A message from our Youth Choir conductor, Dr. Tracy Wong:
What will GPYC look like in 2020-21?
Following health and safety guidelines, GPYC will be online in Fall, with the possibility of in-person activities (again, pending health and safety guidelines). Please know that this is a year where we will need to be extraordinarily flexible on all fronts as we react to changes in the virus and the situations around us. We will focus on unique opportunities in developing well-rounded and independent musicians through a redesigned choral process. In the absence of live musical engagement and performances, we will be focusing on the values of the rehearsal process through a deeper study of choral literature and performance practice, the development of vocal and musical skills, and participation in creative collaborations through technology. There will be opportunities to engage with peers, guest musicians, and other choirs. We will also be a part of collaborative projects with GPCC.
GPYC is also a partner choir of the Bridge Choral Collective. The Bridge Choral Collective represents a bold cross-Canada initiative to generate thrilling new music, rooted in justice, in a time of global contemplation. It cements the bonds among some of Canada’s most innovative youth and young adult choirs, and brings them together to explore and create in partnership with guest artists from around the world. https://www.bridgechoralcollective.ca
GPYC continues to have rehearsals on Monday evenings, 7-9pm, on Zoom. Some of our Bridge activities will take place during the same evenings, while others will take place on Saturday afternoons. The timing for Bridge workshops are to accommodate the time zones of our international guests as well as our partner choirs in various time zones.
In addition to our Bridge workshops, we will be keeping ourselves energized throughout the entire season through collaborative projects with GPCC, focus on building our skills as independent musicians, have immersive experiences in music technology and studio recording (with a workshop by Cherie Chai, Singapore), PLUS a few choral music premieres. With Bridge, we look outward to gain knowledge, awareness, and understanding of the global community. With GPYC’s own activities, we look inward to empower ourselves as all-rounded musicians – body, mind, and heart. This is the balance I hope for all singers in GPYC in the coming season.
I am grateful for Mrs DJ, Rachel, Madi, Amy, Luisa, Nathalie, Mark, GPYC families, and the GPC Board – I can’t imagine collaborating and planning our way through the pandemic without their unending support.
In the words of Kellie Walsh, noted Canadian choral leader: If a choir is only about singing and performing – there will be no choir for a while. If choir is about teaching and learning, growing, connecting, community, cultural exploration and transmission, and innovating – we will find a way to have choir.
Best wishes to you,
Tracy Wong, DMA
Conductor, Grand Philharmonic Youth Choir
What Our Singers and Families Say
“I just wanted to let you know how much we loved the concert yesterday. You have done remarkable things with this group. Our daughter comes home from rehearsal every week very excited about the repertoire and eager to tell us about the things you’ve discussed.”
– Alex Latta, parent of Youth Choir singer
“This choir has an amazing sense of community that I haven’t been able to find anywhere else.”
– Hanna Nopper, Youth Choir singer
More About the Grand Philharmonic Youth Choir
As the youth chapter of the Grand Philharmonic Choirs, GPYC is a wonderful way for 14- to 23-year-old singers to make beautiful music in a warm and friendly atmosphere. The choir started in 1998 and takes pride in serving the community through song at various city events (eg. Christkindl Market) and being a regular guest of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony.
Our conductor, Dr. Tracy Wong (DMA, University of Toronto), is an award-winning musician, educator, and composer. Tracy is currently Assistant Professor and Choral Director at McMaster University. She has a wealth of choral conducting experience in Canada and Asia. Our Assistant Conductor is Rachel Kalap (Hon. BMus, Wilfrid Laurier University), a multi-talented vocalist and musician, and long-time member of the Grand Philharmonic Choir family.
GPYC’s highlights include winning top prize in 2012 for mixed choir at the Summa cum Laude international festival in Salzburg, Austria, and first prize in Ontario at the Kiwanis Festival in 2014. Memorable collaborative performances include Orff’s Carmina Burana (2019), Bach’s St Matthew Passion (2019), Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (2017), Britten’s War Requiem (2013). GPYC has toured and performed in Italy, Croatia and Slovenia and was invited to perform at the 2020 International Choral Kathaumix, Powell River, BC.
GPYC rehearses Monday evenings. Rehearsals give us the opportunity to integrate music literacy and vocal technique through diverse and engaging choral repertoire — in a fun, supportive community.