Iconic choral event celebrates 40th anniversary and will bring singers from across the province together in song
WINNIPEG, Oct 1/23 – Manitoba Choral Association (MCA) invites all singers ages 10 and up around The Singing Province to join their annual flagship program, MB Sings, in February 2024. Now in its 40th year, the program is designed to bring together singers of all ages and experience levels from across Manitoba and beyond for an inspiring weekend of singing and community-building. The three-day event will take place February 2-4 on Treaty 1 Territory at Gordon Bell High School (rehearsals) and Portage Avenue Church (finale concert) in Winnipeg.
Once a year, MB Sings (formerly known as Provincial Honour Choirs) regularly draws 300 youth and adults from all over Manitoba and the surrounding regions to discover the joy and pleasure of choral singing. Singers join one of three choirs (according to age) and participate in two days of intensive rehearsals learning interesting and challenging repertoire, and then share what they learn with families and friends in a finale concert. There are no auditions to join the MB Sings Choirs and registration is open to all singers Grades 5 and up, regardless of experience or singing ability!
The program has had a massive impact on singers' lives, and many come back year after year because the program is a place to share their passion for group singing. For some singers, it is the highlight of their year and the only chance to participate in group singing all year long. As one 2023 participant said, “I enjoy singing with a whole bunch of different people, and seeing what we can put together during a weekend." Another shared, “I learn something new every year! Making music with others who share the same love for music as me makes my heart feel full.”
The 2024 MB Sings program will run from Friday, February 2 to Sunday, February 4 and will welcome guest conductors: Sonya Williams (Winnipeg, MB), Melanie DeMore (Oakville, CA), and Scott Leithead (Edmonton, AB). Rehearsals take place at Gordon Bell High School (Winnipeg) Friday evening and all day Saturday. On Saturday evening, singers and their families are invited to participate in “Saturday Night Live”, an event featuring a headliner performance from local professional ensemble THOSE GUYS, as well as musical acts from the singers themselves.
After an uplifting weekend of learning music and building community, on Sunday afternoon singers take the stage to present a final concert where they share what they have learned with family and friends. This year's finale concert will take place at Portage Avenue Church (Winnipeg) and will feature several special activities to mark the 40th anniversary of this exciting program, including a special video of MB Sings over the years, a mass choir piece sung by choristers from all three choirs, and a meet-and-greet after the concert so guests can mingle with choristers. There may even be some spontaneous singing that happens!
Every year MCA welcomes a large in-person audience from around the province to the finale concert and will once again offer a live-streaming option for viewers outside of Winnipeg. Tickets for the finale concert can be purchased online starting in January or at the door.
This year is also significant because MB Sings will kick off MCA’s calendar year activities in 2024 related to the Winnipeg 150: City of Song initiative, which has been made possible thanks to a partnership with Winnipeg Arts Council and will celebrate the city’s 150th anniversary through choral and singing events hosted by various organizations throughout 2024.
MCA invites singers, conductors, and volunteers with past MB Sings experiences to share their stories with the organization leading up to the event, and to attend the finale concert in February. “This flagship program has been around for 39 years, and there are community members that will be part of the 40th year celebrations who were there at the very beginning,” MCA Executive Director, Jenny Steinke-Magnus said. “We look forward to welcoming them to this celebration in 2024.”
MCA encourages all Manitobans Grades 5 and up, regardless of experience or singing ability to register and take part in the 40th Anniversary of MB Sings. Early bird registration is open until December 15 and regular registration closes mid-January. Alternatively, MCA invites all those who enjoy choral music and want to show their support to the choral community to consider volunteering for the event, or join us at the MB Sings Finale Concert on Sunday, February 4.
MCA is grateful to the Foundation for Choral Music in Manitoba, Winnipeg Arts Council, Outstanding Branding and Holiday Inn Airport West for partnering with us to make this event possible. More information on MB Sings can be found at: mbchoralassociation.ca/mb-sings.