The Regina Philharmonic Chorus (RPC) is dedicated not only to performing orchestrated choral works and oratorio of the great composers, but also to supporting local vocal soloists, many of whom have gone on to attain international acclaim, including Lynn Channing, Jane Leibel, Kathleen Porter, Renée Brad and Ben Heppner.
The RPC prides itself on contributing to the community which has so generously supported it over the years, and looks forward to bringing musical enjoyment to its generous audiences for many years to come.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CHORUS
The Regina Philharmonic Chorus started life in 1972 when an ad hoc community chorus was put together in response for singers to perform Handel’s Messiah in a Christmas Programme by the Regina Symphony Orchestra (RSO). Following the 1972 performance, the Regina Symphony Philharmonic Chorus was formed as an extension of the symphony. In 1984, the chorus broke away from the RSO and was incorporated under its present name as the Regina Philharmonic Chorus.
The chorus has grown since its conception both in numbers and talent under such music directors commencing, after Mel Hurst, with Theodor Kardash in 1973. Other directors followed including Vern Saunders, Timothy Vernon, Robert Hall and Douglas Dunsmore. From 1984 until 2002, the chorus flourished under the direction and leadership of Kathryn Laurin of the Music Department of the University of Regina. Kathryn guided the chorus through many great works, and treated Regina and area audiences to a wide selection of classical choral music. The chorus celebrated its 25th anniversary season in 1996-97 with renderings of Handel’s Messiah and Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. Subsequent highlights included the Brahms and Mozart Requiems, and more recently, Mendelssohn’s Elijah.
In 2002, Kathryn handed over her baton to Ian Charter of Canadian Bible College and Theological Seminary, but his enthusiastic leadership was overtaken by the Bible College’s move to Calgary.
In 2003-04, Hart Godden took over as our Artistic Director. Under his inspiring leadership the chorus’s programme has expanded to include annual performances of Handel’s Messiah with the RSO, as well as more participation in the RSO’s concert programmes. The chorus has also consolidated its popular annual fundraiser “Brunch at the Philharmonic Cafe”. Concert highlights under Hart’s direction have included the Rutter Magnificat and most recently the resoundedly successful performance of The Armed Man by Karl Jenkins, which was possibly the first performance of this piece in western Canada.