What is the specificity of the various choirs of the SPNM?
There are many choirs and each has its own color. The mission of the SPNM choirs is to produce great works for choir and orchestra in their complete version and to present these works accompanied by a professional orchestra (the Orchestre philharmonique du Nouveau Monde (OPNM). Amateur choristers (by that we mean that choristers are not paid to sing), they offer semi-professional services (some would go so far as to say professional).
Another original feature of the SPNM choirs is that each choir works the same classical work in its own region, but presents the complete works by joining the other choirs, all conducted by the same conductor, Maestro Michel Brousseau. A homogeneity in the interpretation emerges from this work, even if the work was learned by the choristers in different places and times. In doing so, it is possible to bring together 130 to 150 choir singers on stage who join their voices and hearts to perform the entire work of the repertoire chosen for each concert.
Who can be part of the choirs of the SPNM?
Anyone passionate about singing and interested in great works written for choir and orchestra. It is not essential to have extensive musical training to join the choir, but a basic knowledge of music (knowing how to read and navigate a score) and choral experience are valuable assets. Learning tools are also offered or offered for those who feel the need. The conductor, Michel Brousseau, has each choir auditioned to determine the range of the voice and assign the person to the right desk (alto or soprano for women; tenor or baritone-bass for men). Some women with deeper voices may be invited to join the tenor desk.
You must also be willing to devote a few hours per week at home for personal learning of the chosen work. It is unrealistic to think that only group rehearsal periods are sufficient to master a complete work. To join one of the choirs of the SPNM is to join a group that wishes to offer professional quality concerts and therefore agrees to put in the time and energy that it requires. Each and every one bears a share of responsibility for and with the whole group, which unites the members and unites them in the search for the best possible return from the work. Beautiful friendships are forged over the rehearsals, thus creating a strong bond of belonging to the choir.
When do rehearsals take place?
Since it is the same conductor who directs all the choirs, everyone has their evening: Monday = Sainte-Thérèse; Tuesday = Montreal; Wednesday = Mont-Laurier; Thursday = Ottawa.
The sequence of rehearsals is usually as follows:
- First 20 minutes: vocal work to place the voice;
- 60 minutes: workshop work (soprano – alto; tenor – bass) during the first weeks of learning the work. Once the basic training is completed, this period brings together the whole choir.
- 60 minutes: work with the whole choir.
In addition, as the concerts bring together all the choirs that have worked the same complete work each in its region, it is always planned, around mid-session, an intensive weekend where all the choirs practice together to refine everything.
Finally, since the concerts are generally presented with orchestra and soloists, the last week before the concert we usually have a practice in Montreal (Montreal Conservatory) to refine the work, this time accompanied by the orchestra and soloists. You also have to count, of course, on a dress rehearsal the day before (or the day before) the concert.
How many concerts per year?
It depends on the years. It happens that we prepare two different concerts during a year, a concert before Christmas and one towards the end of May beginning of June. But it also happens, as in 2018-2019, that we only mount one large complete work (Mass solennelle by Rossini in 2018-19). The year 2019-2020 was devoted to the preparation of Beethoven’s Missa solemnis, a masterful work that occupied our entire year but that we were unable to present, obliging COVID.
Each concert is usually presented in each of the regions where the SPNM member choirs come from. Choir members agree to participate in concerts that are offered in regions other than their own. This is how each choir performs between 4 and 8 times a year, in Montreal, Sainte-Thérèse, Ottawa and Mont-Laurier.
Interested in joining us? We will be happy and happy to welcome you among our group. Visit our page recruitment.