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ChoralFest: Avanti Chamber Singers
DateNovember 19 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
VenueSt. Mark’s Church
Tickets Starting At$25.00 + HST
Avanti Chamber Singers
November 19th, 2019, 7pm
St. Mark’s Church, NOTL
Tickets $25 general admission + applicable taxes & fees
Niagara’s Avanti Chamber Singers under the direction of Dr. Rachel Rensink-Hoff, Assistant Professor of Music at Brock University, consistently deliver intimate, high quality choral performances. Under the umbrella of Brock University’s Viva Voce Choral Series, this community-based chamber choir performs mainstream choral music, both accompanied and a cappella. They feature the works of Canadian and Niagara-based composers in a wide array of old and new musical styles, from short compositions to extended choral works.
We strive for excellence in performance and are committed to generating a supportive and enthusiastic audience base through relevant, thematic programming of high quality choral repertoire.
Founded in September 2006 by Dr. Harris Loewen, the Avanti Chamber Singers is a community based chamber choir currently under the direction of Artistic Director, Dr. Rachel Rensink-Hoff, Assistant Professor of Music at Brock University. Avanti’s united focus is to present intimate choral performances of exemplary quality in genres ranging from Renaissance to the present, giving emphasis to Canadian works and living composers. It is the intent of the Avanti Chamber Singers to provide opportunities for local amateur singers while educating our audience with inspired, passionate performances. The choir has performed in several Niagara communities and collaborated with a variety of guest artists including members of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra, Chorus Niagara, Harmonia Chamber Singers, Youngstown Presbyterian Choir and Brock University choirs. In November 2015, Avanti also joined Kenny Rogers for the first four shows of his Farewell Christmas Tour.
Avanti serves as Ensemble-in-Residence for Brock University, regularly presenting its concerts as part of the university’s Viva Voce Choral series.
Dr. Rachel Rensink-Hoff – Director
Dr. Rachel Rensink-Hoff is Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music Education at Brock University and Artistic Director of the Avanti Chamber Singers. Former conductor of the McMaster University Choir and founder of the McMaster Women’s Choir, Dr. Rensink-Hoff completed her Doctorate and Master of Music degree at Western University, pursuing additional studies at the Eastman School of Music Conducting Institute, the Voice Care Network of St. John’s University, Minnesota, and the University of Toronto. She has engaged in masterclasses under conductors Helmuth Rilling, Joseph Flummerfelt, Anton Armstrong, Dale Warland and the late Sir David Willcocks. Vice-President of Programming for Choral Canada and Past-President of Choirs Ontario, Rachel Rensink-Hoff is the 2014 winner of the Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting awarded by the Ontario Arts Council. In 2015, her McMaster Women’s Choir was awarded first prize in the National Choral Competition for Amateur Choirs of the CBC and Choral Canada and was nominated for the Excellence in Teaching Award at McMaster University. Rachel works frequently as adjudicator, conference presenter and workshop clinician locally and across Canada. She has given international presentations at the National Conference of the American Choral Directors’ Association in Minneapolis and the World Symposium on Choral Music in Barcelona. As guest conductor, she led the 2017 Nova Scotia Youth Choir and returned to Nova Scotia in 2018 for their Sing Summer choral program. 2019 brings appearances with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s Singsation series, the New Brunswick Choralfest, and the Chorus America Summer Conducting Academy.
Lesley Kingham – Accompanist
Ms Kingham holds a BMus from the U. of Western Ontario (gold medal in pipe organ performance), and a MMus from the U. of Notre Dame (Indiana). She is the regular rehearsal and concert accompanist for Avanti Chamber Singers, and was formerly organ and keyboard instructor as well as staff accompanist at Brock University. In addition she is organist and music director at St. Thomas’ Anglican Church in St. Catharines. Ms Kingham also maintains a private music studio, specializing in piano, and continues to accompany widely as both pianist and organist throughout southern Ontario.
Harris Loewen – Conductor Emeritus
Dr. Harris Loewen (DMA, U. of Iowa) is Associate Professor in the Department of Music at Brock University where he has conducted the university choirs, and taught conducting and choral methods since 1987. He is founding conductor of both the Niagara Vocal Ensemble (1991) and Avanti Chamber Singers (2006) and has conducted a variety of other community choirs in southern Ontario.
Dr. Loewen has performed extensively as a professional chorister (e.g. Vancouver Chamber Choir, CBC Hymn Sing, Elora Festival, Oregon Bach Festival), and also continues to perform as a baritone soloist (classical and jazz). In his spare time, he has written vocal and choral music for television and a variety of other commissions, and has occasionally served as a choral adjudicator and workshop clinician.