The Quintessential Vocal Ensemble (QVE) has become recognized as one of Canada's most accomplished choral organizations, bringing together more than 80 singers from the thriving musical community of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. Founded in 1993, its members encompass a range of experienced singers, instrumentalists, music teachers, students, and professionals of diverse backgrounds, with a love for eclectic and engaging repertoire and an exceptional standard of performance. The choirs are known especially for their a cappella repertoire of many styles and periods.
QVE has recorded three CDs: Ave Maris Stella, a treasury of motets and spirituals from the past 150 years, released in 2001 and nominated for Classical Recording of the Year at the East Coast Music Awards; A Quintessential Christmas, released in 2003; and most recently, and if you close your eyes, in 2006.
Building on its artistic mandate to promote choral education, in 2014 QVE expanded with a new mixed-voice youth choir for ages 15 to 23, and launched an artistic collaboration with the newly-formed Atlantic Vocal Ensembles for children and youth. QVE's educational outreach also includes initiatives such as QVE goes to School, an interactive workshop for children around the province, and the annual QVE Bellamy-Sesk Memorial Bursary. The choir is committed to promoting the province's culture and choral singing through recurring performances in smaller communities around the province, and commissioning of new works by Newfoundland and Labrador composers.