Elektra Women’s Choir
Elektra Women’s Choir from Vancouver, Canada has been a leader among women’s choirs since 1987. Its mandate is “to inspire and lead in the choral art form through excellence in performance and the creation, exploration, and celebration of women’s repertoire.” Under the direction of Artistic Director, Morna Edmundson, the 45-voice adult choir is known for its adventurous programming, seeking out music written specifically for women and frequently commissioning new works. Elektra is a frequent collaborator and performer with other cultural organizations, festivals, and concert series. The choir is honoured to work with an outstanding pianist, Dr. Stephen Smith.
Elektra delivers its mandate through a highly-acclaimed concert series featuring outstanding guest artists. The choir is a leader in repertoire development, performing worthy music from the past and new works. In its first three decades, Elektra has commissioned and premiered over 100 compositions and arrangements. The choir’s recordings extend the reach of
its repertoire internationally on a multitude of digital platforms, and its extensive YouTube channel further promotes the choir’s repertoire discoveries. Elektra’s 17th digital CD, Fire Flowers, was released in August 2020. Elektra’s website offers a permanent repertoire resource featuring all works programmed by the choir to date and highlighting the breadth of its work with Canadian composers and arrangers.
Elektra’s celebrated Community Engagement Programs encourage, train, and mentor the next generation of youth and adults: singers, conductors, and composers. For youth, these include the Choral Encounters festival, the Diane Loomer Choir Program, and the Mira Youth Mentorship Program. Emerging composers interact with the choir through Reading Sessions of New Compositions. From 2016-2019, Elektra created Celebrating Women Composers, an initiative which provided opportunities for and raised the profile of women composers.
A multiple national prize-winning ensemble, Elektra has been honoured to perform at conferences of Choral Canada,
the American Choral Directors Association, Chorus America, the International Society for Music Education and the International Federation for Choral Music, where it appeared at the World Symposium on Choral Music in Sydney (1996) and Barcelona (2017). In the summer of 2018, Elektra was one of five choirs from across the country to perform in “…float…”, Choral Canada’s unique, outdoor, immersive performance experience, funded by the Canada Council’s New Chapter program. In 2020, Elektra collaborated with the San Fransisco Bay area choir, WomenSing, to produce the ground-breaking digital performance of Shawn Kirchner’s The Light of Hope Returning, which ultimately garnered over 12,000 views for its YouTube premiere and subsequent broadcast the following year. On the heels of the pandemic, Elektra returned to the concert stage with a live performance of this same work in November 2021. In June of 2022, Elektra released a video, Snewíyalh tl’a Stakw (Teachings of the Water), with a score commissioned from Canadian composer T. Patrick Carrabré. This 3 year-long collaborative project with Coast Salish First Nations was conceived by Co-Curator and ethnomusicologist, Dr. Jeanette Gallant, and is a musical exploration of water teachings in First Nations cultures.