About
the Choir

 

Photos by Frank Lee, flee.com

 
 

Who We Are

The Victoria Philharmonic Choir is an auditioned, multi-generational ensemble of 80 voices. While we don’t take ourselves too seriously, we are very serious about the music. Our choristers are committed to improving vocal and choral skills, regular weekly rehearsals, independent work on repertoire between rehearsals and participation in the season’s concerts.

Since 2009, we’ve been directed by Peter Butterfield, whose skill in vocal training and his joyful and exacting leadership style continue to shape VPC into a choir with a rich and wide-ranging repertoire, from the Renaissance to the twenty-first century.

See a few highlights of past seasons from our archives.

Our Vision

The Victoria Philharmonic Choir’s vision is to provide the highest attainable standard of live choral music to Greater Victoria, Vancouver Island and further afield. Our independent choral productions present uplifting and enriching choral works to our community. We continually strive to cooperate with other arts organizations to create fulfilling concert seasons and summer festivals.

We also have a mandate to develop and educate future generations of choral singers and audiences. Through our educational programs, we offer both workshops and seminars on vocal technique and choral music, and bring together serious amateur singers who are willing and eager to continually develop their vocal talent through commitment to the highest standards of choral excellence.

Our Accompanist

Julian Greenwood is one of the busier collaborative pianists in Victoria, not only rehearsing with VPC but with other choirs, musical shows, soloists and groups. Julian once enjoyed a full career of teaching law and engineering before he retired to concentrate on the one thing that really matters: music. Now, when he’s not relaxing at one of the two grand pianos in his home studio, Julian teaches piano lessons, fills-in on church organs and plays chamber music.

Our Board of Directors

John Kaye (Chair), Georgina Nicoll (Secretary), Adrian Dolling (Treasurer), Janet Heino (Associate Treasurer), and Members at Large: Flori Ens, Scotty Gardiner, Alison McCallum, Barbara Stewart and Thomas Williams.

Click here to read more about these impressive individuals.

The Board is advised by: Peter Butterfield (Music Director), Sherry Lepage (Choir Management), Ruth Dyck (Finance), Bruce Lemire-Elmore (Patron)

 
 

 
 

Join Us

Membership

Placement auditions for the choir usually take place in September. For the current season, however, the VPC has reached its maximum number of choristers.

Volunteer

Our organization thrives thanks to its volunteers. Talented individuals spend countless hours working both on stage and behind the scenes to help us create our inspiring concerts and workshops. Without the individuals behind VPC’s management team, board, promotions, donations, event coordination, front of house staff, creative team and more, we would not have the opportunity to share our passion with the community.

With all that administrative work in place, though, it is our volunteer members’ dedicated commitment to learning and performing challenging works to the best of their ability that makes this choir the extraordinary organization it is.

Please contact our Membership Coordinator if you have time and talent to share with us!

 

Highlights

Past Performances & Treasured Moments


 

Ever since we were established as a non-profit performing arts organization in 2005, the Victoria Philharmonic Choir has been honoured to perform alongside soloists of international reputation, including Nancy Argenta, Donna Brown, Anne Grimm, Sarah Fryer, Benjamin Butterfield, Richard Margison, Daniel Taylor, Daniel Lichti, Gary Relyea and Nathaniel Watson.

Our orchestra players have included members of the Victoria Symphony, the Victoria Baroque Players, the Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Montreal-based sackbut and cornet ensemble, La Rose des Vents.

Here are a few highlights from our past seasons:

 
 

Click Here to Watch and Listen

Sopranos Anne Grimm and Nancy Washeim sing the exquisite duet “De torrente in via bibet” from Handel's Dixit Dominus. Performed March 12, 2011 with the Victoria Philharmonic Choir, members of VancouverVoices, the Victoria Chamber Orchestra and guests.

 
 

Click Here to Watch and Listen

In this 90-second video, Tenor Adam Dyjach talks about the connection between culture and choral music, featuring music from Dixit Dominus, a VPC concert that was captured by Aldridge St. Print & Media and Visualize It Video Productions.


 

Photo Archive

We delight in sharing our passion for music with our community in Victoria, BC, Canada. We perform a wide range of choral music, from big baroque works to Medieval Church Music and offer our community Christmas sing-along concerts, choral workshops and more. Here are a few images of previous concerts in churches and concert halls, and practice “note bashing” sessions:

 
 
 

 

Media Archive

Kevin Bazzana: Monumental Bach Work Makes Heavy Demands on Choir Times Colonist, April18, 2019

Classical Music: UVic’s Vogt Shares Devotion to Liszt Times Colonist, March 8, 2018

Victoria Philharmonic Choir opens season of Peace and Calm Peninsula News Review, Nov 4, 2017

Kevin Bazzana: Joshua an exploration of Handel Oratorios beyond Messiah Times Colonist, May 4, 2017

Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 King FM 98.1 June 3, 2017

Choir Hosts Community Sing-along Monday Magazine, December 17, 2015

Classical Music: Passion Story, Sung Two Ways Times Colonist, April 2, 2015

VS Closes Season with Brahms Victoria Symphony blog, May 1, 2014

A Composer for Our Time IslandNet.com June 8, 2013

Kevin Bazzana: Choral Music Fit for a Pope Times Colonist, June 5, 2013

Conductor Sees Real Role as Challenging Singers to Soar Times Colonist, June 7, 2012

Christmas Sing-alongs with Victoria Philharmonic Choir Oak Bay News, Dec 8, 2011

 

 

A list of concerts since our inception in 2005

All Victoria Philharmonic Choir concerts were conducted by Peter Butterfield unless otherwise noted:


2018/2019 Season

Rutter Requiem and the Lauridsen Lux Aeterna — with soprano soloist Jessica Wagner and members of the Victoria Symphony — November 17, First Metropolitan United Church

10th Annual Family Christmas Carol Sing-along Concert – with organist Michael Molnar – December 21, St. Mary's Church, Oak Bay

J.S. Bach — St. Matthew Passion — sacred oratorio for, double choir and double orchestra and soloists Ellen McAteer, Sarah Fryer, Josh Lovell, Benjamin Butterfield, Nathaniel Watson and Kyron Basu — April 20, 2019 — The Farquhar at UVic

500 Years of English Church Music—with Donald Hunt as guest organist —English Renaissance polyphony, sacred anthems and settings of the 19th & 20th centuries. Composers Stanford, Howells, Vaughan Williams. —June 8, 2019, Christ Church Cathedral


2017/2018 Season

Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem & Puccini Messa di Gloria – with soloists Eve Daniell, Gary Relyea, Nolan Kehler, Andrew Greenwood and members of the Victoria Symphony – November 12, Alix Goolden Hall

Family Christmas Carol Sing-along Concert – with organist Michael Molnar and guitarist Andrei Burdeti – December 21, St. Mary's Church, Oak Bay

Bach B Minor Mass – with soloists Anne Grimm, Sarah Fryer, Isaiah Bell, Nathaniel Watson – March 10, First Metropolitan Church

Rachmaninoff All-Night Vigil (Vespers) – with soloists Kathryn Humphries and Taylor Fawcett – June 2, St. Andrews Cathedral

SummerVoices Choral Workshop – Purcell The Fairy Queen July 2–7, St. Mary’s Church, Oak Bay


2016/2017 Season

Fauré Requiem & Duruflé Requiem – with soloists Rachel Allen and Andrew Greenwood – November 12, First Metropolitan United Church

Family Christmas Carol Sing-along Concert – with organist Michael Molnar – December 21, St. Mary's Church, Oak Bay

Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 (Vespro della Beata Vergine) – with La Rose des Vents and soloists Anne van der Sloot, Abigail Overman, Zachary Windus, Isaiah Bell, Jean-Philippe Fortier-Lazure, Paul Boughen and Nathan McDonald – June 3 & 4, St. Andrew’s Cathedral

SummerVoices Choral Workshop –Purcell King Arthur – July 3–8, St. Mary's Church, Oak Bay


2015/2016 Season

Jenkins The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace & Philip Moore Three Prayers of Dietrich Bonhoeffer – with the Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy, soloists Rachel Allen, Zachary Windus, Adam Dyjach, Xuguang Zhang and Sami Muntaser (call to prayer) – November 6, Farquhar Auditorium, University of Victoria

Family Christmas Carol Sing-along Concert – with organist Michael Molnar – December 21, St. Mary's Church, Oak Bay

Haydn Theresienmesse & Mozart Requiem – with soloists Donna Brown, Sarah Fryer, Benjamin Butterfield and Gary Relyea – March 9, Alix Goolden Hall

Beethoven 9th Symphony – as guests of the Victoria Symphony conducted by Maestra Tania Miller, with the Victoria Choral Society – May 7 & 8, Royal Theatre, and May 9, Cowichan Theatre, Duncan

SummerVoices Choral Workshop –Pergolesi Magnificat & Bach Magnificat – June 26–30, St. Mary's Church, Oak Bay


2014/2015 Season

Music for St. Cecilia's Day – Workshop & Concert – November 22, St. Mary's Church, Oak Bay

Sing-along Handel Messiah – in collaboration with the Civic Orchestra of Victoria and twelve soloists – December 14, Shawnigan Lake School Chapel, and December 17, Alix Goolden Hall

Bach – St. John Passion – semi-staged, with soloists Benjamin Butterfield, Nathan McDonald, Jane Long, Sarah Fryer, Josh Lovell and Nathaniel Watson, and members of the Victoria Symphony – April 4, First Metropolitan United Church

Verdi Requiem – with soloists Ingrid Attrot, Sarah Fryer, Andrew Greenwood and Richard Margison and a community chorus of 150, members of the Civic Orchestra of Victoria and Victoria Chamber Orchestra – May 24, Farquhar Auditorium, University of Victoria

SummerVoices Choral Workshop – Vivaldi Gloria and music by Monteverdi, Purcell, Stanford & Rachmaninoff – July 6–10, St. Mary's Church, Oak Bay


2013/2014 Season

Butterfield Convoy PQ 17 – as guests of the Victoria Symphony conducted by Maestra Tania Miller, with dance troupe Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie – November 10, Farquhar Auditorium, University of Victoria

Family Christmas Carol Sing-along Concert – December 21, St. Mary's Church, Oak Bay

Oak Bay Beach Hotel Holiday Tea – with pianist Julian Greenwood – December 22, David Foster Theatre

Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem – as guests of the Victoria Symphony, conducted by Maestra Tania Miller, with the Victoria Choral Society – May 10 & 11, Royal Theatre

Handel Theodora – with soloists Nancy Argenta, Sarah Fryer, Daniel Taylor, Benjamin Butterfield and Andrew Greenwood – June 7, First Metropolitan United Church

SummerVoices Choral Workshop – Purcell Dido & Aeneas – July, St. Mary’s Church, Oak Bay


2012/2013 Season

Bach Mass in B minor – as guests of VancouverVoices, with soloists Anne Grimm, Sarah Fryer, Benjamin Butterfield and Nathaniel Watson – October 28, Chan Centre, UBC, Vancouver

Handel Israel in Egypt – with soloists Nancy Washeim, Catherine Campolin, Erin Ronningen, Josh Lovell, Dale Friesen, Gary Relyea and orchestra (Mark Lupin, leader) – October 20, First Metropolitan United Church

Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 (Vespro della Beata Vergine) – with La Rose des Vents (sackbut and cornetto ensemble), orchestra, and soloists Nancy Washeim, Anne Grimm, Mark De Silva, Mark Donnelly, Adam Dyjach and Paul Grindlay – June 8, St. Andrew’s Cathedral


2011/2012 Season

Music for Royal Occasions – with organist David Stratkauskas, the Victoria Chamber Orchestra and soloists Ember Lanuti, Erin Ronningen, Josh Lovell and Alex McMorran – October 22, Church of St. John the Divine

Sing-along Handel Messiah – in collaboration with the Victoria Civic Orchestra, with student soloists – December 11, Shawnigan Lake School Chapel and December 14, Alix Goolden Hall

Family Christmas Carol Sing-along Concert – with organist David Stratkauskas – December 20, Church of St. John the Divine

Pirates to Pilgrims – famous choruses by Verdi, Bizet & Wagner; with pianist Kim Cousineau, and soloists Mary-Ellen Rayner and Cari Burdett – April 21, First Metropolitan United Church

Jenkins The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace – as guest choristers joining St. Michaels University School Choir and Orchestra, conducted by Peter Butterfield and Donna Williams – May 3, Farquhar Auditorium, University of Victoria

Bach Mass in B Minor – with soloists Anne Grimm, Sarah Fryer, Benjamin Butterfield and Nathaniel Watson and members of the Victoria Symphony – June 9, First Metropolitan United Church


2010/2011 Season

Music for Twilight –Kodály Missa Brevis (dedicated to the memory of János Sándor) and short works by Whitacre, Tavener, Holst and Casals – with organist Michael Molnar and soloist Nancy Washeim – November 20, Church of St. John the Divine

Family Christmas Carol Sing-Along Concert – with organist David Stratkauskas, cellist Pamela Highbaugh Aloni and soloist Bernard Turgeon – December, Church of St. John the Divine

Handel Dixit Dominus & Bach Trauerode (Cantata BWV198) – with soloists Anne Grimm, Nancy Washeim, Sarah Fryer, Benjamin Butterfield and Dale Throness, and members of VancouverVoices and VancouverVoices Youth, and the Civic Orchestra of Victoria – March 12, St. Andrew’s Cathedral

Bach St. Matthew Passion – as guests of VancouverVoices and VancouverVoices Youth, with soloists Stephen Varcoe, Benjamin Butterfield, Sarah Fryer, Jennifer Farrell, Mark De Silva and Gary Relyea – April 21, Chan Centre, UBC

Verdi Requiem – as guests of the Victoria Symphony conducted by Maestra Tania Miller, with Victoria Choral Society – May 13, 14 & 15, Royal Theatre


2009/2010 Season

Romantic Choral Jewels –Brahms Liebeslieder & pieces by Mendelssohn, Rheinberger and Schumann – with pianists Kim Cousineau and Kelly Charlton – November 13, Alix Goolden Hall

Family Christmas Carol Sing-along Concert – with organist Nicholas Fairbank – December 22, Church of St. John the Divine

Bach St. Matthew Passion – with soloists John Arsenault, Michael Uloth, Sarah Fryer, Jennifer Farrell and Daniel Lichti, and VancouverVoices, VancouverVoices Youth, Students of St. Michael University School, and members of the Victoria Symphony – March 27, St. Andrew’s Cathedral

Summer Choral Concert –Vierne Messe Solennelle & Fauré Requiem, Bach Sanctus & Osanna (from the B minor Mass) – with soloists Felix Butterfield and Nathaniel Watson and organists Michael Molnar & Jennifer Mitchell – July 24, Church of St. John the Divine


2008/2009 Season

Haydn The Seasons – conducted by Simon Capet, with soloists Anne Grimm, Benjamin Butterfield and Bruce Kelly – November, Farquhar Auditorium, University of Victoria

Orff Carmina Burana – conducted by Maestra Tania Miller, with soloists Leslie Ann Bradley, David Trudgen and Theodore Baerg, and members of Victoria Choral Society, Victoria Children’s Choir and Victoria Symphony – March, Royal Theatre

Choral Concert (Inaugural concert of new VPC Music Director, Peter Butterfield)

Duruflé Requiem & short works by Palestrina, Byrd, Mendelssohn, Bruckner and Poulenc – with organist Michael Molnar, cellist Larry Skaggs and soloist Kathryn Humphries – May, Church of St. John the Divine


Celebration Concert with the Victoria Symphony –Bach St. Matthew Passion (excerpts) –Handel Ode on St. Cecilia's Day – conducted by Maestras Tania Miller and Jeanne Lamon, choir prepared by Peter Butterfield – August, Alix Goolden Hall


2007/2008 Season

Dvorak The Spectre’s Bride – conducted by Simon Capet, with soloists Ken Lavigne, Anne Grimm and Bruce Kelly; shadow puppet director Tim Gosley and designer Michael Gagné – October, Farquhar Auditorium, University of Victoria

Grieg Peer Gynt, Op. 23 – as guests of the Victoria Symphony, conducted by Maestra Tania Miller; choir prepared by Simon Capet; with Christopher Gaze as Peer Gynt and narrator, soloists Monica Whicher, Sarah Fryer, Stephanie Landucci, Robin Sudbury, Jennie O'Connell, Peter Saunders, John Money and Randy Enkin – March, Royal Theatre and Port Theatre, Nanaimo

Salieri Mass in D, Beethoven Mass in C & Mozart Arias – conducted by Simon Capet, with soloists Nancy Argenta, Julia Morgan, Keith Boldt and Andrew Greenwood — April, Farquhar Auditorium, University of Victoria


2006/2007 Season

Handel Samson – staged and conducted by Simon Capet, with soloists Ken Lavigne, Nancy Washeim, Bruce Kelly, Michelle McKenzie, Stephen Barradell and Martina Haakenstad, and members of the Victoria Symphony – April, McPherson Playhouse

Jenkins Requiem, Adiemus & Palladio – conducted by Karl Jenkins and Simon Capet, with soloists Nancy Washeim, Elizabeth Skillings, Sahara Sloan and Charlotte McGee, and members of the Victoria Symphony – May, Farquhar Auditorium, University of Victoria

Beethoven Fantasia for Piano, Chorus and Orchestra in C Minor, Opus 80 & Mozart Ave Verum Corpus – as guests of the Victoria Symphony, conducted by Maestra Tania Miller; choir prepared by Simon Capet; with pianist Jane Coop


2005/2006 Season

The VPC’s first concert! Bruckner Requiem & Mozart Solemn Vespers – conducted by Simon Capet, with soloists Joanne Hounsell, Rebecca Haas, Leon Leontaridis and Sam Marcaccini, and members of the Victoria Symphony – November 19 & 20, St. Andrew’s Cathedral

Pergolesi Stabat Mater &Various composers: Six Motets for Easter– conducted by Simon Capet, with soloists Nancy Washeim and Barbara Black – April 8, Knox United Church, Parksville,  and April 14 Alix Goolden Hall

Handel Dettingen Te Deum, Bach Cantata BWV 12 Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen & Orchestral Suite no. 3 – conducted by Simon Capet, with soloists Erinn Roberts, Isaiah Bell and Sam Marcaccini – April, Alix Goolden Hall