PROUD RECIPIENTS OF the ATB Financial Community Arts Group Award at the 2011 Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts Gala, St. Albert, AB
Singing our song, 30 years strong!
As we celebrate our 30th anniversary, we reflect on our many concerts, themes, tours, community appearances, the many friends we’ve all made and the many songs we’ve sung together.
Dr. Lillian Upright formed a choir 30 years ago as an offshoot of her church choir. Four years later Tim Hankewich took over as director, followed by Jan Dammann. Two years later a third director arrived by the name of Eric Mierau and his daughter, Criselda, in tow as accompanist. Eric conducted the 24-voice mixed choir for one year and then Criselda took over in what she expected to be an interim position. The Guild celebrates with Criselda as she approaches 25 years as Artistic Director!
The mixed choir quickly grew to almost 50 singers and there were many women, in particular, on the waiting list. Eventually the Guild housed five choirs: the mixed choir, an all women’s choir and three children’s choirs. In 2010, the junior choirs became their own organization, grew up and left home (they didn’t move too far away and still come home to visit often).
Now the Guild is comprised of two choirs: the St. Albert Singers (SAS mixed choir) and the St. Albert Women’s Vocal Ensemble (SAWVE). As we sing together year after year, the sisterhood in SAWVE tightens as we embrace everyone from new mothers to new grandmothers. The family in SAS is strengthened as we enjoy the support and diversity of its members and music.
As much as music continues to move us in ways large and small, this experience is ultimately about the people. The Guild is home to many valued and wonderful friendships that simply would not have happened had the Guild not provided the opportunity. Making music is really the icing on the cake. The music draws us all together in ways that are sometimes difficult to express in words and we are forever bonded as a result.
We are who we are today because of the support of our audience, our families, our advertisers and the community of St. Albert.