Windsor Choral Festival

January 10-14, 2023

The Windsor Choral Festival is an annual event that brings together choral singers from across Windsor-Essex Region to share their love of singing with one another. The Festival provides choral clinics for ongoing vocal training and education free of charge, encouraging community through collaborative singing. With an explicit mandate to promote Canadian choral music, the Festival features a Canadian work every year as a massed choir piece in a grand finale concert.

Windsor Choral Festival 2023 will occur from January 11-14, with clinician Dr. Joel Tranquilla of Trinity Western University. Dr. Joel Tranquilla is previous Artistic Director of Windsor Classic Chorale and Chorusmaster of Windsor Symphony Orchestra Chorus. He also founded the Windsor Choral Festival in 2011. We are very excited to let you know that we have also commissioned a massed choir piece for the grand finale Windsor Choral Festival concert!

2023 Schedule of Events


4:30pm-5:00pm: UWindsor Choirs rehearsal, Ensemble Room, Armouries

5:00pm-5:30pm: UWindsor Choirs clinic, Ensemble Room, Armouries

5:30pm-6:00pm: Windsor-Essex Youth Choir clinic, Classroom 3, Armouries (UWindsor Choirs rehearsal continues in Ensemble Room)

6:00pm-6:30pm: University Choirs/Windsor-Essex Youth Choir/Canadian Chamber Choir rehearsal with Sherryl Sewepagaham, Ensemble Room, Armouries (UWindsor Choirs officially dismissed at 6:20)

6:30pm-7:30pm: Dinner Break (Windsor-Essex Youth Choir workshop continues with Canadian Chamber Choir & Sherryl Sewepagaham until 7:00pm)

7:30pm-8:00pm: Windsor Symphony Orchestra Chorus clinic, Multimedia Room, Armouries

Thursday, January 12

9:00am-11:00am: Open rehearsal with Canadian Chamber Choir & Sherryl Sewepagaham, Performance Hall, Armouries

3:30pm-5:30pm: Open rehearsal with Canadian Chamber Choir & Sherryl Sewepagaham, Roseland Trinity Church

5:30pm-7:00pm: Dinner (potluck provided by Roseland Trinity Church Choir), Roseland Trinity Church

7:00pm-7:15pm: Church choir welcome (Roseland Trinity; Harrow Church Choir), Roseland Trinity Church

7:15pm-7:30pm: Canadian Chamber Choir & Sherryl Sewepagaham mini-performance, Roseland Trinity Church  

7:15pm-7:45pm: Choir 1 workshop, Choir 2 listen, Roseland Trinity Church

7:45pm-8:00pm: Break

8:00pm-8:30pm: Choir 2 workshop, Choir 1 listen, Roseland Trinity Church

8:30pm-9:00pm: Mini concert (two church choirs)

Friday, January 13

12:00pm-1:30pm: SoCA Fridays Concert with Canadian Chamber Choir & Sherryl Sewepagaham, Performance Hall, free admission

5:00pm-6:00pm: Conductors’ Circle, St. Alphonsus Church

6:00pm-7:30pm: Dinner, St. Alphonsus Church (potluck provided by Windsor Classic Chorale)

7:30pm-9:00pm: Workshop with Windsor Classic Chorale

Saturday, January 14

1:00pm-2:30pm: Canadian Chamber Choir rehearsal & soundcheck at Capitol Theatre

2:30pm-3:00pm: The Windsor Filipino Community Centre Choir Workshop

3:15pm-3:45pm: County Classic Chorale Workshop

4:00pm-4:10pm: Roseland Trinity United Chruch Choir Soundcheck

4:10pm-4:15pm: Harrow United Church Choir Soundcheck

4:20pm-4:30pm: Windsor-Essex Youth Choir Soundcheck

4:30pm-4:40pm: Windsor Classic Chorale Soundcheck 


5:30pm-5:40pm: UWindsor Choirs Soundcheck

5:40pm-5:50pm: Windsor Symphony Orchestra Chorus Soundcheck

5:50pm-6:00pm: Set stage

6:00pm-6:45pm: Massed Choir Rehearsal

7:00pm-7:30pm: Doors open

7:30pm-9:30pm: WCF Concert, Capitol Theatre

Dr. Joel Tranquilla

Clinician for 2023 Workshops

Dr. Joel Tranquilla is a conductor and music educator noted for his versatile musicianship and creative programming. He is currently the Director of Choral Activities at Trinity Western University where he leads the choirs and teaches various other courses within the School of the Arts, Media + Culture. Recent tours have taken the TWU Chamber Choir to Ottawa, New York City, Hong Kong, China, Japan, and Taiwan. Joel is also the Artistic Director of the Valley Festival Singers in Abbotsford and the Associate Conductor of the Juno-nominated Canadian Chamber Choir. In high demand as an adjudicator and clinician across the country, Joel spent several years in Windsor as the Chorusmaster of the WSO and the Artistic Director of the Windsor Classic Chorale. He holds degrees from Mount Allison University, the University of Michigan, and Michigan State University where his doctoral research was in the area of Canadian choral-orchestral works. Joel lives outside Vancouver with his wife Meghan and their 3 kids.

Effective July 1, 2023, Joel will be the new Artistic Director of Halifax Camerata Singers.

Sarah Quartel

Commissioned Composer for WCF 2023

Canadian composer and educator Sarah Quartel is known for her fresh and exciting approach to choral music. Deeply inspired by the life-changing relationships that can occur while making choral music, Sarah writes in a way that connects singer to singer, ensemble to conductor, and performer to audience. Her works are performed by choirs across the world, and she has been commissioned by groups including the American Choral Directors Association, the National Children’s Chorus of the United States of America, and New Dublin Voices. Since 2018 she has been exclusively published by Oxford University Press, and she continues to work as a clinician and conductor at music education and choral events at home and abroad.


Introduction and Score Walkthrough of Sarah Quartel’s “Carry the Music”

Guide to Modifying for Reduced Voicings

To modify the SATB score for singing in SAB:
Upper voices, please sing as written throughout.
Lower voices, please sing:
-mm. 1-30, as written
-mm. 31-53, bass line
-mm. 54-55, tenor line
-mm. 56-60, as written
-mm. 61-71, bass line
-mm. 72: beats 1-3 bass line, beats 4-6 tenor line
-mm. 73-76, tenor line
-mm. 77-78, bass line
-mm. 79-80, tenor line
-mm. 81-87, as written

To modify the SSA score for singing in SA:
-mm. 1-55, as written
-mm. 56-60, S1 and Alto lines
-mm. 61-76, S1 and S2 lines
-mm. 77-87, as written

To modify the SSA score for singing unison in the octave of your choice (upper or lower voices):
-mm. 1-30, as written
-mm. 31-55, S1 line
-mm. 56-64, S2 line
-mm. 65-72, S1 line
-mm. 73-75, S2 line
-mm. 76-87, S1 line

Many thanks!

Windsor Choral Festival Virtual Concert 2022

Windsor Choral Festival – United in Song

“Participating in the Windsor Choral Festival has become an annual tradition for me, allowing me the opportunity to network and collaborate with a wide array of singers from the area. It is always a privilege to work with and learn from clinicians who are leaders in the choral community.”

Hannah Cole
Windsor-Essex Youth Choir

“The festival is a great opportunity to connect people who love singing.  Each year, I am more impressed with the breadth and depth of the community of musicians and singers in Windsor-Essex.  It has united our choral community in ways I don’t think we even imagined in our first few years.”

Melinda Munro
Windsor Classic Chorale

“I once heard someone say that music is a world of its own, connecting millions of people through the power of passion itself. At the Windsor Choral Festival, the organizers managed to gather local groups of talented individuals who share a collective love of choral music, creating an amazing event where people could learn, have fun, and make meaningful connections. I was really moved by the piece Bersatu Senada. Tracey Wong’s story of being grounded by her music as she moved to Canada really resonated with me, as choral music has always been a huge part of my life as well. I had an amazing experience when I visited the Windsor Choral Festival with my choir, and can’t wait to come back next time.”

Lakshmi Tharuvai
Windsor-Essex Youth Choir