Who Are We?
The University of Alberta Madrigal Singers, begun in 1974 by Professor Larry Cook, have been under the direction of Dr. Leonard Ratzlaff since 1983.
Initially formed to explore the repertoire of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, the Madrigal Singers have emerged in the past 20 years as one of Canada’s premier university chamber choirs, drawing on music from all periods and styles for their repertoire.
With their membership drawn principally from students in the Department of Music, the Madrigal Singers have also attracted qualified singers from across campus. Membership is determined through annual auditions each September. The Madrigal Singers ensemble is available for a half-course credit, either as a required course in some music degree programs, or as a Fine Arts option for non-music majors.
The Madrigals Singers have a student-elected executive which is responsible for helping to manage the affairs of the choir, including tour preparation, financial management, costuming, media and communications, and relations within the choir and between choirs.
The Madrigal Singers perform in Convocation Hall on campus and at other venues in Edmonton, including the Francis Winspear Centre for Music and various churches.
The Madrigal Singers have sung as guest artists with the Alberta Baroque Ensemble and Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, performing a wide range of repertoire, including Handel's Messiah and other Baroque masterpieces, as well as contemporary works, including Poulenc Gloria, Raminsh Magnificat and Ravel Daphnis et Chloe. CBC frequently records the choir's concerts for regional and national broadcast.
Beyond Edmonton, the "Mads" tour Alberta and British Columbia, and in recent years have participated in University Voices, a festival of Canadian university choirs held ain Toronto. In 2005 the Madrigal Singers were invited to perform at the National Convention of the American Choral Directors Association in Los Angeles, and they have performed at several Podium conferences of the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors.
The Madrigal Singers have won first prize in the CBC Choral Competition for Amateur Choirs (1992, 1996, 2004), as well as in international choral competitions, including the Robert Schumann International Choral Competition in Zwickau, Germany (1995) and the Cork International Choral Festival in Cork, Ireland (1999 and 2008).