University of Alberta Madrigal Singers

University of Alberta Madrigal Singers

From their beginnings in 1978 as a 12-voice early music ensemble, the University of Alberta Madrigal Singers, under the direction of Leonard Ratzlaff, has grown to a choir of around 40 singers which draws on music from all periods and styles for its repertoire. The choir’s membership is comprised of mainly music students but is open to singers from across campus through auditions each September.

The Madrigal Singers perform in Convocation Hall on campus, and at other venues in Edmonton, including Winspear Centre and various churches. They have sung frequently as guests of the Edmonton Symphony, including its Messiah performances in 2012, and the Alberta Baroque Ensemble, most recently last December.

Beyond Edmonton, the choir frequently tours Alberta and British Columbia, and in recent years has participated in University Voices, a festival of Canadian university choirs held in Toronto. They have performed at the national conference of the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors twice, and in 2005 performed at the National Convention of the American Choral Directors Association in Los Angeles.

The Madrigal Singers have been frequent finalists in the Canadian Competition for Amateur Choirs, and won first prize in the Mixed Choir category of this competition on four occasions. International competition successes have included First Prizes at several international competitions in Germany and Ireland.

The Madrigal Singers have released five recordings, two of which (Balulalow [1999], The Passing of the Year [2004]) won the National Choral Award from Choral Canada for best Canadian recording of that year. These recordings feature a wide range of choral music from Renaissance to the present, including first recordings by Canadian composers Allan Bevan, Leonard Enns, Malcolm Forsyth, James Rolfe, Mark Sirett and Ruth Watson Henderson, as well as British composers Gavin Bryars and Jonathan Dove.