Workshops & Retreats

Group view of attendees at the Graff workshop Tom Graff's workshop at Mt. Seymour United
Photo credit:Linda Naiman

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The choir enjoys a non-concert social calendar, getting together for both learning and relaxing. Occasionally the choir will plan a workshop with an influential leader and such events are open to members of other choirs for a small fee - reports and commentary on recent events appear below


No workshops have been scheduled for the current season

Recent Events

Mayne Island

In June 2011 a representative selection of choir members took a ferry to Mayne Island for a barbecue and collaborative singalong with the Mayne Island Community Choir. The weather was cooly reflective of B.C.'s "Bummer Summer" but nonetheless spirits were warmed all around by generally good fellowship. The local choir was highly appreciative of the visit.

Spanish & Catalan Pronunciation

Saturday, April 22nd at St Martins Anglican Church, North Vancouver 12:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m.

Workshop Leader David Millard, assisted by Yetvart Hosepyan

An almost full turn-out of choir members benefited greatly from the careful coaching provided by David and Yetvart. Not only were those present introduced to medieval Catalan and Spanish pronunciation and linguistic quirks, but there was also an opportunity to brush up on the appropriately voiced vowels in Latin. Several pieces for the upcoming "Siglo d'Oro" were drilled rythmically, with special emphasis on vowel length and stress.

The choir was also pleased to welcome three non-member guests who were eager to participate in the proceedings to one extent or another. The presence of the Vivaldi accompanist, Barry Yamanouchi, and the Choir Room piano allowed the choir to get into some note-bashing on Guerrero and some of the pieces from "Cancionero de Uppsala" and from the collection "Cancionero de la Palacio" that will be performed in the concert.

Viva Vivaldi! A short day of Choir building and Musical insight  "For Antonio, music & pleasure were never separate"

Saturday May 13th at Mount Seymour United Church, North Vancouver 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM §

Responding to repeated entreaties from the membership, Tom Graff and the workshop organizing team, lead by Yetvart Hosepyan, with the accompaniment of Barry Yamanouchi on keyboard, have compiled and packaged a pleasant day of special musical hijinks each of which boasts a high signal to noise ratio.

Tom Graff, our intrepid presenter began his life in music with a $25 metal clarinet and continued with a musically broadening range of experiences. For instance, his pursuit of choirs and choral activity lead him to Italy, UK, Japan, and Germany, and other hotbeds of vocal expression. Along the way he was involved in performances with such immortals as Igor Stravinsky, Luigi Nono, Vera Lynn, and k.d.lang.

There will be prizes for one and all, from glass art to CDs and even Venetian Dental Floss, imported especially for this occasion.

This workshop will be most beneficial when singers experience viscerally and musically the points of interest. Note taking will be discouraged. Handouts will be provided for specific topics.

Throughout the workshop there will be easy-to-sing pieces that are reflective each of the topics. A wide variety of music will be used.

  • Health & Singing
    • Warm-ups & stretching
    • The pencil, toothbrush, and string are your best friends.
    • A recipe: coffee, mouthwash, and cheese
    • Sustainability: Voice before, during & after 50
    • Sight singing tips

  • Voice Feng Shui: Exercising through Music
    • Singing and endorphins
    • Singing and emotional capacity: singing and expression
    • Conductors: Care & Feeding Thereof

  • Lunch-a-Long: Good foods for enjoyable singing
  • Choral Singing
    • The pencil, the rehearsal, and the sing-a-long
    • Choral moves: sitting, standing, stretching and singing
    • Meditation & Mozart: Singing breath is healthy breath

  • Sing-A-Long: The Two Glorias

A workshop fee of $25.00 will be payable by all attendees. Fees are payable on the day, and cover all materials AND lunch!

§ The address of Mount Seymour United Church is 1200 Parkgate Avenue. For a map showing the route from the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Bridge click here