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