Da Camera Singers
Since its inception in 1961, Da Camera Singers has upheld a strong presence in the Alberta choral community and proudly holds the distinction of being Edmonton’s longest-standing chamber choir. The choir’s musical programming encompasses Western choral concert music from the Renaissance to the 21st century, including oratorios, choral works with orchestras and instrumental ensembles, works with piano, and a cappella works; presenting concerts that feature a range of music from beloved masterworks of the choral canon to newly premiered pieces by Canadian and Edmonton-based composers, and supporting the creation of new art through commissioning.
In addition to their own annual three-concert season, Da Camera Singers collaborates regularly with professional and amateur groups in the Edmonton community, including the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Alberta Baroque Ensemble, Pro Coro Canada, i Coristi Chamber Choir and A Joyful Noise; and the choir has performed under the direction of such esteemed conductors as Bernard Labadie, Ivars Taurins, and William Eddins. In March 2012, Da Camera Singers, as well as many alumni singers from the choir, celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a presentation of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana.
Da Camera Singers has been broadcast nationally on CBC, and has toured throughout Canada, the United States, and parts of Europe. In the summer of 2015, they completed a two-week tour through parts of Austria, Hungary and Slovakia, which included a concert in St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna. Among their recordings is the only commercially available recording of Eulogies (2009) by renowned Canadian composer and former ESO composer in residence, John Estacio. In 2013, Da Camera released a collection of 20th and 21st century Christmas Carol arrangements entitled Kings and Shepherds featuring the music of Jonathan Dove, Ola Gjeilo and Jake Runestad.
In 2019, Laura Hawley was appointed as Artistic Director, joining the ranks of the esteemed conductors who have led Da Camera, including John Brough, Laurier Fagnan, Ardelle Ries, Mark Sirett, Alexandra Munn, and Mel Unger. This year, Da Camera celebrates its 60th anniversary!
Laura Hawley, Artistic Director
As an internationally recognized composer, Laura Hawley's works have been commissioned, performed, and recorded by many of Canada’s finest ensembles including Elektra Women’s Choir, Pro Coro Canada, Inuksuk Drum Dancers, Canadian Chamber Choir, Spiritus Chamber Choir, Cantiamo Choirs of Ottawa, Halifax Camerata, and Shallaway Youth Choir. Her setting of the French poem Au champ d’honneur is performed annually on national broadcast by the Ottawa Children’s Choir and Canadian Armed Forces Band as part of the Remembrance Day Ceremony at the National War Memorial. Her piece, Alhamdoulillah, became internationally famous when it went viral on YouTube with the title “Welcome to Canada Syrian Refugees” in December 2014. The Canadian Chamber Choir recently toured and recorded her multi-movement work, In Song, for mixed choir and instrumental ensemble with bass clarinetist Jeff Riley, percussionist Beverly Johnston, and violist Keith Hamm.
While Ms. Hawley writes for many of Canada’s top performing ensembles, her unique understanding of developing musicians and sensitivity to a commissioner’s vision has established her as a widely sought composer for educational ensembles as well. As result, Laura has written a variety of instrumental and choral works for children, youth, and developing adult musicians; works that lend themselves well to educational growth. Her works are published with Rhythmic Trident Music Publishing, Cypress Choral Music, and on laurahawley.ca.
Laura Hawley has taught at both of Ottawa’s universities as a part-time professor at the University of Ottawa in the position of Coordinator of the Solfège program at the School of Music, and at Carleton University School for Studies in Art & Culture (Music) as an Associate Performance Faculty Member (teaching classical piano) and Contract Instructor (teaching conducting and theory), and began teaching composition at Concordia University of Edmonton in the 2019-2020 academic year. She teaches piano, theory, harmony and history in her studio.
Ms. Hawley holds an ARCT from the Royal Conservatory of Music and completed a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and Master’s in Music Theory at the University of Ottawa. She is currently based in Edmonton.