Vancouver Chamber Choir
The Vancouver Chamber Choir is one of Canada’s national treasures, an outstanding professional vocal ensemble noted for its diverse repertoire and performing excellence.
The Choir has been performing to audiences at home in Vancouver and on tour across Canada since it was formed in 1971 by conductor Jon Washburn. International excursions have taken the Vancouver Chamber Choir to the USA, Mexico, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Finland, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine.
Honoured with the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence by Chorus America, the Vancouver Chamber Choir has to its credit countless performances and broadcasts, 32 recordings and numerous awards. Foremost supporters of Canadian music, Jon Washburn and the Choir have commissioned and premiered more than 250 Canadian choral compositions. Over the years they have sung over 3,000 performances of 350 pieces by 120 Canadian composers in addition to their extensive international repertoire.
The Choir’s award-winning educational programs include the National Conductors’ Symposium for advanced choral conductors, Interplay interactive workshops for choral composers, Focus! professional development program for student singers, OnSite visitations for school choirs, the biennial Young Composers Competition, and many on-tour workshops and residencies.
Jon Washburn is the longtime Conductor and Artistic Director of the Vancouver Chamber Choir. Well known internationally for his mastery of choral technique and interpretation, he travels widely as guest conductor, lecturer, clinician and master teacher. He is also an active composer, arranger and editor and has had many compositions published, performed and recorded around the world.
In 2001 Mr. Washburn was named a Member of the Order of Canada (the nation's highest civilian honour) and in 2002 received Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee Medal for his lifetime contribution to Canadian choral art. Mr. Washburn received a Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors in the spring of 1996 and the Louis Botto Award from Chorus America in June 2000, in recognition of “innovative and entrepreneurial spirit in the development of a professional choral ensemble of exceptional quality.” He was given the Friends of Canadian Music Award 2000 by the Canadian Music Centre (CMC) and the Canadian League of Composers in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Canadian composers' music. In the fall of 2009, he was named a CMC Ambassador and in 2010 received a star on the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame’s Starwalk. In 2012 Mr. Washburn received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. In June 2014 he received the Michael Korn Founders Award for Development of the Professional Choral Art, presented by Chorus America.