Kingston Chamber Choir expands repertoire and accessibility as The Isabel Voices

*Paid Business Feature*

Image via The Isabel Voices.

For the past few years, the Kingston Chamber Choir has been working behind the scenes toward a musical evolution. With a focus on greater community involvement and musical flexibility, the local vocal organization has been reimagined as The Isabel Voices.

Under their new name, The Isabel Voices will perform an expanded repertoire with two ensemble groups presenting performances that reflect our contemporary world. They are looking forward to new collaborations, fresh and compelling artistic choices, and a renewed commitment to community engagement, according to Dianna Bristol, President of The Isabel Voices.

Having moved all rehearsals and performances to the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts in 2022, The Isabel Voices are excited to continue their relationship with the Isabel, and are proud to call this Kingston landmark their home.

“We are delighted with the reimagining of the Kingston Chamber Chair as ‘The Isabel Voices.’ This exciting name shift represents the rich potential of these wonderful vocal ensembles and aligns beautifully with the Isabel’s strategic priorities of community inclusion and artistic diversity. We are proud to welcome ‘The Isabel Voices’ to the Isabel,” said Gordon E. Smith, Interim Director of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.

An important change for Bristol is the opportunity to welcome more people into the organization. “The Isabel Voices is committed to providing a strong bursary program, ensuring that any successfully auditioned individual can participate, regardless of their financial situation,” she noted, adding that a dedicated mentorship program will reserve funded spots for singers between 16 and 24 to help foster a lifelong love of ensemble singing.

With an expanded ensemble structure, The Isabel Voices invites more singers to join them. They hope to include about 74 voices across two ensemble groups — a smaller ensemble of 24 singers with more advanced musical training (this group would only rehearse a few times prior to a concert) and a larger group of approximately 50 voices from a variety of voice backgrounds. This larger ensemble will rehearse Monday evenings at the Isabel. These groups will perform both together and independently, showcasing a diverse and exciting musical repertoire. Details on auditions can be found on The Isabel Voices website.

For those familiar with the Kingston Chamber Choir, Bristol is happy to confirm that certain important aspects remain the same. The Isabel Voices’ Artistic Director remains the very talented Darrell Christie, and Clare Marion will still delight audiences with her accompaniment, and, of course, the familiar faces will still be on stage.

The biggest changes will be the number of voices on stage, many new collaborations, and a broader musical range that they hope will connect and inspire communities through the power of vocal music. Their inaugural season will feature captivating repertoire, including notable compositions such as, “Flight 752: Elegies” by John Burge, “Considering Matthew Shepard” by Craig Hella Johnson, and “the breath of life” by Dan Forest.” Completing the line-up are an ever-popular concert of seasonal music, and “A Night on Broadway.”

Each season, the organization will present five concerts, featuring collaborations with composers, other vocal and instrumental artists, ensembles, community organizations, and guest speakers. The performances are composed of solo and ensemble voices, again, focusing on collaboration with composers, performing and visual artists, all while establishing meaningful relationships with community partners.

Celebrating diverse musical expression, The Isabel Voices is committed to shining a light on underrepresented stories, championing the creation of new work, and presenting dynamic performances that will resonate with the Kingston community.

“After many years of planning, I am thrilled that we are embarking on our next chapter as The Isabel Voices at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. I believe that bringing our voices together as a community, in song, collaboration, and celebration, is not only a profoundly meaningful act, but also holds immense transformative power,” said Darrell Christie, Artistic Director for The Isabel Voices. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with long-time friends, as well as to welcome new voices into our organization.”

As a not-for-profit organization, The Isabel Voices will continue to pursue funding from esteemed organizations, including the Ontario Arts Council, the Kingston Arts Council, the Ballytobin Foundation, and the Kingston Community Foundation. They welcome donors and sponsors to join their new community and support their inspiring journey.

Learn more about how to audition and support The Isabel Voices on their website:

This article is sponsored by The Isabel Voices. Interested in a Business Feature on Kingstonist? Contact [email protected]

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