by Gerda Blok-Wilson on September 11th, 2021
The Vancouver Chamber Choir will present a premiere performance of
Gerda Blok-Wilson’s new choral composition, “I Had No Time to Hate”

The Vancouver Chamber Choir will present a premiere performance of Gerda Blok-Wilson’s new choral composition, “I Had No Time to Hate” (poem by Emily Dickinson) at their TOGETHER concert Friday, September 24, 7:30pm, Pacific Spirit United Church. The choir will also premiere a work by Canadian composer, Don MacDonald. The program consists of an amazing line up of contemporary composers. Mostly Canadian!

Though Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) spent most of her life in seclusion, she wrote powerful poems that have a universal application even today. In “I Had No Time to Hate” Dickinson has a strong message that is particularly poignant for our times and focuses on choosing love over hate in our brief life on earth.

A small amount of love, “The little Toil of Love” is “large enough for Me” and better than the large amount of time it takes for “Hate” or “enmity.” The very notion of spending our short life consumed by hate is decidedly not her choice even though there’s very little time for love as well.

Artistic Director Kari Turunen and the VCC singers read through the piece at the Vancouver Chan Centre and workshopped the piece at their first ever virtual INTERPLAY session last June. During Interplay, participating composers connected through Zoom. This innovative technological event proved to be a great way to share new compositions from across the country.  With Covid 19, the original April 2020 “in-person” Interplay session was canceled. Originally, Gerda planned to use a newly composed choral piece “Sing to Us Cedars” but since then the piece was recorded by Daniel Shaw and the New York Virtual Choir so she wrote “I Had no Time to Hate” for the recent session.

A wonderful concert that celebrates being TOGETHER! Hope you can come!

Recent compositions by Gerda Blok-Wilson include:
Mixed voice choir
The Flute of Spring
A Kangaroo Sat on an Oak
Sing to us Cedars
If I May Hold Thy Hand
Lullay My Liking

Mixed Voice Choir & Men’s Choir
O Little Rose, O dark Rose
When the Fishing Boats Go Out
Soon May the Wellerman Come

Treble Choir
White Butterflies
The Water is Wide

#concert, #choir, #choral, #choralsinging, #choralmusic, #choralperformances, #vancouvermusic, #cansing, #vancouverchamberchoir, #gerdablokwilson, #emilydickinson, #cypressmusic, #sheetmusicplus

Cypress Music Publishing
Sheet Music Plus


by Gerda Blok-Wilson on September 4th, 2021

Check out our composition ADVENTURE!

The composition theme. Quotations to inspire music creations….

The project was developed and designed by composer, Gerda Blok-Wilson, over a four-week period (one hour each) via Zoom with the Okanagan Children’s Choir and director, Frances Chiasson.


Graphic Score examples

Learning objectives included introducing singers to basic graphic, rhythmic and melodic compositions by introducing examples and providing opportunities to create short musical compositions using age-appropriate skills. Singers were also introduced to two short musical compositions developed by a professional composer (Gerda Blok-Wilson) and integrated some of the student creations to make a collaborative choral composition called “We Sing”.

A few of the rhythmic phrases
A few examples of the short melodies.

Each lesson included a singing warm-up, introduction to new skills, review of skills and reinforcement of concepts. Opportunities to create and share ideas as well as short compositions were provided each lesson. Singers were invited to offer their ideas and collaborate with ideas submitted by other children. A final composition was created. However, it is flexible and can be adapted to include new musical ideas created by the choir director and singers.

While composition workshops happened prior to Covid, this completely digital project developed using such tools as Zoom, Audacity, Sibelius Composition program, Dropbox, Cell phone recording and children were introduced to these digital tools to create music.

During Covid-19, the choral arts were hit hard but clearly this project was a redesigned and innovative way to share the music composition process with young singers who may not have had an opportunity to experience the process in-person.”.


by Gerda Blok-Wilson on November 29th, 2020

For a number of years the Vancouver Cansing Choirs held a benefit concert for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank on the first Tuesday of December. In the spirit of the season, families and friends contributed generously, for a total of about $3500. Sadly, in-person singing is not currently permitted due to the COVID19 pandemic. We can’t count on the special atmosphere of a live concert to open hearts and wallets. But the Food Bank still needs our help more than ever–demand is up and fundraising events challenging.

So we offer the next best thing–a virtual performance, “Here Comes a New Day!”, looking forward to the hoped-for beginning of the end of COVID19 sometime in 2021. Truly, a New Day!

We are asking you to support the Choir’s commitment to the essential work of the Food Bank by making a contribution and promoting the cause to family and friends. Please share the URL for this event,https://vfd.foodbank.bc.ca/fundraiser/cansingvirtualchoir, with people you know who love music and helping people in our community access the nutritious food they need (or by using the sharing options–Facebook, Twitter and email– provided above). Gerda has warm memories of her own childhood in Prince George when her father suffered a prolonged illness and the food hamper from a local charity made Christmas possible for her family.

Thank you in advance for joining the Cansing Virtual Food Drive! And best wishes for this unusual holiday season and better times in 2021. We hope you enjoy the songs. Stay safe.

Gerda and Kevin.

PS You’ll find more information about the choir here: http://cansing.ca/ . We’ve got our hearts set on getting the adult choir back to normal in September, 2021. Let us know if you’re interested in joining.

VCS Adult Choir Virtual Registration for Oct 13th – Dec 1st.

by Gerda Blok-Wilson on September 29th, 2020

The Vancouver Cansing Adult Choir invites singers to register a Virtual Choir session, HERE COMES ANOTHER NEW DAY Tuesday, October 13 – December 1st. Rehearsals will be 8 – 9:15pm.


VCS is excited about singing again and having the opportunity to connect with friends while being physically distanced.

The sessions will cover vocal warm up and technique, learning the text, learning specific parts and many other vocal and choral techniques. Gerda Blok-Wilson (Artistic Director) and Kevin Eng (Assistant director and accompanist) will be in the same room so it will be easier to hold the rehearsal format while singers are on mute (because of the latency effect).

Following registration, singers will receive their music via pdf and will be given instructions on how to record so that we can put together and share a few songs at the final meeting time, Dec 1st.

Click: TOMORROW IS A CHANCE TO START OVER. This was recorded during the March to June Covid closures.

While VCS is based in the Vancouver Hillcrest neighbourhood this will be a virtual program so singers can register from other communities. Feel free to invite your friends and family!


by Gerda Blok-Wilson on May 29th, 2020

The VIRTUAL CLOWNS PROJECT with members of Vancouver Cansing Youth choir (ages 10 – 14), Hillcrest Neighbourhood, Gerda Blok- Wilson and Kevin Eng was a creative learning journey (Zoom meetings, recording) during these challenging Covid 19 times in April and May, 2020. It was great to produce a recording of the project for learning purposes. Nothing is even close to perfect! Super hard for us as conductors.

Although there are many things that might have been done differently, it was a great way to connect with the singers more individually via electronics. They’re so creative!

Even when back to in-person rehearsals, the Zoom sectionals, etc can be an efficient way to work with smaller groups on projects we might not be able to do during “normal” times, for example, meeting up with composers!

The full virtual project is posted at:

Vancouver Cansing Adult Choir May 5th Final Zoom/Virtual Recording

by Gerda Blok-Wilson on May 6th, 2020

“Soon you’ll be through the dark!” Last night was Vancouver Cansing Adult Choir’s final ZOOM Check-in which included our VIRTUAL RECORDING of Hilary Grist’s “Tomorrow is a Chance to Start Over” (arrangement by Larry Nickel and available through Cypress Choral music) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycFt3wnrRY4. It was one of the pieces that was scheduled to be performed at our May 5th Spring Show. The lyrics seemed to work for these difficult times.

The recording was created with individual recordings from our non-auditioned singers who range from totally novice to proficient. Kevin Eng spent a lot of time editing files together and I created the video component. Both of us learning lots of stuff!

Not perfect nor better than being together but I’m so proud of the VCS members for journeying with Kevin Eng and me through this totally new experience.

Like other choirs, the Vancouver Cansing Community Choirs have had to hold “social distancing” rehearsals since mid-March.

The whole Covid situation has felt like moving from one unknown to the next. I continued rehearsals by providing a weekly learning plan which included individual SATB rehearsal tracks for each song (which I make), rehearsal notes for skill development, listening examples, bios on the composers and review of previous pieces (mostly for familiarity). We held short Zoom meetings once a week for sectionals and good chats.

We look forward to singing together in the same space and performing the other songs we’ve rehearsed. Hugs to all

LET THE RIVER RUN Fri, February 28, 7 – 8pm, Sir Charles Tupper Auditorium

by Gerda Blok-Wilson on February 11th, 2020

This amazing VANCOUVER CANSING CHOIR (Hillcrest Neighbourhood) concert will feature a 140 voice mass choir singing Craig Hella Johnson’s spectacular arrangement LET THE RIVER RUN (Carly Simon). Admission is by donation ($15 – $20.00 suggested amount).

The 60 minute show will feature five choirs singing a variety of songs including selections by Canadian songwriter and composers Ian Tyson, Larry Nickel and two of Gerda Blok-Wilson’s arrangements: COD LIVER OIL (trad Newfoundland) and CHI MI NA MÓR-BHEANNA (Mist Covered mountains – trad. Nova Scotia).

Along with Gerda Blok-Wilson (Artistic Director) and Kevin Eng (Assistant conductor, accompanist), we hope to see you!

Member of the BC Choral Federation, BC Kodály Association and Choral Canada.


Twitter: @vancansing

TIS THE SEASON! Tues, Dec 10th, 7 – 8pm, Sir Charles Tupper Auditorium: A Vancouver Cansing GREATER VANCOUVER FOOD BANK FUNDRAISER

by Gerda Blok-Wilson on November 27th, 2019

The Vancouver Cansing choirs, Hillcrest neighbourhood, will present their fifth seasonal benefit, TIS THE SEASON, for the Greater Vancouver Food bank, Tuesday, Dec 10th, 7-8pm, Sir Charles Tupper Auditorium. Admission is by donation ($15 – 20.00 suggested amount).

All proceeds will go to the Greater Vancouver Foodbank (NO FOOD ITEMS PLEASE).

What gives the most joy during the holidays? It’s the gifts we give to others. Last year, the singers raised over $2600.00!

The short family program is a wonderful way to hear fantastic choral performances including John Leavitt’s GLORIA (from PETITE MASS), and Chuck Bridwell’s crazy NUTCRACKER JINGLES, woven with readings from Clement Clarke Moore’s THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS. The audience will have a chance to sing favourite carols including the VCS highlight of the evening, A MOOSE IN A MAPLE TREE.

With each $1 VCS Choirs donate, GVFB can purchase at least $3 worth of nutritious groceries and fresh produce for the thousands of people they support each week. Share the news with family, friends and neighbours!

Member of the BC Choral Federation, BC Kodály Association and Choral Canada

VANCOUVER CANSING CHOIRS: HERE’S TO SONG, 7pm, Friday, Nov 22, Charles Tupper Auditorium.

by Gerda Blok-Wilson on November 15th, 2019

We hope you can join the youth and adult Vancouver Cansing Choirs (Hillcrest Neighbourhood) for HERE’S TO SONG, Friday, Nov 22, 7pm, Charles Tupper Auditorium. Admission is by donation ($15 – $20.00 suggested amount).

The 60 minute show will be filled with a variety of songs including selections by Canadian songwriters and composers Allister MacGillivray, Lydia Adams, Jean McKen, Stan Rogers, Ron Smail, Erica Phare-Bergh, Hilary Grist, Larry Nickel.

Two highlights will be 60 youth choir singers performing “Revolting Children” (Matilda) and 125 singers in the mass choir performance of MacGillivray’s HERE’S TO SONG.

Along with Gerda Blok-Wilson (Artistic Director) and Kevin Eng (Assistant conductor, accompanist), we hope to see you!

Member of the BC Choral Federation, BC Kodály Association and Choral Canada.

Twitter: @vancansing

Vancouver Cansing Registration for the 2019 Fall session is available

by Gerda Blok-Wilson on June 12th, 2019

The Vancouver CanSing (VCS) 2019 fall session registration is open! This will be our 10th anniversary season!

All rehearsals begin Tuesday, September 17th, Cityview Church, Hillcrest neighbourhood. We welcome new members (youth and adult) who LOVE to sing and perform all kinds of music. Please help us get the word out. Feel free to share via email, Facebook, Twitter, newsletters so the word gets out to people who are keen to sing!

The Vancouver Cansing program is comprised of five choral groups of varying age groups – youth and adult, all of whom sing separately but also engage in multi-generational music-making.  There’s a great community spirit in our group and sense of joy and belonging between the singers and audience. 

We believe “If you can talk, you can sing.” Like any other instrument, learning to sing takes practice!  

VCS has been praised by many for the camaraderie, challenge and sense of real ‎community that is promoted.  Hope you can join us!

VCS is a member of the BC Choral Federation, BC Kodaly Association and Choral Canada.

Vancouver Cansing Choirs:

LEVEL 1 (ages 5 & 6). Our youngest group of musicians…

LEVEL 2 (ages 7 & 8). Slightly more advanced group who also sing with Level 3.

LEVEL 3 (ages 9 – 15. Non – auditioned). A vibrant group of singers who sometimes work with Level 4 and adults.

LEVEL 4 CHORthemo (ages 10 – 16. Auditioned). An advanced group of boys and girls who provide leadership to the younger singers and also “wow” audiences with their individual choir work and singing with the adult choir.

ADULT CHOIR (grades 11 and 12 through adult: non-auditioned but you must be able to carry a tune…). A wonderful group of keen adults, many of whom are parents of youth choristers.