Praised for its excellent intonation and wide palette of vocal colour and described as “one of the best male choirs on the continent” by Oregon Artswatch, Chor Leoni is one of the most active amateur ensembles in North America and performs more than 35 concerts a season to over 15,000 patrons. With stylistic grace and an adventurous spirit, Vancouver’s Singing Lions have enriched and transformed people’s lives through singing for over 25 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 2019 the ensemble 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 in 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 its 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, Bali, Italy, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, and the Czech Republic.
Chor Leoni champions new music and has commissioned hundreds of pieces for male choir, ranging from pop and folksong arrangements to modern works. In 2018 the choir appointed Zachary Wadsworth as its first-ever Composer-in-Residence for a three-year term. The ensemble has commissioned works by notable composers such as Jocelyn Morlock, Ēriks Ešenvalds, Bob Chilcott, Imant Raminsh, R. Murray Schafer, Stephen Chatman, Malcolm Forsyth, Bruce Sled, Steven Smith, and Zachary Wadsworth, among others.