New Director Announced

Alanna Kurt returns for a third season, now in her new role as Director!

Alanna is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and passionate music educator. With a firm belief that everyone can learn to sing, she strives to foster a lifelong love of music in all her students.

She began her piano studies at age 7, eventually earning her ARCT in Piano Performance through the Royal Conservatory studying under Judianne Schoen. A Diploma class Provincial Finalist in 2014, Alanna has been invited to perform in masterclasses with Malcolm Bilson of Cornell University, as well as James Anagnoson, Dean of the Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School. In her time at Western, she sang soprano with the St. Cecilia Singers and studied vocal methods with Jennifer Moir.

Alanna is a member of the Ontario Music Educators’ Association with over 10 years of experience as both an educator and performer. She currently directs the Elementary music program at Whitby Montessori & Elementary School (leading both the Lower Elementary choral program and the Upper Elementary band program) and maintains a roster of 20 piano students. She has coached dozens of students toward successful RCM examinations, directed several school musicals, and has conducted a diverse array of vocal and instrumental ensembles in concert and festival environments.

Congratulations Alanna, we know your caring nature and musical talents will make for an amazing new season of singing!

The coolest thing you never knew you needed!

Have you ever considered joining a choir? If not, here are 6 reasons why it’s an absolute blast!

1. Inspiring Harmonies:
Choirs create incredible harmonies that can send shivers down your spine. Singing together in perfect unison, blending your voices with others, and creating beautiful music is an experience like no other. It’s pure magic!

2. Musical Camaraderie:
Choirs are like a big, extended family. You’ll make lifelong friends who share the same passion for music as you do. The sense of unity and camaraderie you feel when you’re all singing together is a powerful, great feeling. 

3. Express Yourself:
Music allows you to express your emotions in a unique way. In a choir, you’ll get to explore different genres, from classical to pop, and experiment with various vocal techniques. It’s a fantastic outlet for your creativity and a chance to discover your own voice. 

4. Confidence Booster:
Singing in front of an audience can be nerve-wracking at first, but being part of a choir helps build your confidence. You’ll learn to trust your voice, conquer stage fright, and embrace the applause that comes with a stellar performance.

5. Lifelong Skills:
Joining a choir teaches you discipline, teamwork, and the importance of commitment. You’ll develop essential skills like active listening, cooperation, and the ability to follow a conductor. These skills will benefit you in all aspects of life. 

6. Memorable Performances:
Imagine the thrill of performing on stage, captivating the audience with your incredible vocal talents. Choir concerts are unforgettable experiences filled with applause, standing ovations, and the sheer joy of sharing your love for music with others. 

So, if you’re looking for an amazing way to have fun, make new friends, and explore your musical talents, joining a choir is the perfect choice!  Gather your friends who love to sing, and let’s make some cool music together!

#ChoirLife #RaiseYourVoice #SingingWithFriends 

Durham Girls’ Choir Receives OTF Funding

Durham Girls’ Choir wraps-up a milestone 50th anniversary season and celebrates the success of a one-year $27,000 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF).  The one-year grant, which was awarded in 2022, enabled the choir to adapt its programming model, increase revenue and meet an increasing demand for services. 

“We are thrilled to see an increasing demand for services and a post-pandemic return to normal activities in our choir. With this grant we were able to welcome new members, help our young singers find their voices, and strengthen our sense of community,” says Choir Manager Wendy Capkun.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation developed the Resilient Communities Fund to help non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. The grant has helped the choir to eliminate its wait-list for services, representing a 20% increase in overall capacity. It’s helped secure a large rehearsal facility, further stabilizing and supporting weekly social interactions. It’s also helped to adapt programming, directly addressing members’ varied educational and skill levels. It’s also helped with staffing for a professional director and collaborative pianist, providing program development, oversight, and musical leadership.

In recognition of its substantial and prolonged impact on the Durham Region music community, Durham Girls’ Choir was presented with the Lifetime Achievement and Hall of Fame award at the Oshawa Music Awards. Building on this recognition and continuing to positively impact the community, the young singers of Durham Girls’ Choir have come together under the leadership of Kristine Dandavino, Alanna Kurt, and Jacquelyne Beriault to present two public concerts and provide national anthem support for the opening ceremonies of the Ontario Parasport Games.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations celebrates 40 years of grant-making in Ontario and making a lasting impact in communities. Last year, OTF invested over $110M into 1,022 community projects and partnerships, which included funding for the Government of Ontario’s Community Building Fund. 

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