After a rejuvenating summer, a successful “Get in the Groove” workshop, and thrilling Autumn retreats out at Kamp Kiwanis, Cantare Children’s Choir is ready to launch another exciting season for our 2019-2020 concert series! This season will see plenty of excitement as we launch a new independent concert series, return to our beloved Field of Crosses celebration, and once again present a thrilling subscription series for the year.

We hope to see you there!

Our 2019-2020 Season

Out of This World - October 19, 2019

Our season kicks off with our Fall concert “Out of this World” which features an eclectic series of music including contemporary works by Canadian composers as well as Cantare favourites from Antonio Vivaldi, Bob Chilcott, and Randall Stroope.

“Out of this World” will explore themes of citizenship and world building and the role music has to play in creating a more wonderful community. Our Autumn retreats leading up to the performance involved taking time to discuss the pillars of character [Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, Citizenship, Trustworthiness, Respect] and how our choristers can bring those pillars into their musicianship and, more importantly, into their daily lives. “Out of this World” will highlight the beautiful ability of music to bring people together.

Midnight Sun Songs - Jeffrey Ryan

Cantiga will feature prominently in this performance with their presentation of Canadian composer Jeffrey Ryan’s Midnight Sun Songs. Cantare has been a longtime friend of Ryan’s since we were a part of the World premiere of Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation in 2012, performing the work again in 2017.


For the 2014/15 season, the Gryphon Trio partnered with the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre for a far-reaching instalment of the Trio’s Listen Up! project. Students in six communities throughout Canada’s Northwest Territories wrote poetry around the theme of The Elements, then worked with composers Jeffrey Ryan and Carmen Braden to develop melodies for their poetry. These melodies became the source material for Midnight Sun Songs, a collection of six songs for youth choir and piano trio composed and arranged by Jeffrey Ryan. Midnight Sun Songs received its world premiere in May 2015 at Yellowknife’s Northern Arts and Cultural Centre, performed by a 70-voice youth choir comprised of students from the six participating communities, accompanied by the Gryphon Trio and conducted by Rob Kapilow.

Frostfall I: Magnificat - Kim Andre Arnesen [December 14, 2019]

In a first-of-its-kind special Christmas performance, Cantare and Cantando celebrate an evening of music by candlelight where we bring Norwegian composer Kim Andre Arnesen’s Magnificat to life. This concert will be our first in our home base of Lutheran Church of the Cross which houses our rehearsal and office spaces. The sanctuary provides a smaller, more intimate performance space for the choir to share Arnesen’s incredible work which will be enhanced by a candlelit stage and plenty of Christmas motifs to evoke a wonderful holiday evening.

Soprano Lauren Woods

Soprano Lauren Woods

Arnesen’s Magnificat features an angelic role for soprano soloist which will be expertly sung by Soprano and Cantare alumna Lauren Woods. Lauren brings an incredible musicality and depth to every performance and we are always thrilled when she returns to share the stage with us.

About the work


“Arnesen’s setting of the Magnificat (commissioned in 2010 by the Nidaros Cathedral Girls’ Choir) approaches the familiar text from Mary’s viewpoint, emphasising her sense of wonderment, humility and devotion. The highly derivative idiom is thoroughly tonal, the tone luxurious and the work cast at a predominantly prayerful slow pace. The opening is especially haunting, with its unhurried and repetitive echoes of Pärt – before slipping towards Howard Goodall. Poulenc and Karl Jenkins spring to mind in the slow waltz treatment of the ‘Ecce enim’, which introduces the glorious voice of soprano Lise Granden Berg. The work’s only fast music occurs, aptly, in the vigorous ‘Fecit potentiam’. In the ‘Misericordia’ Arnesen outdoes even Messrs Chilcott and Rutter for sheer singability.” [Gramophone]

The Stars Point the Way - December 21st, 2019

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For many of our choristers, alumni, and audience alike, the prelude of “O Beautiful Yuletide” is the only thing that can signal the start of Christmas. The warm embrace of a candlelit Knox United Church, the singing of carols, and the voices of children brings with it the joy and excitement of a new year. There is something for everyone at this concert: Classic carol arrangements paired with new and exciting holiday melodies and even opportunities for audience sing-alongs bring opportunities to experience the Christmas spirit in a variety of ways. The concert features all of our choirs accompanied by a professional string ensemble.

The journey of “The Stars Point the Way” is one of reflection. Guided by Canadian Composer Mark Sirett’s beautiful work of the same name, we invite you to think on who you celebrate in your own life and imagine what joyful new beginnings you can make together.

There’s nothing quite like Christmas with Cantare…

There’s nothing quite like Christmas with Cantare…

The Lonesome Road - March 14, 2020

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Inspired and guided by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s treasured setting of Stabat Mater, “The Lonesome Road” touches human journeys to explore, to exist, and to triumph over suffering and pain – Reaching into the skies or into the hearts of others, we examine the human desire to always push on for a better world. Through these journeys, we return to the lonesome journey of Mary, the mother, watching her only son die on the cross for the hope of all humanity.

Pergolesi’s work is a particular favourite of ours as it is both an incredible challenge for the singers and a thrilling work for an audience to experience. The 13th century text of Stabat Mater follows the sorrows of the Virgin Mary as she watched her son Jesus dying on the cross

“The mother stood in sorrow, weeping beside the cross where her son was hanging”

(Stabat Mater)

The 26-year-old Pergolesi wrote the work as he himself was on his deathbed where he eventually succumbed to Tuberculosis. The work would go on to achieve enormous popularity - it was in fact the most frequently printed musical composition in the 18th century.

This concert will also feature our beloved pop-up ensemble “Man Enough to Sing” composed of Fathers, Family, and Friends from our community who are given the chance to explore their own musical journeys (many for the first time) as they take the stage to sing in support of Cantare Children’s Choir.

Listen To the Future - May 2, 2020

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There is no sound as pure as the voice of joy in young people. Join Cantilena and Cantiga, our two youngest ensembles, as they share the music of their season and showcase all they have learned.

This concert is one of particular importance to our younger choristers as it is an opportunity for Cantilena and Cantiga to step out of Cantare’s shadow and play the role of the main act for an entire concert. It can be quite an endurance test for the singers and it gives them the ability to step up and command the stage all by themselves. It stands as a triumphant conclusion to their season as an opportunity to dive into your hearts all over again as they share their work from the season.

From Rome to Rio - June 6, 2020

Highlighting our senior ensembles, Cantare and Cantando, “From Rome to Rio” will use music to explore what it means to be a global citizen and how our singers can build a better world through song, all while highlighting classical and contemporary masterpieces in a way only Cantaré can.

While this concert highlights Cantare’s entire season, one work in particular stands out in English Composer Bob Chilcott’s Samba Mass. Cantare was a part of the world premiere of the work alongside a consortium of choirs at the Crescent City Choral Festival in New Orleans during the summer of 2019. The mass features incredible Brazilian melodies tied together by the traditional mass text which come together to form an exciting and upbeat work.


“In the autumn of 2001 I had a wonderful week working with a group of choral conductors in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. On three consecutive nights I went with a few of them to a club with a live samba band and they tried in vain to teach me to dance. My Northern European heritage really came to the fore at this point and despite my inability to move in any idiomatic way, from that moment on, the joyous and infectious music of samba and bossa nova captivated me. In this mass setting I have tried to colour the piece with a sense of this music, music that is sometimes gentle, sometimes high energy, that reflects the warmth and the smile that is so characteristic of the people and the country of Brazil.”
- Bob Chilcott