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Timothy Shantz on Calgary's Choral Community

Updated: Apr 1, 2021

Timothy Shantz is the Chorus Master for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Artistic Director of Luminous Voices and Spiritus Chamber Choir.

As a choral conductor living and working in Calgary since 2008, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with hundreds of singers and conductors in Calgary. I have also enjoyed watching and listening to colleagues present excellent performances around the city.

It is incredible to witness the variety these choirs and conductors bring from different parts of the city; different cultural groups, various religious organizations and communities. We sing pop, jazz, folk, contemporary choral music, classical, ancient and everything in between. It would be interesting to do a choral census in Calgary to learn how many people participate in choirs on regular or semi-regular basis. There is no doubt that thousands of Calgarians sing in groups on a regular basis. It is probably one of the highest participation percentages of all art forms in the city.

I am a proud choral musician, working as a conductor but also as a singer and administrator and executive director. I am a musician who cherishes the classics, explores the forgotten and imagines the new all while working with a measuring stick that connects us with the world. As a perfectionist I care about world-class singing and performance but I also value and celebrate the community building aspect of choral music. Our singing, in whatever form, binds us together. It reminds us of the power and strength of community and culture. Through the music we communicate our history, culture, hopes, dreams, sorrows, pains and joys.

As Chorus Master for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Artistic Director of Luminous Voices and Spiritus Chamber Choir I am always looking for ways to connect our singing communities and our choirs. I want there to be a shared love and understanding of the singing that goes in Calgary but also throughout our province, our country and the world! We need to celebrate this incredible art form that is shared by millions worldwide and celebrate it in our own community.

Like so many other conductors, I want my singers to learn about choral music in our city and the world. I want them to experience music of all styles, genres, cultures and periods. Educating our community is what we are doing on a regular basis as directors teach new music, new languages and new styles to our singers and audience. We also want to expose our singers and audience to the highest level of music making!

Timothy Shantz brought CONSPIRARE: A Company of Voices​ to the National Bi-Annual Conference CHORAL CANADA, May 18-22, 2016. Of the experience, he says, "CONSPIRARE: A Company of Voices is one of America's finest professional choirs, having been in existence for over 20 years, with countless tours, recordings and performances to their credit. They are

a GRAMMY AWARD winning choir who touch the hearts of their audience at every performance. It was extremely rare to have such a large and internationally recognized choir perform here in Calgary​... [and they were] one of the Highlights of the conference.​"

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