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Elise Letourneau

Composer / Ottawa ON
Member since September 2019
Elise Letourneau is an award-winning composer, and an accomplished songwriter, multi-instrumentalist performer, arranger, and educator. An associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre, Letourneau won the prestigious Ruth Watson Henderson composition competition, the Choral Canada (ACCC) composition competition, and the inaugural Diane Loomer award for choral composition. For four years running she was shortlisted as a finalist for The American Prize in choral composition. Blurring the lines between classical, jazz, and popular music, her compositions have been performed internationally, by high-caliber ensembles including the Vancouver Chamber Choir, Canada’s National Youth Choir, the Toronto Children’s Chorus, the Cantiamo Girls’ Choir, and The Bach Music Festival of Canada choir and orchestra. Soloists who have performed her music include Colin Ainsworth, Leslie Fagan, and Ellen McAteer. Letourneau maintains an active performance schedule as a solo artist, with The Fieldown Singers, and with Glamour Profession (a Steely Dan tribute band). Letourneau has shared a stage with Brian Browne, Paula Cole, Bob Dorough, Sheila Jordan, Janet Lawson, Janis Siegel, and others. She teaches piano, voice, flute, and composition at Alcorn Music Studios, and she is the director of the Ottawa Singer-Songwriter Camp. She directs the Carleton University Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and she founded and directed Canada’s first community jazz choir, Capital Vox, as well as Vox Eclectica Women’s Chamber Choir. She has released 5 CDs and 3 MP3 collections. Letourneau is a graduate of Berklee College of Music (Boston MA), and earned a M.Ed. specializing in creative arts and learning at Lesley College (Cambridge MA).

My Style

Elise Letourneau writes choral music that is contemporary, accessible, and fresh; with a beautiful sensitivity to text and a particular flair for setting poetry. “Elise Letourneau capitalizes on her active background in the jazz field, while also displaying considerable skill writing academically/classically oriented music. Letourneau writes with vivid imagination, confidence, and a willingness to try new things in the choral idiom.” – Judging Panel, The American Prize in Choral Composition “With a distinct compositional profile, generated by a fascinating choice of texts, the choral music of Elise Letourneau is melodious, inevitably memorable, and always accessible.” – Judging Panel, The American Prize in Choral Composition

Featured Compositions

Listen to works by Elise Letourneau

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A Canadian Folk Song

SATB, piano, spoons (optional)
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A spirited kitchen-party like setting of William Wilfred Campbell's poem for SATB choir, piano, and optional spoons.
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Blow, Blow Thou Winter Wind

SATB a cappella
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SATB a cappella setting of the classic Shakespearean text from "As You Like It". Wintry and festive.
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Ave Maria

SATB, piano (also SSAA, TTBB)
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Winning selection of the 2011 Ruth Watson Henderson Choral Composition Competition. SATB with piano, also available as SSAA or TTBB. Traditional Latin text.
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The Glimmer Mass - Kyrie

SATB a cappella
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Kyrie Eleison setting
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I Will Lay Down This Pencil

SATB, piano, guitar, bass, drums, sax
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Poem by Nicola Vulpe - used with permission A rock-funk setting of a timely poem about the value of art in society.
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Shenandoah

SAB a cappella
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The traditional American folk song in an a cappella SABdiv setting.
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