The Board of Directors of Bach Children’s Chorus is pleased and excited to announce the appointment of Charissa Bagan as Artistic Director for Bach Children’s Chorus and Bach Chamber Youth Choir, effective with the start of the new season (2017/18). Charissa’s new role includes conducting Choirs I, II and III.
Charissa’s skills, professionalism and experience in music education for young singers impressed the Board members. Charissa has conducted children’s, university and adult choirs in Vancouver, Cleveland and Toronto. In 2007, while living in Vancouver she founded the award-winning University Community Children’s Choir. Charissa worked with Choirs II and III this past fall before leaving to give birth to her second child in November.
Current Artistic Director, Linda Beaupré, has had an impressive 30 years as founder and conductor of Bach Children’s Chorus and Bach Chamber Youth Choir, touching the lives of hundreds of children. Linda started BCC in 1987, with a choir of 23 young singers, which she developed into an organization of 180 children and youth in five choirs. She created the music education programme that is unique to BCC and conducted choirs to numerous first-place finishes at provincial and national competitions. Under her leadership, BCC choirs have performed across the country, from Newfoundland to British Columbia to Northwest Territory.
Linda Beaupré will continue to be an integral part of the BCC/BCYC organization in the capacity of advisor/consultant as she transitions into retirement and discovers new outlets for her numerous skills and enthusiasm for the arts.
The Board is also pleased to announce that James Pinhorn will join the artistic team as conductor of Bach Chamber Youth Choir, beginning next season. James is a high school music teacher who has developed one of the top music programmes in Canada at Agincourt CI. His award-winning choral programme is known for its outstanding product and for its leadership programmes. James is no stranger to BCC. His daughter, Katie, is in her 12th season with BCC and a member of Bach Chamber Youth Choir. His son, Ben, now a university student, was in BCC for 7 years.
A note from Linda Beaupré: “I am so pleased that Charissa has agreed to take the helm, and to conduct our three treble choirs. She has tremendous training, musicianship and experience to bring to the BCC, and I look forward to the fresh new ideas that she will bring to the organization. I have had the unparalleled privilege of working with generations of children growing up in the BCC, as they became fine young musicians—and outstanding citizens. I will enjoy watching as this continues under Charissa’s strong leadership.
Similarly, I cannot adequately express my pleasure that the very outstanding James Pinhorn will help BCYC to sustain and build further as a wonderful community youth choir open to all. His experience in working with youth choristers of every level of ability, from early teens through university level, is already proven, and his demonstrated respect for our choir is heartwarming. My thanks also go to our excellent support team of highly trained conductors, theory and sight-singing coordinators and vocal coaches, who will each continue to show a personal investment in the musical growth of our fine choristers.”
A note from Charissa Bagan: “I am thrilled to be joining and leading the tremendous organization that Linda and her team have developed with such care over the past THIRTY years! It is very encouraging to know that the Board is clearly dedicated to ensuring that the BCC continues to flourish after Linda’s retirement. I have no doubt that the choir offers something special to the wonderfully diverse residents of Scarborough and East Toronto through musical education, creative expression, striving for excellence as well as cultural exposure and positive relationships. I look forward to becoming better acquainted with the BCC community and will work hard to uphold a high quality experience for all choir members.”
A note from Elan Emerson, Chair of the BCC Board of Directors: “While it is difficult to imagine the Bach Children’s Chorus without Linda at the podium, I am excited that Charissa has agreed to lead us all into this next chapter, and am confident that she is up to the challenge. Linda can rest assured that Charissa, all the artistic staff, Jane, and the Board will do our best to make her proud of the organization she has nurtured for the last 30 years and which is synonymous with her name.”