The Festival Chorus presents: Let the People Sing! Special concert and Community Workshop
March 17, 2023

The Festival Chorus presents: Let the People Sing! Community Workshop

Are you an amateur singer with experience participating in ensembles?

Are you a choral or classical music enthusiast?



March 17th, 18th, and 19th, 2023


The Festival Chorus is one of Calgary’s longest-standing arts organizations – performing for six decades. We are inviting community participants from Calgary and surrounding areas to join us for a special public workshop weekend! You’ll have the rare opportunity to sharpen and enhance your skills with world-renowned international conductor and master choral teacher Michael Zaugg, current Artistic Director of Pro Coro Canada. During this three-day intensive workshop, participants will have the unique opportunity to work with esteemed choral conductor Michael Zaugg and The Festival Chorus’ long-time artistic director and conductor Mel Kirby.  Then you will be singing live, on-stage at the state-of-the-art Bella Concert Hall with members of Calgary’s lauded Festival Chorus.  You will be learning five selections, which include classics and other contemporary staples of the modern choral repertoire.


Selection list:

  • Cantique de Jean Racine – Gabriel Fauré
  • At the River – folk song arranged by Aaron Copland
  • Dirait-on [So They Say] – Martin Lauridsen
  • A Stephen Foster Medley – arranged by Jon Washburn
  • An Alleluia Super-Round – William Albright



It is strongly suggested that participants:

  • Be able to read music.
  • Are comfortable moving around while singing [required for one of the selections].
  • Are comfortable with music in multiple parts and singing in close harmony

with a degree of tonal and rhythmic complexity.

  • Commit to review and practice on their own in order to prepare.


Additionally, registered participants must attend AT LEAST ONE of the practice dates and times below at the location indicated to rehearse alongside The Festival Chorus (please indicate which practices you are able to attend upon registration):


OPTION 1 Saturday, February 25 | 11:30am-1:00pm | Emmanuel Christian Reformed Church: 3020 – 51 Street SW

OPTION 2  Tuesday, February 28 | 7:15-8:30pm | Arts Commons [entry via Stage Door, 9th Avenue]

OPTION 3 Tuesday, March 7 | 7:15-8:30 | Arts Commons

OPTION 4 Tuesday, March 14 | 7:15-8:30 | Arts Commons



  • Participation in practice sessions, and full workshop (and break-out sessions with vocal pedagogues) on March 17th and 18th.
  • Light refreshments included. Please note: meals are not provided.
  • Copies of the five selections of music, to keep.
  • A seat in the Bella Concert Hall for the Sunday afternoon performance ($30 value).


A detailed copy of the agenda will be e-mailed to participants closer to the practice dates.





Workshop Sessions


Day 1 | Friday, March 17

7:15-9:30pm  Workshop Session 1

Lakeview United Church  3023 63 Avenue SW


Day 2 | Saturday, March 18   

1:30-4:30pm Workshop Session 2

[dinner break]

6:30-9:00 pm

Lakeview United Church  3023 63 Avenue SW


Dress Rehearsal & Concert 

Day 3 | Sunday, March 19

(held at Bella Concert Hall, Taylor Family Centre for the Performing Arts, Mount Royal University campus)

1:00-2:00 pm Dress Rehearsal and Sound-check on stage

3:00-4:20 pm Concert and performances

Post-concert reception for choral singers, conductors, and instrumentalists

Deadline to register is March 13

Questions? Please contact:

About guest workshop conductor Michael Zaugg

Swiss-native Michael Zaugg is currently in his 9th season as Managing and Artistic Director Pro Coro Canada in Edmonton, Michael also previously led other notable Canadian choirs including, the St.Lawrence Choir (2008-2013), and voces boreales (2006-2015), and the Cantata Singers Ottawa (2005-2014).


Active as a Guest Conductor, Michael has worked with groups including the Vancouver Chamber Choir, National Youth Choir of Canada, and the BBC Singers. As Chorus Master of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (2006-2011), he successfully prepared groups of up to 1500 singers for OSM Artistic Director Kent Nagano. Michael also prepared the Cantata Singers Ottawa for their appearances with the National Arts Centre Orchestra.


Michael Zaugg is strongly committed to his work with emerging artists. He is the Program Director of CHORAL ART at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity for which Pro Coro Canada received the Award for Outstanding Innovation from Choral Canada in 2020. He created the educational component #connect

with Pro Coro Canada, which has young composers, singers and conductors working with the professional choir several times over the season.

Michael completed the post-graduate program for Professional Choir Conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm and holds degrees in voice, conducting and music education from the University in Basel. In 2018 he was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music (Hon DMus) by Scotland’s King’s

College, University of Aberdeen, and in 2020 received an Award from the Edmonton Artists’ Trust Fund, recognizing his work as choral leader in Edmonton.


About The Festival Chorus 

Composed of 50+ members, The Festival Chorus is the longest continually performing classical choir in Calgary. It is an auditioned choir, which practices weekly to bring its audiences world-class, quality performances ranging from the classical masters to jazz and popular music.