A local children’s choir is starting off the new year with a new name, new conductor and new vision.
Voces Gioventu (secular choir) and Vox Iuventutis (sacred choir) are the new names of the two youth singing groups that make up what used to be the Chilliwack Children’s and Youth Choir.
Young singers, experienced or aspiring, are needed for both choirs and they are open to children aged six to 18.
“Many parents told us they wanted a secular choir in Chilliwack for their children, so we are rebranding,” said Paula DeWit, who oversees the choirs. “We also feel called to build a legacy for our sacred heritage, so now we have options for our singers.”
Cassie Luftspring will conduct Voces Gioventu. DeWit and Bevin van Liempt will be conducting Vox Iuventutis.
“We are thrilled to add Cassie Luftspring to our team. She is a versatile choral conductor, composer, soprano and pianist,” DeWit said.
|Cassie Luftspring will be conducting Voces Gioventu, a new secular children’s choir in Chilliwack. It, along with sacred choir Vox Iuventutis, were formerly called the Chilliwack Children and Youth Choirs. (Submitted)|
Luftspring is the artistic director of the British Columbia Girls Choir and director of choral studies at the Vancouver Academy of Music. She has held conducting and teaching positions with several other organizations, including the Vancouver Youth Choir, Vancouver Children’s Choir, Vancouver Opera, Pacifica Singers, Cantabile Youth Singers of Silicon Valley, Toronto Children’s Chorus, Mississauga Festival Youth Singers, Cantabile Choirs of Kingston, and University of Toronto Women’s Chamber Choir and Men’s Chorus.
As a professional choral singer, Luftspring is a soprano section leader for the Vancouver Bach Choir, and has performed with various local groups including musica intima, the Vancouver Chamber Choir, and Players and Singers, with Bay Area chamber choir Convivium, and with the University of Toronto Schola Cantorum.
A seven-time winner of the Amadeus Choir’s Songwriting Competition, Luftspring’s compositions and arrangements have been commissioned and performed by ensembles throughout North America. A recipient of numerous academic awards, she received a master of music degree in choral conducting from the University of Toronto, and a degree in piano and composition from Queen’s University.
“I am thrilled to be conducting Voces Gioventu starting this year,” Luftspring said. “We aim to grow the ensemble into a multi-level choral organization that provides a high quality music education and exciting performance and collaboration opportunities to children and youth from across the Fraser Valley.”
Van Liempt is also the accompanist and assistant conductor of Voces Gioventu.
Young singers who sign up with sacred choir Vox Iuventutis will study and sing music from the Roman Catholic Church, singing timeless Gregorian chants along with beautiful sacred, polyphonic music. They will be exposed to and take part in the vastness of sacred music which was born from the Liturgy of the church, van Liempt said.
“I feel called to share my knowledge and expertise with the next generation of singers,” he said. “And to that end, I am excited to help develop these singers to achieve a high standard in their music and education.”
Rehearsals for Voces Gioventu (secular choir) are Mondays from 4:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre. Vox Iuventutis (sacred choir) rehearsals are Mondays from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. also at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre.
In addition to the Vox Iuventutis rehearsals in Chilliwack, there are two other rehearsal times/locations offered – one in Abbotsford on Tuesdays from 5 p.m. to 6:20 p.m. and one in Vancouver at Holy Rosary Cathedral on Saturdays.
Rehearsals begin on Monday, Jan. 9.
For more info and to register, go to vocesgioventu.ca or voxiuventutis.ca. Additionally, people can call 604-795-0521.