If you were unable to attend Karen's Celebration of Life, either in person or by watching the stream live, please find the service in full in the link below.
It can also be found directly on our facebook page. ?
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved co-director Karen Giesbrecht.
Karen was an inspiring, innovative, and hard-working woman. She was creative, exuberant, and cared deeply for her singers in all of her choirs.
Karen believed that everyone should have the opportunity to sing. After years of building an incredible legacy at WES, Karen built a choral program from scratch at NPC, founded our Middle Years Choir, and founded Prairie Soundscape.
Over the last several years, Karen served as President of the Central Manitoba Choral Association, Marketing/Communications Chair of Manitoba Choral Association, and editor of the MCA Noteworthy Newsletter.
Never one to settle, Karen embraced challenges and was bursting with energy and enthusiasm for her work. Karen was a shining example of collaboration, and she loved working with her cross-town counterpart and Soundscape co-director Melanie at GVC. Whether sharing rep choices or designing new engaging assignments, Karen was truly perfecting her craft and thriving right to the very end.
Karen was immensely driven and focused, always working toward something big. She's left behind footprints that we can all tread in, each on the way to our own peak.
With broken but grateful hearts, we love and miss you deeply, Karen. We know that you're singing with your whole soul in paradise.
Founded in 2018, Prairie Soundscape is the brainchild of Karen Giesbrecht and Melanie Urichuk. As high school Choir teachers, Karen and Melanie have long believed that opportunities for people to make music should exist at every stage in our lives. While there are many incredible things happening in our communities, Karen and Melanie did feel there were two places in particular that offered room to grow.
The first area that Karen and Melanie sought to improve was the middle years choir scene. Some schools in our area offer wonderful programming, but this is not consistent across our region. While some students had little to no access to group music making at the middle years level, it was clear that many musicians with great school music would love to have further opportunities to make new friends while creating wonderful music. So in 2017, the GVSD Divisional Middle Years Choir was born. With approximately 46 kids participating in 2017, and approximately 58 singers in 2018, it's clear that this new ensemble has been welcomed warmly in our community.
The second area that Karen and Melanie wanted to address was the lack of opportunity for music making after graduation from high school. While some people continue on with singing in Church, jamming with friends, or other endeavours, it was clear that our community was missing an important piece of the puzzle. Karen and Melanie had been talking about their mutual dream of creating a community choir for young adults since meeting in 2014, and after seeing the success of their Middle Years choir, they decided it was time to make it happen.
So here we are in 2019. About to enter the 3rd season of Middle Years Choir and the 2nd season of Prairie Soundscape. Our dreams are bigger than ever, and we're full of the energy and ambition to make this year unforgettable.
Will you join us?