Elektra Women's Choir
Elektra Women's Choir. Amateur 40- to 45-voice choir founded in Vancouver in 1987 by co-directors Morna Edmundson (b Russell) and Diane Loomer. Accompanists have been Eric Hominick, followed by Stephen Smith.
The Elektra Women's Choir has established an outstanding reputation not only for the innovative programming of its annual concert series in Vancouver, but also for its success in national and international competition. The choir won first place in the equal voice choir category in the CBC 's National Radio Competition for Amateur Choirs in 1988, 1990, 1992, and 2004; it was a finalist in the international "Let the Peoples Sing" competition in 1989 and placed first in the adult choir category at the International Choral Kathaumixw in 1990; it won first place in the contemporary music category in the CBC competition in 1992, and the same year was awarded the prize for best performance of a Canadian work. In addition, Elektra has appeared with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, and at several international choral festivals, including the Fourth World Symposium on Choral Music in Sydney, Australia (1996); the AmericaFest women's festival in 2001; the national convention of the American Choral Directors Association, where it performed at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in 2003; and at the Festival 500 international choral festival, Newfoundland (2007). The choir toured Australia and New Zealand in 1996, Belgium in 2006, and Newfoundland in 2007.
Repertoire and Recordings
The Elektra Women's Choir has a wide-ranging repertoire, but its primary focus is on 20th-century material, Canadian works, and in particular, works written for women. A number of composers have written or arranged pieces for the ensemble, including Ramona Luengen, Salve Regina (1987), Stabat Mater (premiered 17 Nov 1995 with Judith Forst and the CBC Vancouver Orchestra under Mario Bernardi), Celebremus (1997); Diane Loomer, arranger, Away from the Roll of the Sea (1989; song by Allister MacGillivray); Keith Hamel, Salem, 1692 (premiered 6 Nov 1993); David MacIntyre, Communion (1995); Javier Busto, Cantus Marianus (2003); Jeffrey Ryan, Epitaph (2004) and Elegy for Miss Covington (2007). The choir has also given premieres of works by Violet Archer (The Mater Admirabilis Chapel, Canadian premiere 1991), Malcolm Forsyth (Northern Journey, 16 May 1999), and Leslie Uyeda (Four Mystical Songs, 1997). Elektra has produced eight recordings, and in 1994 was the first women's choir to be nominated for a Juno Award.
In keeping with its mandate, the Elektra Women's Choir has hosted a number of programs related to women's choral music. In 1997 the choir established the festival "Tapestry: A Celebration of Women's Choirs," and in 2009 offered singing mentorships for high school-aged girls. Other programs have included conductor mentorships, as well as choral and composition workshops.
Elektra Women's Choir. Edmundson and Loomer cond. 1992. 9202 C Skylark
Classic Elektra. Edmundson and Loomer cond. 1994. 9402 CD Skylark
A Ceremony of Carols. Edmundson and Loomer cond. 1997. 9703 CD Skylark
From the Heart. Edmundson and Loomer cond. 1997. 9602 CD Skylark
Josef Rheinberger: Missa et Hymni. Edmundson and Loomer cond. 1999. CV 83.145 Carus-Verlag
Legacy. Edmundson and Loomer cond. 2000. CMCCD-6800 Centrediscs
Child of Grace. Edmundson cond. 2003. SKY0301 Skylark
Sacred Places. Edmundson and Loomer cond. 2006. SKY0602 Skylark