The Celebrating Students series provides a snapshot of McGill Mastercard Student Sponsorship recipients. The Student Sponsorship Program was launched in 1997 to give students who are involved with special campus groups or clubs an opportunity to apply for additional funding for projects carried out by their groups.
In this installment, the Alumni Association features the McGill Choral Society:
McGill Choral Society (MCS) is a non-profit student organization dedicated to making great music. One of the largest student groups on the McGill campus, MCS gives members the chance to enjoy the experience of making music together.
While MCS is officially a club of the Students’ Society of McGill University, students from other universities and members of the general public are also welcome. The choir has a “No Audition” policy—we welcome singers of all levels, only engagement and a strong interest in singing and learning music is mandatory. We therefore bring together music lovers from all over Montreal, and from all academic disciplines, from Arts to Engineering, and from Education to Medicine and Chemistry.
Currently, MCS has over 160 members and we perform to audiences of 500-1,000 people. In our concerts, we are usually accompanied by a small orchestra and hire professional soloists. Each year we perform two major choral works, one in our Fall concert at the end of November and one in our Spring concert. Last November we performed Dvorak’s Mass in D and seasonal music, and this spring our concert program on April 3rd includes Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem (German Requiem) and selected contemporary pieces, with music from Broadway musicals.
Last Fall we also celebrated the 30th anniversary of the choir with our current director Mary Jane Puiu. With her energy, warm personality and passion for music, she has a talent of bringing out the best in all of our singers. To celebrate this, we hosted a gala in her honour on November 11th. With performances by old and current members, speeches and reunions, the evening was a warm-hearted event that brought old and new members together, allowed current members to learn about MCS’s history with Mary Jane, and gave a chance to old members to see what the choir looks like today.
Finally, organizing all these events would not be possible without donations and contributions from outside of the choir. On the behalf of all our members, I would therefore like to thank the McGill Alumni Association Student Sponsorship Program for supporting our choir in bringing people together through music!
- Elisa Penttilä
U1 BA student at McGill and MCS member
Funds generated through the use of the McGill Mastercard support these types of student initiatives. To get yours, click here.