ABOUT THE CHOIR
Kappella Kyrie Slavic Chamber Choir was founded in the spring of 2010 by Dr. Melanie Turgeon and others, in a conscientious effort to explore, highlight and uphold the rich, centuries-old musical tradition of the Christian East, with a particular focus on Slavic sacred music, as it is performed in the concert hall as well as in the liturgical context.
To date, Kappella Kyrie has delighted audiences with several wide-ranging and collaborative initiatives, and has performed with Chorale Saint-Jean, King’s University Chamber Singers, Richard Eaton Singers, Calgary Youth Orchestra, Shumayela, among others. In June 2015, Kappella Kyrie marked their fifth anniversary with Rachmaninoff’s famous All-Night Vigil, celebrated as an actual church service. November 2017 saw Kappella Kyrie perform with renowned Canadian tenor, Benjamin Butterfield and in June 2019 they proudly staged the North American premiere of Ukrainian Baroque composer Artem Vedel’s sacred concerto with orchestra, Помолихся лицу Твоему всем сердцем моим, along with Vivaldi’s spectacular Gloria, both performed on period instruments at Baroque pitch (415 Hz). In February 2020, Kappella Kyrie celebrated its tenth anniversary with “A Journey Through Lent,” collaborating with The King’s University Chamber Singers and faculty, to prayerfully showcase pieces sung in the Eastern Church during the Great Fast. They were delighted and honoured to perform with talented Ukrainian baritone, Yurii Hryhorash in November 2022, and they will soon commence a recording project, incorporating Yurii as soloist on various selections. They hope to officially release this recording in the spring of 2024.
Beyond the concert hall, Kappella Kyrie toured Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary in May of 2014. They gained national recognition, placing second in the Pan-Cultural Traditions category of the Choral Canada National competition in 2015, and first in 2019. Their community service includes performances at the Stollery Children’s Hospital, Edmonton’s Maximum Security Institution, the Marian Centre, Edmonton City Hall and Newman Theological College. In June 2022, Kappella Kyrie partnered with Richard Eaton Singers for a special fundraising concert at Edmonton’s Winspear Centre, that raised $22,000 for those who have recently moved to Edmonton and area, as they flee the war in Ukraine.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Melanie Turgeon began studying conducting at the age of 16, under the tutelage of Wolodymyr Kolesnyk, former conductor of Kyiv State Opera and Ballet Theatre. She completed her postsecondary education at the University of Alberta (BAMus and MMus), followed by the University of Illinois, graduating with a Doctor of the Musical Arts Degree in Choral Music. Dr. Turgeon is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at The King’s University in Edmonton, Alberta, and Adjunct Professor at Cape Breton University in Sydney, Nova Scotia.
She has conducted many choirs and ensembles and has presented research at several academic institutions and conferences, both in Canada and internationally. Melanie has also toured extensively with her choirs, including three successful European tours. Being of Ukrainian descent, she has devoted herself to researching and promoting Ukrainian music, primarily sacred music. From 2002-2018, she served as Music Director and Cantor at St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in Edmonton. She is a member of the Eparchial Melanie Turgeon Liturgical Commission, a role that results in organizing workshops and creating publications to educate and assist cantors in the Ukrainian Catholic Church. She hopes to formally establish a Certificate of Eastern Christian Worship Program at The King’s University in the near future.
Highlights in Dr. Turgeon’s research endeavors include the publication of a book entitled, Composing the Sacred in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia (2008), and the creation of the first bilingual hymnal for the Ukrainian Catholic Church, entitled Sing to our God (2008), which has been distributed worldwide. Melanie has released three recordings with Heruvymy Ukrainian Female Quartet, and one with King’s Choirs. In 2010 she founded Kappella Kyrie, an award-winning chamber choir primarily devoted to Slavic sacred music. Melanie has been heavily involved with the Ukrainian Art Song Project for more than a decade. In August, 2022, she served as a faculty member and the co-director of the Ukrainian Art Song Project’s Summer Institute in Toronto, Ontario.