In the spring of 2010, Melanie Turgeon and others decided to begin assembling Kappella Kyrie. The word Kappella is simply a common Slavic word for “ensemble” and the word Kyrie is the Greek word for “Lord”.   The founders shared a conviction that the Edmonton community would benefit significantly from having an auditioned Chamber Choir primarily devoted to Slavic sacred music. The music of the Eastern Churches is rich, and Kappella Kyrie desires to share this treasured music with a broader public. However, this ensemble does not restrict itself to performing only this genre of music. They explore a variety of repertoire, with a consistent consciousness to uphold Slavic music.

Given that most members of this chorus already belong to multiple choirs, the intent of this ensemble is to not impact their involvement with other groups. Consequently, Kappella Kyrie rehearses merely biweekly. This less vigorous rehearsal schedule attracts singers from various traditions, including several alumni from The King’s University. To have singers from a diversity of backgrounds come together in Kappella Kyrie is a real gift.

Kappella Kyrie has enjoyed performing several concerts to date. This choir has also served the community in many ways: singing Divine Liturgy at the Marian Centre, caroling at the Stollery Children’s Hospital, and participating at City Hall in the annual memorial service commemorating the famine in Ukraine (Holodomor), among other engagements.

In May 2014, Kappella Kyrie experienced a very successful concert tour through Poland, Slovakia and Hungary. Audiences received their program with great enthusiasm. A live CD will soon be available of their European tour program, which featured an outstanding assortment of Ukrainian repertoire, including several contemporary Ukrainian works, balanced with a variety of twentieth and twenty-first century Canadian and American selections.

In June 2015, Kappella Kyrie will celebrate its fifth anniversary. They plan to mark this special occasion by singing Rachmaninoff’s famous All-Night Vigil as an actual church service. Awaken your senses and join us for something that has never been done before in Alberta and possibly even in Canada!


Melanie's Profile Photo 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 holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours Music Degree and a Master of Music Degree in Choral Conducting, both from the University of Alberta, as well as a Doctor of the Musical Arts Degree in Choral Music from the University of Illinois. Dr. Turgeon has had the pleasure of studying with numerous accomplished conductors, in fact 11 different teachers over the past 20 years. Most recently with Vladimir Gorbik, one of Eastern Europe’s most renowned conductors.

Melanie Turgeon is Associate Professor of Music and Choral Conductor at The King’s University in Edmonton, Alberta, where she conducts The King’s Chamber Choir, Concert Choir, and Community Chorus. In addition to her role at King’s, she has conducted various choirs and ensembles in Alberta and Illinois, she has presented research at several academic institutions and conferences both nationally and internationally, plus she is active as a clinician. Dr. Turgeon is a member of the Eparchial Liturgical Commission, where she is responsible for the music incorporated into various publications for the Ukrainian Catholic Church. She has organized and taught workshops for educating cantors in the Ukrainian Catholic Church, and has also created several resources and publications for this purpose. Since 2002, she has served as the Music Director and Cantor at St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in Edmonton.

Highlights in Dr. Turgeon’s research endeavors include the publication of a book entitled, Composing the Sacred in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia (2008), a hymnal and accompanying 5-CD set, Sing to our God (2008), three recordings with Heruvymy Ukrainian Female Quartet, and a CD with King’s Choirs, entitled, The Voice of My Prayer (2011).   She is a strong ambassador for the Ukrainian Art Song Project and in recent years has been heavily involved. In February 2011 she was the producer for the CD-launch concert: The Art Songs of Yakiv Stepovyi, featuring prominent Canadian opera singers, and the famous British bass-baritone, Pavlo Hunka. Dr. Turgeon presented on this topic at the World Vocal Symposium in St. John’s, Newfoundland in July 2013. In November she traveled to Toronto to speak at the most recent CD launch performance, and this summer she will serve as the co-producer at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto for the Ukrainian Art Song Project’s next set of recordings.

In 2010, Dr. Turgeon founded Kappella Kyrie: a unique auditioned chamber choir that devotes itself primarily to the performance of Slavic sacred music. They do not limit themselves to this repertoire; rather they use it to build variety in their programs. The music of the Eastern Churches is rich indeed, and with Kappella Kyrie, she is committed to keeping this treasured music shining in the musical experience of the broader community.

In May 2011, Melanie conducted King’s Chamber Choir in a very successful concert tour through Germany. German audiences received their program, entitled “From Far and Wide,” with great enthusiasm. It predominantly featured Canadian composers. In 2014 she led King’s Chamber Choir and Kappella Kyrie in a momentous tour through Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary. She is presently assembling a live CD from this European tour, which featured an outstanding program of Ukrainian repertoire, including several contemporary Ukrainian works, balanced with a variety of twentieth and twenty-first century Canadian and American selections. They performed several concerts, and were honored to sing the Divine Liturgy twice in Slovakia, and at the Greek Catholic Cathedral in Przemysl, Poland.