About Us

  • ABOUT US

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 works 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 Eddis. 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 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.   

After fourteen years of inspiring leadership under the direction of Dr. John Brough, Da Camera Singers now welcomes to the podium Laura Hawley, who was appointed the Artistic Director in summer 2019.

Choir

Da Camera Singers is a non-professional choir which provides accomplished singers an opportunity to express the joy, beauty and bond of choral singing in a chamber choir. The choir rehearses every Monday evening and holds a series of weekend retreats to help develop the repertoire, the sound of the choir and the community that is Da Camera. All accomplished singers from the Edmonton area are welcome to apply to join the choir; annual membership is determined by audition. For more information on joining Da Camera Singers please contact Da Camera Singers on our contact page.

Laura Hawley, Artistic Director

Laura Hawley is a Canadian musician known for her compelling approach to musical leadership and artistic programming, multi-faceted community engagement, and distinctive compositional style.

Laura is thrilled to have accepted position of artistic director of Da Camera Singers (Edmonton), beginning in July 2019.  She is founding artistic director of Hypatia’s Voice Women’s Choir of Ottawa (2015-2019), and has worked with a wide variety of community-based choral and orchestral ensembles throughout Canada including CAMMAC, Music & Beyond (Ottawa), Choirs Ontario, Choir Alberta, Nova Scotia Choral Federation, and Choral Canada.  She was recently appointed singer, pianist, and featured composer with the Canadian Chamber Choir and is active as a clinician for groups across the country.   She is a founding pianist and associate conductor of the Cantiamo Choirs of Ottawa, and was their composer-in-residence from 2003-2017. From 2007 to 2018 she was Director of Music at St. John’s South March Anglican Church, leading the adult choir and establishing a thriving parish youth choir. In 2014, 2016, and 2018 she was nominated for the prestigious “Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting.”

As an internationally recognized composer, her 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 clarinettist Jeff Riley, percussionist Beverly Johnston, and violist Kieth 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 www.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 she is looking forward to 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 University of Ottawa.  She is currently based in Edmonton.

Kim Cousineau, Accompanist

Kim received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Victoria, and studied privately with Anna Cal, student of Russian pianist Pavel Egorov. He worked as a répétiteur and rehearsal pianist for Pacific Opera Victoria on numerous productions, including Bizet’s Carmen and the world premieres of MacDonald’s Mary’s Wedding and Stokes’ Rattenbury. Kim has been involved in numerous musical theatre productions, including Candide and Baby (Opera Nuova), Bernarda Alba and The Light in the Piazza (MacEwan Theatre), The Drowsy Chaperone (Louis St. Laurent High School), and A Penny Saved (Acting Out Musical Theatre). He was a staff pianist with Victoria-based summer music programs In The Key Of Glee and A Voce Sola, and with Singspiration in Edmonton. Kim is in high demand as a choral accompanist in the Edmonton area, working with many groups including Concordia Concert Choir, Da Camera Singers, A Joyful Noise, Vocal Alchemy, Ante Meridiem, and Chronos. In 2012, Kim was the recipient of the BC Choral Federation’s Joyce O. Maguire Award for outstanding long-term service as a choral accompanist. He maintains a busy schedule as a collaborative pianist and coach and is currently on faculty at the Alberta College Conservatory of Music.

Board of Directors and Business Manager

The board of Da Camera Singers is made up of singing and non-singing members. The Artistic Director, Accompanist, Assistant Conductor and Business Manager are paid an honorarium. All other positions with the choir and the board are volunteer positions. The Board oversees: a three-concert season; annual choir retreat; auditions; guest appearances with other arts groups; hiring guest performers and orchestral musicians; volunteer appearances; paid private and corporate performances; all fund-raising activities; along with the hiring of all paid staff.