Vancouver’s choir of singing lions

With stylistic grace and an adventurous spirit, Vancouver’s Singing Lions have enriched and transformed people’s lives through singing for more than 30 years. The choir is fortunate and privileged to sing on the unceded traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

Chor Leoni has been honoured with many awards at the national and international levels including five 1st place awards in the CBC National Radio Competition for Amateur Choirs. In 2020 the ensemble received a JUNO nomination for the album When There Is Peace: An Armistice Oratorio by Zachary Wadsworth, and in 2019 received the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence from the professional choral organization, Chorus America. The award recognizes artistic excellence, contribution to the choral art form, and organizational stability over a long period of time and may only be once in an ensemble’s lifetime.

In 2018 the ensemble performed at the Singapore International Choral Festival and the Bali International Choral Festival, singing in the opening and Grand Prix concerts for both. Between the two festivals, Chor Leoni won five gold medals, two Choir Championships, and a special jury’s prize for outstanding choreography.

Chor Leoni’s 2016 recording Wandering Heart was a featured CD for Minnesota Public Radio and WFMT Chicago, and received a perfect five-star rating from the UK’s prestigious Choir and Organ magazine and was a featured CD for Minnesota Public Radio and WFMT Chicago. The choir’s 2018 Christmas recording Star of Wonder was also a featured CD on Minnesota Public Radio.

Chor Leoni prides itself on musical ambassadorship for Vancouver and Canada and has performed at major festivals and concert venues across Canada and the United States. The choir has also shared its music in Singapore, Indonesia, Italy, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, and the Czech Republic.

Chor Leoni champions new music and has commissioned hundreds of pieces for TTBB choir, ranging from pop and folksong arrangements to modern works. In 2021 the choir appointed Don Macdonald as its Composer-in-Residence for a three-year term. The ensemble has commissioned works by notable composers such as Melissa Dunphy, Shruthi Rajasekar, Jocelyn Morlock, Ēriks Ešenvalds, Bob Chilcott, Imant Raminsh, R. Murray Schafer, Sarah Rimkus, Saunder Choi, and Zachary Wadsworth, among others.

Chor Leoni is a champion of creating access to singing and musical education. The choir’s annual MYVoice program involves over 150 young singers across lower BC for an intensive and transformational ten-week program, which culminates at Chor Leoni’s annual Big Roar Choral Summit. Joining this festival are the pre-professional singers of Chor Leoni’s Emerging Choral Artist Program as well as festival singers who join for this singing weekend. As a professional anchor to this festival, Chor Leoni has also created a singing supergroup, The Leonids. The Leonids is composed of some of North America’s finest ensemble singers and exists to educate, collaborate and inspire the participants of this festival and audiences everywhere.