Powell River Academy of Music
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English Montreal School Board Chorale - Canada

The EMSB Chorale was founded in 1980 by the late Georgie Crawford as the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal Chorale, continuing its success story under the EMSB banner in 1998 with the restructuring of the province’s school boards. It is open by audition to students in the school board and throughout the island of Montreal from Grades 4 to Secondary V who show an aptitude and a serious interest in developping their music skills and singing voice. The Senior Chorale is made up of high school students. Over the years, the choir has been fortunate to work with such guest conductors as Wayne Riddell, Patrick Wedd, Nicole Paiement, Boris Brott, Miklos Takacs, Yuli Turovsky, Barbara Clark, Linda Beaupré, Susan Knight, Zimfira Poloz, Scott Leithead, Marika Kuzma, Adam Con, Francisco Nuñez, Rollo Dilworth and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Winner of numerous awards at the Montreal ARCIM Choral Festival, the choir has twice been a national finalist in the CBC Competition for Amateur Choirs.

The EMSB Chorale has sung in most of Montreal’s major concert venues, in addition to participating in many special events in and around Montreal. A frequent guest artist with other music ensembles, the choir has also toured throughout Canada, in the United States and in Europe. In 2001, the choir had the special privilege of representing Quebec at the World of Children’s Choirs International Festival and Symposium, held in Vancouver. The choir participated three times in the international choral festival, Festival 500: Sharing the Voices in St. John’s, NF (2003, 2007, 2013), as well as in the Coastal Sound International Choral Festival (Vancouver, 2009) and the Sing a Mile High Choral Festival (Denver, 2011). Other performance highlights over the years have included annual CBC/McGill concert broadcasts on CBC Radio One and Two from 2002 to 2014, concerts in the Maison Alcan series and the choir’s Maison symphonique debut in 2014, performing the Bach St. Matthew Passion with the Orchestre Métropolitain and Chorus under the direction of Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin. At the invitation of the Orchestre Métropolitain, the Senior Chorale made a return appearance at the Maison symphonique last March, singing excerpts from Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater. The EMSB Chorale has also premiered works by several Canadian composers including Kathleen Allan, David Désilets, Donald Patriquin, Sarah Quartel, Mark Sirett et Rémi St-Jacques.

This is Patricia Abbott's 33rd season with the EMSB Chorale. A graduate of McGill University, where she earned a master’s degree in vocal pedagogy under the direction of  the late Winston Purdy, she previously studied voice with Gail Desmarais, and honed her conducting skills with Louis Lavigueur, Patrick Wedd, Wayne Riddell, Nicole Paiement and Jean Ashworth Bartle. She has conducted the Chorale du Gesù women’s choir since 1982 and was the choral music artist-in-residence at FACE School from 1996 to 2007. She also currently conducts the Cantivo Chamber Choir, teaches every summer at the CAMMAC Music Centre and is a course instructor at the Université de Sherbrooke. She also taught choral conducting at McGill University for 16 years in the Music Education Area. She served as Executive Director of the Association of Canadian Choral Communities (now Choral Canada) for 16 years and as Artistic Director of the CAMMAC Music Centre in the Laurentians for seven years. A frequent jury member for the Juno Awards and CBC Competition for Amateur Choirs, Pat has shared her passion for choral music at conferences, workshops and festivals throughout Canada, as well as in the United States, Europe and Argentina, most recently at the Choralies internationales de Vaison-la-Romaine (France) in August 2019. With Dr. Victoria Meredith, she is the co-author of the chapter on choral music in Canada in the Cambridge Companion to Choral Music (Cambridge University Press) and has received several awards for her work including the Quebec choral federation’s Ordre du mérite choral, a National Choral Award for Distinguished Service from Choral Canada and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.




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