Ensembles - Concert Choir


Dr. Catherine Robbins & Elroy Friesen

Who is eligible:

Auditions are open to all Faculty of Music students, University of Manitoba students* and community members*
*Non-credit students will be charged a nominal fee of $125/year


Mondays & Wednesdays, 4:30-6:15pm
Fall and Winter terms

Location: T2-266


COncert Choir
The UMCC is an opportunity for alumni, faculty of music students, and students from across the University of Manitoba campus to explore a variety of choral repertoire in a supportive, yet challenging environment. Concert Choir also provides a platform for budding conductors to take on leadership roles and offers a space for future music educators to gain valuable choral singing experience.

Previous seasons have featured works by Brahms, Morten Lauridsen, Ola Gjeilo, John Pamintuan, Melchior Vulpius and others. Formally under the co-direction of respected music educators Ed and Millie Hildebrand, the choir’s past performances included guest appearances with the Eastman Choral Association, ECCO, and Providence College Singers. UMCC also collaborated with the University Singers in sold-out performances of Handel’s Messiah and Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. Carmina Burana

About the Co-Directors

Catherine Robbins, PhD

Dr. Catherine Robbins (BMus, BEd, MMus, PhD) is a dynamic music educator known especially for her work in vocal techniques and choral pedagogy. She is in demand as a presenter, clinician, and adjudicator at workshops and festivals in both vocal and choral fields, and keeps a busy schedule as a guest conductor of youth choirs of all ages across Canada. Dr. Robbins’ choral work centers on helping singers and conductors develop a solid understanding and subsequent application of sound vocal principles within the choral medium. Presently, Dr. Robbins teaches undergraduate conducting, choral techniques, vocal techniques, and choral repertoire at the University of Manitoba where, along with colleague Dr. Elroy Friesen, she is co-director of fikamusik; a summer choral conducting intensive involving a pedagogical approach centered on the development of self and community.

Catherine completed her masters and doctoral studies in Music Education through the University of Toronto. Her areas of research include negotiating the solo voice in choral singing, narrative inquiry, collaborative inquiry and self-study methodologies, reflective practice and teacher education, developing innovative frameworks for professional development, and the formation of the musical self of choral music educators.

Elroy Friesen, DMA

Described as “innovative, expressive, and dynamic”, Elroy Friesen is Director of Choral Studies at the University of Manitoba, where he conducts numerous choirs and teaches graduate conducting. His award-winning ensembles tour nationally and internationally, and are frequently recorded and broadcasted by the CBC. The ensembles enjoy collaborating with many outstanding local and national arts organizations, including the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Canadian College of Organists, WSO New Music Festival, Soundstreams Canada, Groundswell, Vancouver Chamber Choir, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, and the Canadian Chamber Choir.

Dr. Friesen studied at the University of Manitoba (B. Mus., B. Ed., M. Mus.) and at the University of Illinois (DMA) receiving numerous scholarships and grants from the Manitoba Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Foundation for Choral Music in Manitoba. He is Artistic Director and co-founder of a new professional choir- Schooner Cove Singers-based in Parksville, B.C. He is also co-founder of fikamusik, a Choral Conducting Intensive, and has recently appeared as guest conductor with the Winnipeg Symphony and the National Arts Centre Orchestras. He is in demand as a clinician, adjudicator, and conductor throughout North America and Northern Europe.