University of Alberta Mixed Chorus

The University of Alberta Mixed Chorus was founded in 1944 by Gordon Clark, a medical student. In 1947, Professor R. S. Eaton began an association with the chorus that was to last twenty-one years. Under his direction, the Mixed Chorus developed into a loyal and cohesive unit. When alumni of the Chorus asked the Dr. Eaton to form a choir that they could sing in after leaving the university, he formed the University Singers, later renamed the Richard Eaton Singers in his honour. In January of 1968, Professor Eaton’s long association with the Chorus came to an end when he suddenly passed away while on leave. James Whittle, a graduate student, conducted the UAMC in 1968, 1969, and 1971. Dr. David Stocker, a professor in the Department of Music, led the Chorus during 1970.

In 1971, the third-longest association with the Mixed Chorus began as Dr. R. E. Stephens, Professor of Music Education at the University of Alberta, assumed the position of Conductor of the UAMC, a post he held until 1986. His 15 years with the chorus were interrupted only briefly by a sabbatical leave in 1979, when the Chorus was conducted by Merrill Flewelling. Our present conductor, now with the longest association with the Mixed Chorus, Dr. Robert de Frece, sang in the Chorus from 1967 to 1971 and served on the executive in 1968-69. Dr. de Frece is now completing his twenty-third year as director of the UAMC.

The University of Alberta Mixed Chorus is currently celebrating its 66th year. Members of the chorus represent almost every faculty and school on the U of A campus. Auditions are held each year in the first week of September. During the year, members rehearse four hours a week. The Chorus sings each year at the University’s Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols and at the Lighting up the Legislature ceremony held each Christmas in Edmonton. Our annual Spring Concert takes place each spring at the Francis Winspear Centre for Music.

Throughout its history, the Chorus has toured each spring, taking its music to many communities in Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon.

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