The Carleton University Choir (CUC) has been invited to take part in the Vibratum Choral Festival which will be held in Tlaxcala, Mexico in February 2024. Participating students will have the opportunity to study and perform foreign choral repertoire, refine their choral skills and perform Canadian choral music for Latin American audiences. As part of the week-long tour students will visit Mexico City, Tlaxcala and Puebla where they will exchange and collaborate on music making with local choirs, engage with local communities in music making, and showcase Canada’s choral traditions through performances.

The Background

Carleton University is host to two choral ensembles embracing a diverse membership of music students as well as various other programs offered at the university. Such on-campus diversity is reflective of Canada’s strong and diverse choral culture. According to a recent census by Choral Canada, 10% of the Canadian population sings in a choir. An estimated 3.5 million Canadians are involved in making choral music. Over the course of the academic year the Carleton University resident choirs keep a busy rehearsal and performance schedule taking part in various events on campus and within the Ottawa community. Such events include performances, masterclasses, clinics and several others. The choirs add value to the intramural cultural life as well as outside university.  Supporting choral music is a way to encourage diversity and multiculturalism through the arts.

The Rollout

Participating choristers will travel and tour in Mexico during the third week of February 2024. Choir members will have an opportunity to promote Canadian choral music through performances, engage with other university choirs in joint performances and choral masterclasses and visit local schools to exchange choral knowledge and practices. For many students, the chance to exchange with other overseas peers provides an opportunity to discover diverse ways of music making and performance. Collected funds will be used to help students become a part of this experience and to ensure accessibility to all members of the CUC.

The Impact

In an effort to promote multiculturalism and to build cross-cultural bridges, choristers will experience person-to-person exchanges with Mexican students. By taking part in the performances in three cities in Mexico, CU choirs will have an opportunity to showcase Canadian choral repertoire and share Canadian music with other international ensembles. Through the participation in an international choral festival, students will be exposed and will part-take in massed rehearsals and choral clinics that will engage with non-western choral repertoire. Furthermore, students will gain knowledge of non-western choral performance traditions. Through participation in masterclasses under international conductors and clinicians, students will be ex posed to various ways of approaching the choral arts. Last, the students will be engaging with Mexico’s first nations communities and experiencing first hand their culture, language and musical traditions.

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