BA (Math, Eng, Education) - Gustavus Adolphus College BMus (Theory + Voice) - UBC D.Litt, honorary (2011) - UBC Honorary D.F.A. (2012) - Gustavus Aldophus College
St. Paul, Minnesota - Vancouver, BC
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Born in the US in 1940 and moving to Vancouver, Diane Loomer launched her choral conducting career at an age when virtually all other choral directors would be in mid-flight. Founding and conducting both Chor Leoni and EnChor, as well as co-founding and co-conducting the Elektra Women’s Choir with Morna Edmunson in 1987, Diane reached the top strata of her profession very quickly. Being the first female musician to conduct the National Youth Choir of Canada, she was a leader of choral colleagues and singers alike. In addition to conducting, she has arranged and composed several works for choir, the majority of which have been published by Cypress Choral Music, which was originally founded by Loomer and her husband, Richard Loomer to create a thriving source of new Canadian choral music and an encouragement to Canadian choral composers.
Originally a high school math and English teacher in both the US and Germany after graduating with a Bachelors of Arts in the fields, Diane decided to go back to school in Vancouver as an adult to pursue her love of music as a career. A choral conductor, composer and arranger, and teacher “with lots of determination, a little talent, and supremely good luck” and magic touch for giving voice to that ineffable “something,” Diane spent the rest of her life joyfully and energetically nourishing it through choral music.
Song for Peace- SATB, SSA, SAB, or TTB*, with piano. "One of Allister’s most popular folk tunes originally written for solo voice — arranged for solo and choir. The tune has the typical MacGillivray lilt and the harmony is correspondingly uncomplicated." - Cypress
Frobisher Bay- TTBB or SATB, a capella. "One of the very few folk songs from Canada's frozen North. It's the tale of the captain of a whaling ship who decides to push the late summer season to catch "one more whale", but finds himself and his crew frozen in for the winter. Diane's arrangement captures the mood of sailors who won't see their home and families for another nine months, if at all." - Cypress
Soon Ah Will Be Done* - SATB div., a capella. This slow lament arrangement of a typically fast spiritual is simple, yet poignant. Set in D minor with a steady slow tempo throughout and faithfully authentic to other spirituals, this is a great and under-performed piece for the youth or adult mixed choirs.
* = in the Choir Alberta Library
Diane Loomer’s Speech to the UBC Spring Congregation 2011
Finishing her music degree at UBC in 1982, after having been a teacher high school English and math, she took the suggestion of one of her professors to form and conduct a choir. While she lacked experience, this step launched her career as one of Canada's most admired conductors. The next year, she was apprentice to Jon Washburn and had the opportunity to work with Vancouver's most esteemed choirs. In the next coming years, she and Mourna Edmund formed Elektra, and Chor Leoni after that. Two years after founding Chor Leoni, Loomer became the first women to conduct the National Youth Choir, in 1994.