Bio

Maura Volante has been singing all her life, with a long history of performance, teaching and leading community singing. In recent years she has begun accompanying herself on piano. She is also an experienced contra and family dance caller.

Singing Folk Songs

Maura sings traditional folk songs from Canada, the British Isles and the U.S., in English and French. She works alone and with collaborators, and always invites audiences to sing with her on choruses and repeat parts, providing an engaging experience for people of all ages. Maura has performed at many venues in Ottawa and beyond. Here is a sample of her appearances at various community events in recent years:

Log Drive Café
2012-2017
Produced and promoted monthly coffeehouse event providing opportunities for local musicians who sing and play folk music. Performed many times at the Log Drive Café, with various collaborators, and has done much of the production work, including promotion and programming.

Folk at the Oak,
2014-2017
Regular performer at folk club put on by the Old Sod Society at the Royal Oak-Canal.

Workers’ History Museum,
October 2014, 2015 & 2016
Women’s History Celebration. Sang traditional folk songs on the theme of women and work, along with storyteller Ruth Verger.

MacKinnon Family Homestead Ceilidh, Richmond, PEI
July 2016
Sang songs and provided piano accompaniment to fiddle tunes at a community ceilidh in Prince Edward Island.

1st United Church
November 2015
Benefit for Refugees. Performed a selection of folk songs, along with several other performers, to raise money for a refugee sponsorship group.

Tippers, Vancouver
August 2015
Canadian Folk Songs. Performed concert of traditional Canadian folk songs, along with a couple of local musicians.

Princeton Traditional Music Festival, Princeton, BC
August 2015
Songs of Ontario. Several workshop performances at weekend festival.

Colonel By Day
August 2012, 2013, 2014
Canadian Folk Songs. Performed singalong concerts at CHOO/COPO’s annual event.

Old Town Hall
February 2014
Songs of Love & Lust. Produced and performed singalong concert of traditional folk songs, with Ranald Thurgood and Daphne Volante.

Old Town Hall
June 2013
Canadian Folk Songs. Produced and performed singalong concert of traditional Canadian folk songs, with Ranald Thurgood and Daphne Volante.

Gigspace
November 2012
Ballads & Sea Songs. Produced and performed singalong concert of traditional folk music including ballads and sea songs (shanties & other sea songs), with Ranald Thurgood, Dale Morland and Neville Miller

Billings Estate Museum,
July 2009
Singing Our Heritage. Presented two participatory workshops on Canadian folk songs with Ranald Thurgood.

Blue Skies Music Festival
2001-2011
Presented workshops for adults and children at this annual music festival, including Songs of the Sea, Canadian Folk Songs, Improvisational Singing and other topics.

Singing Christmas Carols

Maura has organized and led the singing at many participatory Christmas carolling events in recent years. Here is a sample of such appearances:

D’Arcy McGee’s Pub
December 2015, 2014 & 2013
Produced and facilitated group carolling session.

Beau’s Brewery
December 2015
Provided a carol singing session for employees of Beau’s Brewery after their general meeting.

Billings Estate Museum,
December 2008, 2009 & 2010
Performed and led Christmas carols with the Holly & Ivy Carollers, a group Maura formed and directed

Elmdale Tavern
December 2010
Produced and facilitated group carolling session at this Hintonburg pub.

Improvisational Singing

Maura also enjoys vocal improvisation, and has both led and participated in improvisational singing events. Here are a few of these occasions:

Sing Here Now
Monthly since October 2016
Produced and facilitated participatory session of vocal improvisation.

Chamberfest
August 2012
Chamber Elements. Participated in improvised choir performance of a piece by Scott Thompson, under the direction of Christine Duncan

Feral Choir, AB Productions,
December 2012
Participated in improvised choir performance directed by Phil Minton.

Classes, Choirs and Other Teaching Work

All Together Now: a multigenerational choir
2007-2008
Organized and directed weekly multigenerational choir, with seniors, home-schooled children and their parents, and adults of other ages. Performed twice at the Abbotsford House for celebratory luncheons.

Capital City Workers’ Choir: a labour choir
2006-2008
Directed this community choir, which included arranging for choir and teaching numerous workers’ songs. Performed for union meetings and conferences.

Oya: an improvisational vocal ensemble
2005-2007
Organized and directed weekly improvisational practice for small ensemble of talented singers. Oya performed at conferences and community gatherings.

Singing for Ourselves
2005-2011
Various locations including ArtsCourt, Bronson Centre, Alcorn Music Studios, Old Town Hall and the Shenkman Arts Centre
Organized, promoted and taught basic singing course for beginners and more advanced singers, including songs and playful exercises, to gain confidence and skills.

WoodsWalk Singing, Mud Lake Conservation Area,
2006-2011
Organized and led walking/singing experiences for small groups, in which we sang as we walked and stopped at special places for songs and playful exercises.

Private Teaching
Many private students in home, 2005-2016
Taught adults and children, guiding each student to achieve personal goals in singing through ear training, breath control and playful exploration of the voice.

Dance Teaching

Contra Dance
1997-present
Taught and called dozens of contra dances, in environments ranging from big halls in Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal to small parties such as weddings and birthdays.

Family Dance
1996-present
Taught simpler folk dances suitable for children and beginner adults, in a variety of locations such as schools, community classes, parties, family dance events and summer camps.

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