About the Choir
Our HistoryThis season is our 50th birthday and we’re celebrating all season long as we continue to perform challenging and diverse works from classical to contemporary. Today, as before, our 50-member mixed-voice community choir presents choral masterpieces from Bernstein to Vivaldi as well as contemporary and lighter repertoire.
Founded in 1970, the choir’s role in Nanaimo’s civic and ceremonial life began with the opening of the Malaspina College (now VIU) in 1969, followed by a performance for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 1983. We gave Nanaimo its official song for its 125th birthday (2006) and helped open the 2009 BC Seniors Games. To encourage younger musicians, we invited three local school choirs and band plus two VIU student ensembles to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017 and were awarded a Canada Heritage grant for this initiative.
Our 2019-20 concerts include a romp through four centuries of choral music in November, our 10th Annual Sing-Along Messiah – this year at St. Peter’s Catholic Church – and our official gala birthday concert in May. These programs are vintage Malaspina Choir, reflecting the full range of the choral repertoire including works composed in the 18th century up to the present. We will also be welcoming our friends from the Nanaimo music community who join us in these performances.
Our choir thrives on presenting beautiful music that is exciting and entertaining. Our 50th anniversary year continues this tradition.
Lionel Tanod comes to Malaspina Choir having directed the Island Bel Canto Singers since 2005. He is also the founder-director of the Harbour City Singers and a founding member of the Island Consort. He co-founded the Nanaimo Sings society and chaired its music committee, helping organize the 2008 and 2011 Nanaimo Sings! choral festivals. He also served as one of the rehearsal directors for the 2013 BC Chorfest held in Nanaimo.
Prior to moving to Nanaimo, Lionel was music director at Ashbury College in Ottawa for 20 years and directed the college's extensive choral and instrumental programs. His choirs and bands regularly toured and performed in Canada, USA and Europe. He also directed the Christ Church Cathedral choir in Hamilton, the Bytown Voices in Ottawa and guest-conducted the Saltspring Singers on Saltspring Island, BC.
He has sung in various choirs in England and Canada and was a member of the semi-professional Cantata Singers of Ottawa for 18 years. Lionel has taken choral conducting workshops and courses with Iwan Edwards, Jean Ashworth Bartle and Jon Washburn among others. He holds a B.Mus. (Hons.) London University , UK and an M.A. from McMaster University and is an accredited IB (International Baccalaureate) music examiner.
Jenny Vincent (Nagtegaal) began her organ studies with Winnipeg organist Henk Schippers. She went on to study with Lawrence Ritchey (a student of Marcel Dupre) for many years. On completion of her undergraduate degrees, obtained at the University of Manitoba, Jenny continued her organ studies with Arie Keijzer in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
At the age of twelve, Jenny began her career as a church organist and has since held organist positions at United, Anglican and Presbyterian churches across Canada. She is presently music director at Knox United Church in Parksville. Jenny has performed many recitals throughout Canada.
Jenny created the very successful organWORX series featuring creative concerts that explore the organ in new ways but also introduce the audience with organ music by traditional composers. She is also the Co- Artistic Director and founder of the Schooner Cove Singers, a new professional choir on Vancouver Island.
Jenny is also recognized for her accompanying skills. She has accompanied a variety of choirs, including the Nathaniel Dett Chorale while she resided in Toronto. She is very happy to be now accompanying the Malaspina Choir!
The Malaspina Choir is a registered non-profit organization that is governed by an Executive Committee that is elected by the Choir membership. An Annual General Meeting is held each year in the fall. Malaspina choir is a registered charity, Charitable #119029577RR0001.
Annual General Meeting - Usually mid-November, on the Tuesday following the first concert of the season, Vancouver Island University, Building #320, Choral Room 9:00 pm.
Our Executive Board
The Executive Board is elected from the Choir's membership. The Board makes decisions on policies of the organization and ensures the artistic and financial well being of the organization. The Board meets once a month. Board positions include President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Sectional Representatives (4), Production Committee Representative and Librarian. The Artistic Director sits as an Ex-Officio member of the Board. Job descriptions are available for all elected positions.
updated January 25, 2020