Reading Sessions of New Compositions


Next offered: October 15, 2018
Application deadline: September 15, 2018

2018 Guest Composer : Celebrated Vancouver composer, Ramona Luengen

Free Admission. Open to observers.

An important part of Elektra’s mandate is to encourage the creation of new work for classically-based women’s choirs.

Meet the four composers who participated in our October 24, 2016 Reading Session:

david-archer-2  David Archer is an international award-winning choral composer who knows that music helps create beauty, compassion, and empathy in our communities. He shared “Saga of Alarik” at the Elektra Women’s Choir Reading Session.



andrew-chambers  Andrew Chambers (b. 1995) is a Canadian Composer seeking his Bachelor of Composition at The University of British Columbia. An Ontario native, Andrew is excited to be a part of Vancouver’s active and vibrant musical community.




katerina-gimon  Katerina Gimon (b. 1993) is an award-winning Canadian composer currently based in Vancouver where she is pursuing her Masters of Music at the University of British Columbia.




cassie-lufspring  Composer and conductor Cassandra Luftspring has worked for the Toronto Children’s Chorus, Cantabile Youth Singers, and most recently the Vancouver Youth Choir. Her compositions have been commissioned and performed by ensembles throughout North America.



The purposes of our biennial Reading Session of New Compositions are many, including:

  • We meet each other in a constructive, interactive, and informal setting and get to know each others’ work
  • You hear how your composition or arrangement sounds and we discuss issues of vocal range, tessitura, composition, and notation together
  • Elektra experiences and sings new music and new sounds.  The Elektra singers are part of the process of discovery and discussion.
  • You spend an evening hearing your work and three others sung by Elektra and become more familiar with the sonic possibilities of the women’s choir “instrument”
  • We may find a work we feel is ready for programming into an upcoming Elektra concert.  However, this is not the main purpose of the Reading Session.

2016 participant David Archer had this to say about the Reading Session: “The Elektra Reading Session is a golden opportunity for composers to test new ideas with a skilled ensemble in a supportive environment. This kind of experience is vital for improving our craft. Morna rehearsed each of our pieces with attention to detail and a passion for translating each composer’s intentions into the choir’s best expression. I would highly recommend this workshop to choral composers who want to improve their choral writing.”

Your piece must be written for sopranos and/or altos in any number of voice parts, with or without piano accompaniment. It may be a previously unperformed original composition, an arrangement of an existing melody, a partial piece or simply a study. Your piece must be clearly written, either by hand or computer. Illegible scores will not be considered.

Up to four composers will be invited to participate. Only composers who are able to attend the reading session in person need apply to have their piece considered. After a general study session on the four works, each piece will be given approximately 20 minutes of rehearsal and discussion time with the choir and Elektra’s Artistic Director Morna Edmundson. The session with the choir will be recorded and participants will receive a compact disc of their segment.


kathleen  Kathleen Allan

In 2016, thanks to a grant from the Vancouver Foundation, composer Kathleen Allan joined Morna Edmundson and Stephen Smith for the evening, participating in the interaction with and feedback on the work of our four composers.

There is no cost to participate in this project except that successful applicants will be asked to provide the choir with 65 printed copies of their piece four weeks in advance of the session. All applicants will be notified of acceptance/non-acceptance. Observers are warmly welcome – also free of charge.

Contact us or call 604-739-1255 for more information or to be added to the list to be notified about the 2018 Reading Session application deadline.





Here are some thoughts from Morna Edmundson for composers and arrangers:
Writing Well for Women’s Choir

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