Founded by its current artistic director Scott Leithead, the Kokopelli Choir Association has been providing quality choral music performance and instruction in the Edmonton area and beyond since its inception in 1996. Over the years, the association has grown from a single youth choir to a family of seven choirs, with each choir focusing on bringing spirit and artistic integrity to their performances. Kokopelli is the founding youth choir, with members ranging in age from 14 to 23; Òran is a young adult choir which includes some past Kokopelli members aged 20-35; Vacilando is an adult choir for singers aged 20 and up; ChandraTala is an upper-voice adult choir for experienced sopranos and altos; Shumayela is an apprentice mixed-voice choir with members in the 12 to 16 year old age group; Kikimasu is a treble-voice choir including singers between the ages of 8 and 12; and Tamariki is a primary training choir for singers aged 5 to 7.
The choirs are known for their unique style of presentation, which combines high quality musical delivery and artistic staging. A diverse and global repertoire is the basis of each choir’s program, singing music ranging from canonical classical repertoire to experimental and avant-garde contemporary works. The association also has a long history of performing African music, culminating in the relationships built during the choir’s tours to southern Africa in the summers of 2004, 2007, and 2013. These unique connections and the music they bring have been very well received by Canadian audiences. Our choirs have enjoyed singing a number of programs with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra over the past several seasons. In addition, Kokopelli has recorded many CDs, including a commercial release (on the EMI label) of a collaboration with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Canadian recording artist Rita MacNeil.