Chor Leoni Announces Successor to Founder Diane Loomer, C.M.

Vancouver’s renowned pride of singing lions, Chor Leoni Men’s Choir, is pleased to announce the appointment of Erick Lichte as artistic director effective September 2013, at which point founder and current artistic director, Diane Loomer, C.M. will step into her new active role as the choir’s conductor emerita.

Diane expressed every confidence in the transition, saying, “During my 20 years as founder and artistic director of Chor Leoni I have worked with most of the elite male choir conductors in North America. I cannot overstate my sense of pride and delight that Erick, one of the most respected of these conductors, has agreed to succeed me as our new artistic director. He has the knowledge, experience, education, and most of all, the spirit, to carry on our legacy.”

As a founding member, singer and artistic director of the male vocal ensemble Cantus, Lichte created and sustained one of only two full-­‐time vocal ensembles in the United States. His work with Cantus garnered the 2009 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, the highest honor for the professional choral organization Chorus America. He has also been awarded major grants from Chamber Music America and the National Endowment for the Arts.

As Chor Leoni’s associate conductor, Lichte accompanied the choir to Europe this past July, where they won twelve major award at the 51st Seghizzi Concorso Internationale Di Canto Corale in Gorizia Italy. This experience offered an invaluable opportunity for the choir and Erick to work together intensively and successfully.

“With Erick Lichte on the podium as our new artistic director, audiences are in for some wonderful music making at the highest level, proven by the recent prize-­‐winning performances under his direction,” states Bob Rankin, president. “The Lions along with our board and staff are thrilled and our future looks very bright!”

Erick has admired Chor Leoni and Diane for years. “Through Diane's tireless work and consummate artistry, Chor Leoni has become not only one of the world's great male choirs, but also one of the world's great singing ensembles,” he says. “Their vast range of repertoire, impeccable diction, intonation, blend and balance, as well as their famous warm sound, have brought the group to the upper echelons of the choral arts. However, what has always separated Chor Leoni from all other groups is the emotional commitment and love these men pour into everything they sing. I am certainly excited to work with musicians of this calibre, but even more, I am ecstatic to be a part of such an impassioned and caring group of singers.”

Founded in 1992 by artistic director, Diane Loomer, C.M., Chor Leoni is now celebrating its twentieth anniversary season. The choir is recognized for its leadership and acts as a mentor and inspiration to men’s choirs across Canada and internationally. Chor Leoni performs regularly with Vancouver ensembles and orchestras and is heard on national broadcasts frequently. The choir’s next performances are their traditional Remembrance Day concerts, Intonations of Immortality (November 10 in Nanaimo with the Malaspina Singers), November 11 in West Vancouver and Vancouver.

Visit chorleoni.org for details.

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