Home 9 Composers 9 Kathleen Allan

KATHLEEN ALLAN (b. 1989) is a native of St. John’s, NL, conductor, composer and soprano Kathleen Allan is rapidly becoming internationally respected for compelling performances and engaging compositions. She has recently been appointed as the Director of Choral Studies and Associate Conductor of Orchestras at the Vancouver Academy of Music. She is the assistant conductor of the Vancouver Bach Choir, and has held conducting positions with St. Michael’s Choir School, the Yale Glee Club, the Vancouver Bach Children’s Chorus, and in 2013, was the Conducting Fellow of the Canadian Chamber Choir. She is the founding co-artistic director of Arkora, a new chamber music collective dedicated to interdisciplinary performance. Her compositions have been commissioned and performed by ensembles throughout North America, Europe, and in Argentina, where her work was featured at the World Symposium on Choral Music.

Also in high demand as a soprano soloist and professional choral singer, she has appeared as a soloist with the National Broadcast Orchestra of Canada and Berkshire Choral Festival Choir, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the Vancouver Bach Choir. In addition to freelancing regularly in Canada and the United States, she is a member of the Vancouver Chamber Choir and has sung with the Vienna-based Arnold Schoenberg Chor, Skylark Vocal Ensemble in Atlanta, and the Yale Schola Cantorum. A passionate interpreter of new music, she has premiered over two dozen works for the voice.

Upcoming engagements include conducting Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in Japan, music-directing the Citadel Theatre’s presentation of Alice Through the Looking Glass in Edmonton, and premieres of new commissions by ensembles throughout North America. She holds a degree in composition from the University of British Columbia and a master’s degree in choral conducting from Yale University.

View Kathleen’s presentation on Youtube

Early Spring

arr. Kathleen Allan

SSA a cappella – CP 1142 – duration 4:50
This sad tale of a Newfoundland sailor lost at sea and the grief of his bride conveys the sense of hope turning to hopelessness, as her groom’s fate is related trough this beautiful lament. Arranged for Bonaventure’s College Girls’ Choir by Kathleen Allan, it is moderately complex, suitable for skilled girls’ or women’s choirs.

Come and I Will Sing You

arr. Kathleen Allan

SATB a cappella – CP 2085 – duration 4:25
Up-tempo, toe-tapping, and great fun! Kathleen knocked it out of the park with this barn-burner of a Canadian folksong.
Come and I will sing you
What will you sing me?
I will sing you One – o
What will the one be?
One, the one, is all alone
And evermore shall be


by Kathleen Allan

SSAATB a cappella – CP 1215 – duration 5:40
A Spanish text about being far from a loved one, “Distancia” is an illustration of the emotions associated with a long-distance relationship. The climax in the middle of the piece with the soaring soprano solo over the chaotic blurring of time (“noches, mañanas, tardes, dias”) is book-ended by the quiet confusion of joy and pain that controls the thoughts of separated lovers.

The Frost

by Kathleen Allan

SATB a cappella – CP 1408 – duration 3:55
The frost that stings like fire upon my cheek,
The loneliness of this forsaken ground,
The long white drift upon whose powdered peak
I sit in the great silence as one bound;

In Paradisum

by Kathleen Allan

SSAATB a cappella  –    CP 1274   – duration 5:15
About this piece, Kathleen Allan writes: “In Paradisum was premiered by the UBC University Singers on their 2008 United Kingdom tour. A highly personal work, it was written during my first year in Vancouver and was inspired by my first encounters with the beautiful Pacific coast. Having grown up in a harsher coastal climate on the edge of the Atlantic ocean, I was struck by the calmness and serenity of Vancouver’s seaside. I was inspired to write a poem in honour of my grandfather, an amateur sailor and photographer, who at the time was beginning to succumb to his chronic lung disease in St. John’s. Writing the poem and setting it to music helped me to reconcile the distance between my homes on two coasts, and allowed me to musically express my awe at natural beauty, my grappling with transitions, life and loss, and the profound sense of hope the ocean, regardless of coast, represented to me.”


by Kathleen Allan

SSAA with piano – CP 1403  – duration 4:00
I am wild, I will sing to the trees, I will sing to the stars in the sky – – Sara Teasdale

Maid on the Shore, The

arr. Kathleen Allan

SSAA a cappella (optional percussion) – CP 1404 – duration 3:55
In this folk song, a young woman is taken on board a ship against her will, but tricks the sailors by singing them to sleep and then robs them blind! This arrangement is suitable for very advanced choirs that are up for rhythmic challenges. Listen to this quality recording by Lady Cove Women’s Choir.
Percussion parts: free upon request – sent via PDF files.