ABOUT CYPRESS

OUR STORY: In 1989 Diane Loomer became enchanted with Allister MacGillivray’s “Away From the Roll of the Sea”.  She and her husband, Dick, were on the east-coast and cycled out to Allister’s home in Cape Breton for a meeting. They worked out an agreement with a handshake. Diane arranged the piece for her two choirs; (Chor Leoni men’s choir and Elektra women’s choir). These fine choirs toured widely and Diane received many requests for her beautiful setting (listen here). Upon request, Diane would snail mail xeroxed copies of her hand-written scores to directors across the country. Dick said, “Why don’t we print the piece properly?” Long story short; they created a publishing company in 1990 and named it after the street they lived on – Cypress Street.

Diane (b. 1940) had a huge heart for Canadian composers and wanted to provide them with a way to reach out to choirs. Over the years, an enterprise that began as a basement hobby became a significant publisher of Canadian choral music. Eventually Dick (a podiatrist) and Diane, each leading very busy lives, needed someone they could trust to take over the company.  They invited Larry Nickel over for breakfast one morning in 2009! Larry was singing with the Vancouver Chamber Choir at the time but had written and arranged many pieces for Diane’s choirs over the years. He had just completed a doctorate in composition so the timing was right. 

Diane Loomer passed away in 2012. Watch this tribute video.

DR. LARRY NICKEL

CEO & EDITOR

Larry Nickel is an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre, an active choral clinician, adjudicator, teacher, singer, and conductor.  He taught high school performing arts for 25 years, directing some 50 stage productions on top of the regular teaching load (Concert Bands, Jazz Bands, Choirs, Handbells, Drama and Acting). In 1989 Larry nearly died from viral encephalitis. Emerging from a coma after 15 days he decided to devote more time to composition. Tony Funk and Larry formed the West Coast Mennonite Chamber Choir in 1990. This stellar choir produced 13 CDs which included 120 Nickel compositions and arrangements. The proceeds from the CD sales (over a million dollars) were donated to a local charity. One can purchase some of those recordings here. Larry’s doctoral thesis, Requiem for Peace (in thirteen languages), has received 22 performances thus-far; including in Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax, Örebro-Sweden, Corfu-Greece, Chicago, Trenton, Carnegie Hall (pictured above), and at the World Choral games in Magdeburg.

DIANE LOOMER

C.M. & FOUNDER

Diane Loomer (1940-2012) was founder and director of Chor Leoni Men’s Choir and co-founder/conductor emerita of Elektra Women’s Choir. She became internationally recognized as one of Canada’s leading musicians, frequently appearing on CBC national radio as a spokesperson for the classical arts. The first woman to conduct the National Youth Choir of Canada, Ms. Loomer received the Healey Willan Award in 1990 for her service to choral music in British Columbia; in 1994, she was named YWCA Vancouver’s Woman of Distinction for Arts and Culture; and in 1997 and 2004 received Distinguished Alumni Awards honoring her achievements. In 2002, she was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for her significant contribution to Canada’s culture. In 2011 Diane was the recipient of an honorary Doctorate of Letters degree from the University of British Columbia. She was the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and received an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Gustavus Adolphus College in May 2012. Diana became the recipient of the Order of Canada (C.M.)

OUR SPECIAL COLLECTION CURATORS

 

 

 

THE CANADIAN CHAMBER CHOIR SERIES

Music for accomplished choirs

Noted choral specialist, Dr. Julia Davids, is the co-editor and curator for this special Canadian choral series:
“Welcome to our collection of choral music which offers a worthwhile challenge to fine mixed choirs. My own choirs have delighted audiences with this music. Listen to quality recordings as you read through the scores.” J.D.
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THE ELEKTRA WOMEN'S CHOIR SERIES

Music for accomplished treble choirs

Morna Edmundson is one of Canada's best-known choral conductors with a strong reputation for excellence. "Welcome to Cypress' series of music for accomplished treble choirs. I'm very pleased to recommend these timeless Canadian compositions and arrangements to conductors looking for a challenge for their advanced high school, college, or adult women's choir. Each has something to offer the singer and the listener." M.E.  
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LA SÉRIE ENCHANTÉE

New visions in French-Canadian choral music

Dr. Laurier Fagnan has collected many beautiful and unique selections for the Cypress catalogue.  "Welcome to Cypress' new series of French Canadian music for choirs everywhere. I'm very pleased to recommend these timeless Canadian compositions and arrangements to conductors who are looking for quality music in one of the world’s most beautiful languages. Each has something to offer the singer and the listener. - L.F.
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THE DIANE LOOMER CHORAL SERIES

Canadian Folksong Favourites

Noted choral specialist, Diane Loomer, C.M., founded Cypress Choral Music in 1990. The company was launched with her arrangement of “Away From the Roll of the Sea”. (Since then the wonderful piece has had over 33 print runs.) After Diane passed away in 2012, her husband selected fifteen of Diane’s all time favourite folk song arrangements.
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THE VANCOUVER YOUTH CHOIR SERIES

Music for teens and young adults

Noted choral dynamo, Carrie Tennant, is the co-editor and curator for this special Canadian choral series: “This collection offers a worthwhile challenge to mixed choirs. My own youth choirs have delighted audiences with this music and singers of any age will enjoy these quality selections. You can listen to quality recordings as you read through the scores.” C.T.
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THE ZIMFIRA COLLECTION

Choral gems for children's choir

Noted choral specialist, Zimfira Poloz, is the co-editor and curator for this special Canadian choral series: “Please check out  my collection of choral music which offers exciting challenges to young voices. My own award-winning children’s choirs have delighted audiences with this music. Please listen to quality recordings as you study the scores. Watch our Youtube videos for ideas about movement.” Z.P.
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