This weekend the Manitoba Choral Association (MCA) is celebrating 40 years of a truly unique flagship program. “Manitoba Sings” is a program that regularly draws 300 singers of all skill levels from youth to adults from all over Manitoba. The participants take part in a weekend of singing, fun and community building. The weekend choral celebration concludes with a performance on Sunday February 4th at 3:00pm at Portage Avenue Church.

There are three choirs that are going to be performing:

  • Junior Choir (singers in grades 5 - 8)
  • Senior Choir (singers in grades 9 - 12)
  • Adult Choir (ages 18+)

There are no auditions required for the choirs.  The aim of the weekend is to celebrate the strong choral culture we have in Manitoba and to foster that love of choral singing.

Remarkably there are members who will be participating this year who have been with Manitoba Sings since the very beginning. Jenny Steinke-Magnus is the executive Director of the Manitoba Choral Association, as she point out, “People just love coming back year after year! We get so much positive feedback about this program. It brings together nearly 300 people from around the Province, and a lot of people say that they love coming because sometimes they don’t get to participate in a choir year round… we have found that it has made a tremendous impact on singers from ages ten all the way up to adulthood.”

Rehearsal for Manitoba Sings are very intense. They start on Friday evening, and go all day Saturday, and then there is the performance on Sunday. Thankfully, the MCA has recruited some very fine conductors who more than up to the Task to get the choirs ready.

This year the Junior Choir  will be led by, Sonya Williams who has been a Senior Years Choral Conductor in Winnipeg for more than 17 years, and has been a strong advocate of choral singing here in  the Province working very closely with the MCA.

The Senior Choir Wil be led by Melanie DeMore from Oakland, California. She describes herself as a vocal activist, and has performed, at Carnegie, Hall, The Kennedy Centre and has travelled the world sharing her love of choral singing, and its ability to bring people together.

The Adult Choir will be led by Scott Leithead from Edmonton. Leithead is the founder and Artistic Director of Edmonton’s award winning Korora Choir Association, and has travelled to such place as Namibia and South Africa to conduct and teach.

This year’s Manitoba Sings also coincides with Winnipeg 150. This double anniversary has been the catalyst for a marvelous new initiative that will celebrate both Winnipeg’s 150th birthday as well as the strong choral tradition in the Province. The initiative is called Winnipeg 150: City of Song. As Steinke-Magnus says, “The idea is to celebrate Winnipeg’s 150th by engaging Winnipeggers in what we do best…music song, and group singing. Winnipeg has so many choirs that people can take part in. We are really just to bring out performance and public involvement in group singing.”

This Sunday’s Manitoba Sings is the inaugural event for Winnipeg 150: City of Song. It is sure to be a magnificent celebration of music, community and choral singing.

For more details on Manitoba Sings visit the Manitoba Choral Association’s website.