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'Come one, come all,' new St. Albert Singers Guild director says

Caroline Crispine, Muriel Martin Elementary School music teacher, was appointed the guild's new artistic director in July
Caroline Crispin, music teacher at Muriel Martin Elementary School, is the new artistic director for St. Albert Singers Guild. SUPPLIED

Singing by yourself is good. Singing with others is even better. At least, that is what Caroline Crispin believes.  

The Muriel Martin Elementary School music teacher hums in the car and spends her days teaching students to hit the right notes. And when she's at home, she surrounds herself with music. 

In July, Crispin was appointed St. Albert Singers Guild artistic director, a position that will expand her musical influence to adult choristers with diverse skill sets. 

Crispin follows in the footsteps of Criselda Mierau, who was artistic director of the guild for 31 years and built a strong reputation for herself and the guild. 

"The best part of stepping into Criselda's big shoes is we both love music. I want to share my love of music and joy of singing and build community with a safe space for everyone," said Crispin.  

Currently, the guild has topped 70 members eager to follow Crispin's fresh approach and share that exciting communal feeling of rehearsing songs together. Confident of her choristers' abilities, she has already booked winter concerts at St. Albert United Church for Dec. 1 and 2.  

The repertoire will be an eclectic palette designed not only to please audiences but also to challenge each vocalist and expand their abilities. 

"We'll be singing a mix of songs from old English madrigals to modern pop hits and everything in between. There will be lots of different music to excite and stretch the vocals." 

Crispin was born and raised in Edmonton, where her innate musical abilities popped up early in life. 

"I could hum before I could talk, and I started playing the violin at age three," Crispin said. "By age five, I was taking singing lessons, and by the time I was 11, I was running the children's church choir. Eventually, I took over all the music services but dropped out when I was 14. I was a teenager and had other interests." 

At one point, she was a member of the Edmonton All-City Youth Choir led by Garth Worthington, an Edmonton Public School teacher who spent 30 years sharing his passion for music with thousands of students. He was also a baritone and multi-instrumentalist, playing piano, guitar, clarinet and sousaphone.  

"He was my mentor and taught me so much. I discovered my true love was making harmony."  

In addition to forming two robust children's choirs at Muriel Martin, Crispin personally sings with the John Cameron Changing Lives Choir. Cameron's choir is renowned for its charity events, including the Singing Christmas Tree and a major mental health fundraiser in May. 

The St. Albert choir's first meeting and rehearsal is at Muriel Martin School on Tuesday, Sept. 12, at 6:30 p.m. 

"Come one, come all. The more the merrier, especially tenors and basses. They really round out the sound. They make a beautiful tone." 

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Anna Borowiecki

About the Author: Anna Borowiecki

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