COMPOSITION, CREATION AND THEORY
Throughout the pandemic, VIVA choristers have had unique opportunities to reveal their creativity. VIVA wishes to build upon these interests and skills which have emerged in unexpectedly delightful ways.
In response, VIVA Creation Stream is an optional enrichment opportunity for any VIVA youth chorister (Prep., Junior, Main, or STC) who wishes to create/compose more or receive feedback on the creations they have already started. It will be held online for several Saturdays, led by expert VIVA staff Laura Menard (conductor and music educator) and Tyler Versluis (composer and theory coordinator).
This program is the first of its kind (offered in a choral context) in Canada.
Some children have a great deal of theory background; others are beginners. All will be supported and welcomed!
Saturday Dates: December 4, 18, January 22, February 12, 26, March 5
Guest performers will be pleased to present original compositions in our Creation Showcase on March 7, 2022.
Children/youth will have the opportunity to create:
pencil to paper or on Noteflight notation software
on Soundtrap or an alternative platform
3. ARRANGING OR
pieces or songs they have already composed
writing lyrics to be used by themselves or others in song composition
through conventional or alternative uses of the human voice
Did you know that all Youth Choir tuition fees include expert theory and literacy instruction? The skills, knowledge, and creative process developed in VIVA's theory and literacy programs empower choristers to sing all of their lives.
Beginners will start in the Young Singer's Journey series.
VIVA choristers are required to complete a minimum of Level 5 RCM theory, but many choose to continue.
VIVA prepares choristers for Levels 6,7 & 8 RCM Theory Exams. Choristers study sight-singing, rhythm reading, ear training, as VIVA tuition also includes membership in www.sightsingingschool.com.
VIVA Singers Toronto is a progressive arts organization achieving artistic excellence through a singer-centered and collaborative choral community since 2000. VIVA embraces the coexistence of a high level of artistic and educational engagement while fostering a truly inclusive environment. To help maintain and further achieve these goals, the VIVA Inclusion Team was created.
VIVA Inclusion Team’s Statement of Purpose
The VIVA Inclusion Team is working to:
1. build upon and extend VIVA’s long-standing inclusion practices into broader definitions of inclusion (including, but not limited to, ability and disability, race, socioeconomic diversity, gender and sexual diversity).
2. examine, reflect on and advise inclusion and equity practices within the entire VIVA organization to ensure we are truly living out our motto of “every voice matters.”
To read more about VIVA's Inclusion Committee and the current areas of focus, click here.
MEET OUR CO-CHAIRS
Dale Burnette-Splude loves to sing. She’s currently singing with a vibrant Toronto choir. She has been singing with VIVA’s Community Choir for three years now. She also co-Chairs their Inclusion Team. A team that’s building inclusive and caring spaces for all, no matter their race, sexual orientation or religion. A choir where everyone’s voice is heard. Dale is looking forward to a year of meaningful change and excellent repertoire.
Adam Mason is an elementary Music and Movement educator within the Toronto District School Board and he has been giving leadership with VIVA for over a decade, formerly as the Assistant Conductor of the Junior Chorus and currently as Orff Coordinator (including movement) for the Prep, Junior and Main Choruses. He also happily sings with VIVA's Adult Chamber Singers as the Tenor section lead. Adam is honoured to be co-chairing VIVA's newly expanded Inclusion Team with Dale, where he is passionate about helping VIVA continue to live out its motto of being a place where 'Every Voice Matters' - truly.
In response to the significant challenges to our wellness throughout this pandemic, VIVA Singers Toronto is embedding an educational and self-help focus in our programming, which aims to teach choir members music-based self-care. Health care professionals Kristi Magraw, RMT and Lois Kunkel, RP, will provide instruction and support to staff and choristers throughout the season. This approach emphasizes de-stressing singers’ bodies to promote physical health, mental well-being and improved singing. Using relaxation techniques and exercises, choristers will be taught how to use their imaginations to keep the body ‘in mind’ and help to release their voices in song.
MEET OUR TEAM
Kristi Magraw was born and grew up with a hearing and facial disability. Her healing journey lead her to developing a unique synthesis of Eastern healing (Five Element theory) and Western ways of working with the mind, called the Magraw Method, which she established in 1979. This method uses metaphoric language and release techniques to help people heal physical and emotional pain.
She is a certified Director of Psychodrama and a Registered Massage Therapist with additional certificates in Reflexology, Shiatsu, Polarity, Cranial Sacral therapy and LENS (Low Energy Neurofeedback System). She also integrates Tai Chi, Kung Fu, Qi Quong and Yoga in her practice. A gifted teacher, she has conducted training and supervision groups for over twenty years. Her communications courses for the Kikkawa massage school became the curriculum template for massage schools in Ontario. She is a member of Ontario Massage therapists Association and a clinical provider of LENS. She is a retired member of the American Society for Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama, the Ontario Society of Psychotherapists and the College of Psychotherapists of Ontario. More recently she has been certified in Havening Techniques© a new method of stress relief and nervous system calming.
Kristi is also a musician, composer and author. She has received several songwriting awards, and has had her songs covered by other artists. Her CD “Everybody has the Gift to Heal Themselves” inspires people to trust themselves and their self-healing processes. Her book, “Note by Note, A Tale of Trauma, Recovery and Musical Discovery” is available at kristimagraw.com She is a member of Nashville Songwriters Association International, Songwriters Association of Canada and SOCAN, Canada’s performing rights organization
Lois Kunkel has an abiding commitment to the body/mind/spirit connection in both her work and personal life.
Lois has been working as a psychotherapist in private practice since 1991. She has a doctorate in Counselling Psychology from the University of Toronto and is a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario.
Lois has always had an intercultural practice including engagement in the First Nation’s community. Since 2010, she has had an ongoing relationship with a peace-building organization in Liberia, West Africa and has offered training in trauma healing, counselling and peace-building skills. Her relationship with Liberia began as a child when her family lived there for eight years. Singing and songs are an integral part of the healing work in Liberia.
Her interest in the body/mind/spirit connection was enhanced by her part-time employment as the Coordinator of the Counselling Program at Sutherland Chan Massage School for twenty-six years. As a certified Sensorimotor Psychotherapy instructor, Lois’s comment to students was: “There are issues in the tissues.”
Lois is a soprano in Viva’s Community Choir and delighted to be working with her former teacher, Kristi Magraw, on this important initiative.