of a newly commissioned work by Canadian composer Sarah Quartel, conducted by guest clinician Joel Tranquilla, director of choirs at Trinity Western University in Langley, B.C., and associate conductor of the Canadian Chamber Choir.

As a special treat, the Canadian Chamber Choir and Sherryl Sewepagaham will perform three selections on the program. Admission to the concert is by donation at the door, 121 University Ave. West.

The 40-member University Singers is one of three choirs directed by Bruce Kotowich, director of choirs and acting director of the School of Creative Arts. University Singers includes students from across the University, although it is dominated by music students. Dr. Kotowich also directs the Windsor Classic Chorale and the Windsor Symphony Orchestra Chorus.

The festival is organized by Kotowich and members of the Windsor Classic Chorale. The annual event brings together attendees from across Windsor-Essex to share their love of singing with one another. The festival provides free clinics for ongoing vocal training and education, encouraging community through collaborative singing. With an explicit mandate to promote Canadian choral music, it features a Canadian work every year as a massed choir piece in a grand finale concert.

You can also hear the Canadian Chamber Choir and Sherryl Sewepagaham at noon Friday, Jan. 13, during a “SoCA Fridays” recital at the SoCA Armouries, in the Performance Hall. Admission is free. Enter the Armouries at the doors off Freedom Way.

More information is available on the SoCA music website

—Susan McKee