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May 4th, 2024: An unaccompanied journey through the past five decades (with recordings from the concert) 

Almost two hundred unique performances, under eight distinct and incomparable directors. Spanning the time it took humanity to go from Hamburger Helper to sushi burritos, the Bel Canto concert library is daunting. We decided to break it down by decade, and try to give a sense of the challenging depth and variety of a cappella music the choir has tackled over the years. What emerged is an amazing lineup representing, ironically, how timeless choral music is. Use the highlighted links below for scores, and information about our selections. For a more detailed history, check out our timeline.

Jump to Year
1974

1974

A still scandal-free Richard Hatfield wins his second term as Premier of New Brunswick, while Richard Nixon resigns the U.S. Presidency over the kind of thing Donald Trump got away with every morning before lunch. Meanwhile, fostering a love of late Renaissance madrigals, organist and choir director at Christ Church Cathedral in Fredericton, Neil Houlton, forms the nine member Cathedral Singers - to be re-named Bel Canto in 1978 by the ebullient David Davis - and from whose first concert we chose Shoot, False Love I Care Not, Matona mia cara, and The Silver Swan. And we threw in O occhi manza mia. Because madrigals are fun

Click titles for
Information & scores

O occhi manza mia

Orlando ​Di Lasso

 

The Silver Swan

Orlando ​Gibbons

Shoot, False Love I Care Not

Thomas Morley

 

Matona, mia cara

Orlando ​Di Lasso

Finger-3.gif
00:00 / 00:56
00:00 / 01:46
1984

1984

A lot happened. Anyone old enough to remember Michael Jackson's hair catching on fire can tell you that. Bel Canto had seen the departure of Neil Houlton, expanded its numbers, and its repertoire under David Davis, whose competence, playful style, and diverse interests established the choir as one of the best in the Province. But 1984 saw the arrival of Tim Cooper, who was to lead the group for the next twenty-six years, and become the most influential and innovative director to date. Tim had a weakness for Ralph Vaughan Williams (who doesn't?) and introduced his Five English Folk Songs for one of the very first concerts under his baton. 

Click titles for
Information & scores
00:00 / 00:35
00:00 / 01:08
00:00 / 00:58
1994

1994

Mandella Smaller.jpg

Most people will remember it as the year Nelson Mandela was elected president of South Africa (or the year they cancelled The Kids in The Hall) but past (and some present) members of Bel Canto will remember it as the year Tim Cooper handed out Debussy’s Trois Chansons de Charles D'orleans. Few works the choir has performed over the years demonstrate as well how something that sounds so beautiful can be so difficult to master.

Click titles for
Information & scores
00:00 / 00:40
00:00 / 00:23
2004
2014

2014

Tim Cooper left big shoes to fill when he retired in 2009, and replacing him seemed an impossible task. But the first time Anne Sessa shrugged one shoulder and winced as the choir's pitch started sliding, it was clear that we'd found not a replacement, but something different, and marvelous. Anne was our most influential director with regards to an a cappella sound. Moving voices around in the choir, both on the staff, and physically, she sculpted as she directed, and her influence on the group was profound.

 

Anne passed away last July, and we remember how much we loved singing these with her back in 2014. 

A city called heaven

Josephine Poelinitz

 

Swing low, sweet chariot

Peter Knight

My Soul's Been Anchored
In The Lord

Moses Hogan

 

2004

Has it really been twenty years since Facebook started making our children more beautiful, our jobs more interesting, and our vacations better than than everyone else?  Still under the tutelage of Tim Cooper, Bel Canto continued expanding its own horizons, traveling outside the province, exploring exchanges and collaborations, and premiering some of Cooper's own compositions. The great Moses Hogan's arrangements have provided much joy to us, and our audiences over the years, and punctuated set lists from many of our directors. We picked this one, from a concert given in 2004,

the year after his untimely death.

Steal Away

Moses Hogan

 

Click titles for
Information & scores
Click titles for
Information & scores
00:00 / 00:42
00:00 / 01:37
00:00 / 01:14
2024

2024

Ten years, four directors, and one pandemic later, here we are. And what better way to celebrate than with Andrew Balfour's contemplative, shimmering soundscapes. 

 

We'll leave you with this, a cheesy horoscope written for Bel Canto by Chat GPT. Why? Because we can't help but detect a bit of jealous sarcasm in it. You see, one thing we are sure robots will never, ever replace, is a choir. 

"Intensity fuels your vocal prowess, Bel Canto. Embrace the depth of your emotions and channel them into your singing with raw passion. Your magnetic presence will draw listeners into your world, leaving them spellbound by your powerful performance."

Music is vibration

Andrew Balfour

 

Gaze Upon The Trees

Andrew Balfour

Little Robot.jpg
Click titles for
Information & scores
BC-50-3.gif

May 4th, 2024: An unaccompanied journey through the past five decades (with recordings from the concert) 

Almost two hundred unique performances, under eight distinct and incomparable directors. Spanning the time it took humanity to go from Hamburger Helper to sushi burritos, the Bel Canto concert library is daunting. We decided to break it down by decade, and try to give a sense of the challenging depth and variety of a cappella music the choir has tackled over the years. What emerged is an amazing lineup representing, ironically, how timeless choral music is. Use the highlighted links below for scores, and information about our selections. For a more detailed history, check out our timeline.

Jump to Year

O occhi manza mia

Orlando ​Di Lasso

 

The Silver Swan

Orlando ​Gibbons

 

Shoot, False Love I Care Not

Thomas Morley

 

Matona, mia cara

Orlando ​Di Lasso

00:00 / 00:56
1974

1974

A still scandal-free Richard Hatfield wins his second term as Premier of New Brunswick, while Richard Nixon resigns the U.S. Presidency over the kind of thing Donald Trump got away with every morning before lunch. Meanwhile, fostering a love of late Renaissance madrigals, organist and choir director at Christ Church Cathedral in Fredericton, Neil Houlton, forms the nine member Cathedral Singers - to be re-named Bel Canto in 1978 by the ebullient David Davis - and from whose first concert we chose Shoot, False Love I Care Not, Matona mia cara, and The Silver Swan. And we threw in O occhi manza mia. Because madrigals are fun

Click titles for Information
& scores; listen to clips from the concert on May 4th
Finger-3.gif
00:00 / 01:46
1984

1984

A lot happened. Anyone old enough to remember Michael Jackson's hair catching on fire can tell you that. Bel Canto had seen the departure of Neil Houlton, expanded its numbers, and its repertoire under David Davis, whose competence, playful style, and diverse interests established the choir as one of the best in the Province. But 1984 saw the arrival of Tim Cooper, who was to lead the group for the next twenty-six years, and become the most influential and innovative director to date. Tim had a weakness for Ralph Vaughan Williams (who doesn't?) and introduced his Five English Folk Songs for one of the very first concerts under his baton. 

Click titles for
Information & scores
00:00 / 00:35
00:00 / 01:08
00:00 / 00:58
1994

1994

Mandella Smaller.jpg

Most people will remember it as the year Nelson Mandela was elected president of South Africa (or the year they cancelled The Kids in The Hall) but past (and some present) members of Bel Canto will remember it as the year Tim Cooper handed out Debussy’s Trois Chansons de Charles D'orleans. Few works the choir has performed over the years demonstrate as well how something that sounds so beautiful can be so difficult to master.

Click titles for
Information & scores
00:00 / 00:40
00:00 / 00:23
2004
2014

2014

Tim Cooper left big shoes to fill when he retired in 2009, and replacing him seemed an impossible task. But the first time Anne Sessa shrugged one shoulder and winced as the choir's pitch started sliding, it was clear that we'd found not a replacement, but something different, and marvelous. Anne was our most influential director with regards to an a cappella sound. Moving voices around in the choir, both on the staff, and physically, she sculpted as she directed, and her influence on the group was profound.

 

Anne passed away last July, and we remember how much we loved singing these with her back in 2014. 

A city called heaven

Josephine Poelinitz

 

Swing low, sweet chariot

Peter Knight

My Soul's Been Anchored
In The Lord

Moses Hogan

 

2004

Has it really been twenty years since Facebook started making our children more beautiful, our jobs more interesting, and our vacations better than than everyone else?  Still under the tutelage of Tim Cooper, Bel Canto continued expanding its own horizons, traveling outside the province, exploring exchanges and collaborations, and premiering some of Cooper's own compositions. The great Moses Hogan's arrangements have provided much joy to us, and our audiences over the years, and punctuated set lists from many of our directors. We picked this one, from a concert given in 2004,

the year after his untimely death.

Steal Away

Moses Hogan

 

Click titles for
Information & scores
Click titles for
Information & scores
00:00 / 00:42
00:00 / 01:37
00:00 / 01:14
2024

2024

Ten years, four directors, and one pandemic later, here we are. And what better way to celebrate than with Andrew Balfour's contemplative, shimmering soundscapes. 

 

We'll leave you with this, a cheesy horoscope written for Bel Canto by Chat GPT. Why? Because we can't help but detect a bit of jealous sarcasm in it. You see, one thing we are sure robots will never, ever replace, is a choir. 

"Intensity fuels your vocal prowess, Bel Canto. Embrace the depth of your emotions and channel them into your singing with raw passion. Your magnetic presence will draw listeners into your world, leaving them spellbound by your powerful performance."

Music is vibration

Andrew Balfour

 

Gaze Upon The Trees

Andrew Balfour

Little Robot.jpg
Click titles for
Information & scores
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