A Celebration of Jewish Choral Music – June 19, 2018

Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale
Spiritus Chamber Choir
Calgary Renaissance Singers & Players
Tuesday, June 19th at 7:30 PM

Beth Tzedec Synagogue (1325 Glenmore Trail SW, Calgary)


Ticket prices: Regular Adult $30 / Student or Senior $25 / Child 12 Years & Under Free

The Calgary Renaissance Singers & Players are delighted to announce a wonderful new choral collaboration with Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale and Calgary’s Spiritus Chamber Choir. This June, come and hear all three ensembles as they present “A Celebration of Jewish Choral Music” in the beautiful 1,500-seat sanctuary of Beth Tzedec Conservative Congregation in Calgary. CRSP thanks the congregation of Beth Tzedec for their generous sponsorship of this exciting cultural event in the life of our city.

This concert will see the Internationally-renowned Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale give its first-ever Canadian performance. LAZC was founded in 1997 as an ensemble whose primary focus is to lift up music on Jewish texts and by Jewish composers, specifically those from southern California. LAZC’s Artistic Director, Dr. Nick Strimple, is a recognized expert on Jewish music related to the Holocaust. He has lectured on the topic at universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, and Yale, as well as at the Oregon Bach Festival. On Tuesday June 19, LAZC will present 40 minutes of music, much of which has never been performed in Canada.

They will be joined in this concert by Dr. Timothy Shantz and Spiritus Chamber Choir, who will perform Srul Irving Glick’s magnificent “Sing to the Lord a New Song”, accompanied by harp.

For its part, Calgary Renaissance Singers & Players will contribute music by the Jewish Italian Renaissance composer Salamone Rossi (1570-1630).

CRSP has invited Beth Tzedec’s Cantor Russell Jayne to participate as a soloist in this concert, performing music from the Sephardic cantorial tradition.

The evening will end with all three choirs onstage — one hundred voices singing Jewish sacred music and honouring these lines from Psalm 98:

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises.

Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
with the lyre and the sound of melody.

With trumpets and the sound of the horn
make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord.

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who live in it.

Let the floods clap their hands;
let the hills sing together for joy.

On Tuesday, June 19, 2018 at 7:30pm, please join us at Beth Tzedec Conservative Congregation for this unforgettable choral experience!

Download Letter from Artistic Director
Download Concert Poster

Concert May 6th – A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities
Sunday, May 6th
Pre-Concert Talk 2:30 PM / Concert 3:00 PM
St. Stephen’s Anglican Church (1121 – 14th Avenue SW, Calgary)

Join CRSP as we take you on a tour of Mantua and London with a motley mixture of madrigals and instrumental music to celebrate love, leisure, and the lilt of spring! Our concert will take a look at some of the best-known composers who lived in those cities in the decades surrounding the year 1600.


Ticket Prices:

Early Bird (up to April 21) Prices:  $15 student/seniors / $20 regular adult / no charge for youth younger than 18 years
Regular (April 22 – May 6) Prices: $20 student/senior / $25 regular adult / no charge for youth younger than 18 years

 Mantua: The Italian Renaissance composer Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) penned some of the very first operas, took the art form of the madrigal to new heights, and created stunning sacred music. Our concert will feature three of his madrigals, including his setting of Sfogava con le stelle, whose musical language reaches into the realm of opera. We will also perform his masterwork Lauda Jerusalem, Domine for double choir. In his time in Mantua, Monteverdi was employed by the long-reigning Gonzaga family. The Gonzaga court had an excellent orchestra, which Monteverdi conducted. One of the ensemble’s members was the Jewish violinist and composer Salamone Rossi (1570-1630.) Rossi wrote music for viol ensemble for his Christian employer, and also wrote liturgical music for the synagogue in Mantua’s Jewish ghetto. Additionally, he wrote beautiful madrigals; we will feature three of these in our May 6 concert, including Rossi’s setting ofSfogava con le stelle.

London: Over in London, the writing of madrigals was equally popular, and the composer Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625) led the pack with his famous The Silver Swan. Gibbons wrote volumes of music for the virginal, and in this was in the good company of William Byrd (1539/40-1623). Byrd had become infamous for becoming a Catholic in the midst of the Anglican court of Elizabeth I. However, because she loved his music, the Virgin Queen overlooked his religious affiliations and allowed him to pursue his art undisturbed. Our concert will include a performance of his incredible settings of the texts Ne irascaris Domine and Civitas sancti tui.

The CRSP Players: The Players are quickly becoming audience favourites. Recorder player John van Leeuwen will be joined by violinist Andrea Neumann and cellist Joan Kent in some trios by Rossi and by Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643). We are thrilled that, in addition, Joan Kent will lead CRSP’s brand-new viol consort in its very first public performance as a part of this event.

Audience Letter from the Artistic Director
Download Concert Poster

We look forward to welcoming you all to our May 6 concert!

Books Between Friends – CRSP Fundraiser


Do you love books? Do you love getting a good deal on quality used books? Come on down to Books Between Friends from March 9th to 11th, stock up on great books, and all proceeds get donated to CRSP! Support your favorite choir!

Location:   #14, 3434 – 34 Avenue NE, Calgary
Friday, March 9 – 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Saturday, March 10 – 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Sunday, March 11 – 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Pocket Books     $1 ea or 15 for $10
Hard Cover     $2 ea or 12 for $15
Trade Size    $2 ea or 12 for $15
DVDs     12 for $15
Kids Books     $1 ea or 30 for $20
(unless otherwise marked)


Seasons Greetings from the Calgary Renaissance Singers & Players

Just a quick note to thank all who attended our latest concert on December 10th – Exultate! Rejoice! In the words of our Director, Jane Perry:

“It was stupendous — it truly was.  The biggest audience we’ve had in seven years was on hand to witness a concert of elegance and beauty, with sparkling guest artists and a choir that was absolutely on fire. Congratulations to the entire team of singers, dancers, volunteers, crew, special guests, and our number-one fans for a magnificent evening.”

We put in countless hours rehearsing and organizing our concerts and appreciate our patrons and supporters.

There are two more concerts coming up this season – in May 2018 we present A Tale Of Two Cities featuring English and Italian repertoire and in June 2018 we are presenting An Evening of Jewish Choral Music in conjunction with the Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale. Stay tuned for more details.

Also, we are seeking more choir members. In particular, sopranos, tenors and basses. Auditions will be held on Sunday, January 7th. Click here for further details about auditions.

 Season Greetings – Merry Christmas – and Happy New Year! 

Concert December 10th – Exultate! Rejoice!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

(Pre-concert talk at 7:00pm)

Location:  St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, 1121 14 Avenue SW:
Google map

Come and help us celebrate the light that shines in the darkness!

Katie Partridge is a member of Luminous Voices and an early-music specialist here in Calgary.  With this concert, she steps into the spotlight as a concert soloist in a programme that she helped to design.  You will hear her bring to life the music of Hildegard von Bingen and anonymous colleagues of nearly 1,000 years ago — perfect music for the beautiful sanctuary acoustic of St. Stephen’s Anglican Church in the Beltline.  Ms. Partridge will also perform Monteverdi’s jubilant Laudate Dominum, accompanied by the brilliant Calgary organist Chellan Hoffman, and Bach’s haunting Quia respexit (Magnificat), in which you will also hear John van Leeuwen performing on Baroque oboe d’amore.

The Players, our core of early-music instrumentalists, will also be featured brightly in this concert.  St. Stephen’s will ring with the sounds of recorders, shawms, harpsichord, bells, drums, and viol, enticing some Renaissance dancers to kick up their heels for a joyful moment or two.  Unique to this concert, and indeed to the Calgary concert scene, will be a performance on chalumeau (a grandfather to the modern clarinet) by Adrianna van Leeuwen, who has been studying early music in the Netherlands and returns to Calgary to interpret two movements of a Telemann sonata for chalumeau and continuo.

The choir itself will present music that runs the gamut from mediaeval English Christmas carols such as There is no rose of such virtue to early-Renaissance choral compositions from the Codex Speciálnik (c. 1500). The concert’s finale will include the choir, the Players, and soloist Katie Partridge in a series of settings of the text “Omnis mundus jocundetur” — all the world rejoices.

We look forward to greeting you all warmly in December!

Ticket Prices
Note that we have two different ticket prices for this season!

Early Bird Price (until November 25th) $20 Regular / $15 Senior/Student / Under 18 Free. Early bird tickets only available online!

Regular Price (from November 26 until date of concert) $25 Regular / $20 Senior/Student / Under 18 Free. If you purchase tickets directly from choir members, the regular price applies!

Audience Letter from the Artistic Director
Download Concert Poster