Strata Vocal Ensemble began with a group of friends from various choirs who loved to sing, laugh and perform a wide variety of music. We were an ad hoc group who would gather in the backyard in the summer over a beer or two to sight read..… our idea of fun! At the end of the summer, we would put together a program for family and friends. We were a self-directed and consensus-driven ensemble who just lived to sing.
Out of this group, Strata evolved as a performance choir doing 2 or 3 concerts per year. After taking a full season to bond and build repertoire, we gave our first concert in June, 2005. There were only 9 of us at that inaugural concert. Small but mighty! Our audience responded enthusiastically to our eclectic programming, as well as our sound in the beautiful acoustic of MacNeill Baptist Church. Thus encouraged, we even entered the CBC Canadian Choral Competition in 2006 and placed as national semi-finalists, though we had to bulk up to a dozen singers in order to qualify to compete. Our juried performance aired on CBC Radio 2’s program, Choral Concert. We had caught the bug!!
In Strata, we strive to keep a communal approach both to programming and to musical interpretation. Choristers are welcome to put forward suggestions to enhance the music. We also have a committee of volunteers that meets in the summer to plan concerts. We truly believe that working together will produce a better product.
In 2010 Strata invited Dr. Gordon Adnams to be our conductor. Gord had a wealth of experience and also had the necessary collegial style of leadership that worked for us. We grew under his tutelage, but in June of 2017, Gord decided to hang up his baton in order to spend more time with his grandchildren.
As of September 2017, we are very excited to welcome Laurel Forshaw as our conductor. With her leadership, we are still consensus-driven, delighting in eclectic programming and striving to highlight Canadian composers in particular. We look forward to experiencing Laurel’s musical sensitivities, knowledge and vision as we grow under her new direction in a long and fruitful collaboration.
Sing Me To Heaven
- Saturday Nov 18 at 7:30 pm at Knox Presbyterian
- Sunday Nov 19 at 3 pm at MacNeill Baptist
Strata Vocal Ensemble invites you to come and meet our new conductor Laurel Forshaw, who will lead us in a selection of choral music that is truly “heavenly”.
Eclectic, moving, inspiring and fun…these are just some of the words that describe the repertoire for the first concert of our music season. Our theme, the joy of singing and music making, is developed with vocal selections by Schütz, Byrd, Gibbons, Batten, and Gjeilo, as well as the hauntingly beautiful Sing Me to Heaven by Daniel Gawthrop.
Featured in the program is Bach’s lush double choir motet, Komm Jesu Komm, honouring the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, and Britten’s compelling tribute to the patron saint of music, Hymn to Saint Cecilia.
Finally, from the sublime to the ridiculous, we could not resist programming A Place in The Choir for the usual bit of Strata fun!!
The Big Sing!
On Friday December 15th we invited you to embrace the holiday spirit at the historic Ancaster Old Town Hall, 310 Wilson Street, for live music, hot cider, treats and Christmas Tree Awards. Enjoy a sample of an earlier magical evening in 2016: