Canadian pop superstar Shawn Desman will guest judge the event.
LOS ANGELES, California Never underestimate the power of "Glee." The hit television show helped Waubonsie Valley land the cover of Parade magazine and got Powerhouse a dream performance on Oprah, and now it's inspiring a whole new group of high schoolers to get into the act: our friends up north. Showchoir.com has been aware of international show choir for awhile now; there are established groups in the UK, Australia, and even one as far away as Rwanda, but none of those countries have a structured circuit like the United States. Well, thanks to a new organization aptly-named Show Choir Canada, that's about to change.
“We’ve seen a surge of interest in the arts, largely due to shows like Glee, Canadian Idol, and So You Think You Can Dance,” says Show Choir Canada co-founder George Randolph, president and founder of the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts. “Young performers are asking for more opportunities, bigger opportunities. The time is right for a competition of this type.”
“This is also an opportunity to combine the talents of leaders in the arts industry with those of arts educators,” adds Show Choir Canada co-founder Peter da Costa, owner/agency director, da Costa Talent. “We hope to not only support schools by providing further opportunities in choral education, but also create an event that whole communities can be proud of, getting behind a choir and cheering them on.”
And thus, it begins. This weekend in Toronto, history will be made when the first-ever Show Choir Canada National Champions will be named. This isn't your grandpa's district festival. They're setting the bar high and making a statement: show choir is a legit activity, and it's here to stay in Canada. The winners of the championship will receive a brand new piano courtesy of Yamaha and a personal Q&A session with renowned jazz musician Levon Ichkhanian. Second and third place winners will take home cash prizes. Individual top vocalist and best performer winners will receive scholarships to the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts. And that's before you factor in the trophies.
But it doesn't stop there. Not to be one-upped by American-based Finale, this competition will have its own celebrity in attendance: Canadian pop superstar Shawn Desman (see video below). Judges include experts from across the industry: Emmy award-winning Director/Choreographer David Connolly, Canadian Children’s Opera Company Director/Conductor Ann Cooper-Gay and So You Think You Can Dance Canada Choreographer and Guest Judge Melissa Williams.
Canadian Idol finalist and rising musical theatre star Elena Juatco hosts.
It's not all about the spectacle, though. Show Choir Canada’s core mission is to play a vital role in the development and support of show choirs in Canada by creating opportunities that inspire, challenge, and encourage its participants. It looks to me like they're off to an awfully good start.
For more information, check out showchoircanada.com. We'll also have updates in our own event section, so you can keep track of what all the excitement is aboot.