Chor Leoni Men’s Choir and Artistic Director Erick Lichte are pleased to announce the three finalists of the inaugural Canadian Choral Composition Competition (C/4). They are Frances Farrell, Nicholas Kelly, and Bonnie Penfound.
A native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Frances Farrell pursued her music studies in Winnipeg, graduating with both Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education degrees from the University of Manitoba. She subsequently earned a Master’s Degree and Artist’s Diploma in vocal performance from McGill University. Fran is enrolled in her fourth year of the Doctoral program in Choral Conducting at the University of Toronto where she studied with Dr Hilary Apfelstadt.
Nicholas Ryan Kelly is a BC-based composer who draws inspiration from science, nature, and speculative fiction. He collaborates with filmmakers, poets, conductors, and ensembles throughout North America and has received awards and readings from groups such as the VSO, the Victoria Symphony, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, and the West Point (U.S. Army) Band.
Bonnie Penfound taught high school music in Toronto, both choral and instrumental for twenty-nine years. Towards the end of her career she began to pursue composition, writing for her students. After retirement, she began a more intensive study of composition with Dr Roger Bergs (University of Toronto) and continues to study under his direction.
The composers will travel to Vancouver, where they will stay at the luxurious Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre for three nights. They will hear their works sung by Chor Leoni in both rehearsal and public performance, receive a professional recording, and address the audience at the sold out C/4 performance (Friday, February 17).
An independent jury of choral director Morna Edmundson, VSO composer-in-residence Jocelyn Morlock, and businessman and composer James Carter will award financial prizes of $2000, $1000, and $500 as the finale of the C/4 show.
The competition attracted over 30 entries. “We are extraordinarily proud that this inaugural year of the C/4 competition has yielded so many incredible Canadian male choral compositions,” Erick Lichte enthused. “Seeing the talent and craft of so many composers from across Canada has been inspiring and we are especially happy to present the works of our three finalists this February. We hope this annual competition continues to discover and champion unique Canadian voices in years to come.”