There was a good concert on Friday, January 20, 2012 at Kitchener’s St. John’s Anglican Church, by the visiting Canadian Chamber Choir and the Waterloo area’s DaCapo Chamber Choir. Many recent Canadian pieces were performed, including several competition winners. Featured were Erik Ross’s “Icarus in the Sea,” “Patrick Murray’s “The Echo,” Leonard Enns’ “This Amazing Day,” two pieces by Jeff Enns (no relation to Len), Imant Raminsh’s exquisite “Ave Verum,” and a piece I’ve heard DaCapo sing before and which I think is very good: Don Macdonald’s “Tabula Rasa.”
I’ve sung in similarly excellent chamber choirs, including Toronto’s Exultate Chamber Singers and the Elora Festival Singers. At one point, I sang professionally in as many as six or seven choirs in a given week, including section-lead or core positions in church and community choirs. However, without also doing a lot of solo-work and voice-lesson teaching, professional choral singing caps out at only about a quarter of a proper salary. That’s why I’m bemused by the idea of such “professional level” (i.e., unpaid) choirs. The CCC somehow manages (in our present age of collapsing arts organizations) to find enough money to fly its singers all over the country. However, can that sort of thing possibly continue indefinitely?!