Each year on the night before the first Sunday in Advent music lovers gather in Vancouver, Canada, for Elektra Women’s Choir’s anticipation of the Christmas season. This heartwarming concert touches on familiar melodies, new compositions and arrangements, audience participation, the voices of children, and the artistry of some of Vancouver’s finest instrumentalists and composers. Chez Nous: Christmas with Elektra (pronounced: shay noos) is French for “at our house”, a phrase that Canadians understand well to mean hospitality and friendship.
This CD, Chez Nous: Christmas with Elektra, celebrates musical highlights of several years of our annual Chez Nous Christmas concert, and reflects the mix of familiar touchstones and exciting new compositions that are the hallmark of the live concerts. In addition to no fewer than six exciting new Canadian works and some of our favorite guest artists, we are pleased to re-release our 1997 recording with Rita Costanzi of Benjamin Britten’s timeless A Ceremony of Carols, a work Elektra continues to perform and delight in.
With a mandate to inspire and lead in the choral art form through excellence in performance and through the creation, exploration and celebration of women’s repertoire, Vancouver’s renowned Elektra Women’s Choir has taken a leadership role in the international classical women’s choir movement. The choir has commissioned and premiered over 60 new works, many of which have gone on tot become standards of women’s choral literature. Building upon a long tradition of honours and awards, Elektra once again took first place in the women’s voices category of the 2010 National Competition for Amateur Choirs. Elektra is frequently heard on CBC radio broadcasts and on NPR in the United States; and collaborates regularly with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, MusicFest Vancouver, and other talented musicians. The choir’s first CD was nominated for a JUNO award and its recordings are in constant demand locally, nationally, and internationally. In addition to its concerts ad recordings, the choir is proud to offer ongoing programs that encourage and train young singers, conductors, and composers. Co-conductors Morna Edmundson and Diane Loomer, C.M, founded Elektra in 1987. In 2009 Diane Loomer, C.M. became Conductor Emerita and Morna Edmundson was appointed Artistic Director.