WEEK­END WAR­RIOR

Arts Um­brella head Paul Larocque sings with Chor Leoni in Van­cou­ver and around the world

BC Business Magazine - - Contents - By Felic­ity Stone

Arts Um­brella head Paul Larocque sings his heart out

Mu­sic has al­ways been a big part of Paul Larocque’s life. He sang in school, church and uni­ver­sity choirs, took part in mu­si­cal theatre and com­pleted the Royal Con­ser­va­tory of Mu­sic pi­ano pro­gram. Af­ter mov­ing from his na­tive On­tario to Van­cou­ver in 1995, Larocque joined the St. Au­gus­tine’s church choir, be­com­ing a mem­ber of the Chor Leoni Men’s Choir in 2004.

Larocque, pres­i­dent and CEO of Arts Um­brella since 2016, de­scribes join­ing Chor Leoni as life-chang­ing for its mu­si­cal train­ing, friend­ships, com­mit­ment to com­mu­nity ser­vice and op­por­tu­ni­ties to per­form around the world. The bari­tone has trav­elled with the choir to Bos­nia, Czech Repub­lic, Ger­many and Italy, as well as across Canada and to the U.S. Last sum­mer Chor Leoni com­peted in the Sin­ga­pore In­ter­na­tional Choral Fes­ti­val and the Bali In­ter­na­tional Choir Fes­ti­val, win­ning gold medals and singing in the pres­ti­gious Grand Prix at both.

The 50-odd Chor Leoni mem­bers are vol­un­teers, but the choir is a pro­fes­sion­al­cal­i­bre clas­si­cal vo­cal en­sem­ble, Larocque says. “It’s very se­ri­ous about its ap­proach to mu­sic, the cre­ation of new works, but also cel­e­brat­ing mu­sic from around the world,” he ex­plains, adding that it may be one of the busiest ama­teur choirs in North Amer­ica, singing to more than 18,000 peo­ple in the 2017-18 sea­son.

To cel­e­brate the 100th an­niver­sary of the ar­mistice end­ing

CHOIRBOYS Larocque (cen­tre) prac­tises for the an­nual Christ­mas con­cert

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