Allison Girvan’s music career has seen experience as a professional singer, arranger, and director. She has been a featured soloist on recordings and in performance with ensembles including musica intima, Elektra Women’s Choir, The Vancouver Chamber Choir, the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and a vocalist for studio sessions for radio, T.V., and feature film. In 1993, Allison met Canadian Celtic Tenor, John McDermott and began a music relationship that has seen her involvement in several recordings, international tours, and the PBS special, “A Time to Remember”. Her recent stage roles include Polly Peachum in the “Three Penny Opera”, Julie in “Showboat”, Cinderella in “Into the Woods”, Hansel in “Hansel and Gretel” and the Beggar Woman in “Sweeney Todd”.
Allison's arrangements span many genres and cultures, from Hatian freedom songs, to French-Canadian folk songs, to the ballads of Prince and Peter Gabriel and far beyond. Her contemporary spin on classics and more contemporary music, coupled with her multi-cultural arranging style and her uses of quartal harmonies and other more modern styles of arranging make her works truly a pleasure for the audience and choir alike.
Click here to listen to some recordings of hers; many of these arrangements are for solo voice, but choral versions are available as well.
V'la l'bon vent -SSATB* + SSAA, a capella. This fun and fast-paced French Canadian folk song arranged by Girvan, prominently features a quartet of 4 treble voices along with the choir. Also featuring vocal effects by the tenor and bass sections, this piece is a fun and fast arrangement of a song over 300 years old that was sung by the Voyageurs to help keep time as they rowed and walked
Kothbiro- SATBB, with djembe. Performed by the Voices West mass choir at Podium 2016, and now sung around the world, this choral arrangement of the Ayub Ogada original grows from a single kalimba melody, to a gigantic build which includes the text of a southern African national anthem 'N'kosi Sikelel' iAfrika'