The nominations for the 52nd Annual Juno Awards were announced this week, naming some of Canada’s top musicians, singers, songwriters, producers, and more. Included in the nominations is Mark Vuorinen, Associate Professor and Chair of Music at Conrad Grebel University College at the University of Waterloo, along with The Elora Singers!  

As the Artistic Director and Conductor of The Elora Singers, Vuorinen and the choir have been nominated for a Juno Award in the category of Classical Album of the Year (Large Ensemble) for their release of Radiant Dawn: Music for Advent and Christmas. 

“It was a lovely surprise to receive the news of our nominations. The news came in during the 10 minutes between two back-to-back classes on Tuesday when I started to receive text messages,” shared Vuorinen. “It’s an honour to be among the other nominees in our category, including the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Ensemble Caprice, I Musici de Montreal, and Viola Borealis. They are all excellent recordings.” he added. 

Vuorinen has been Artistic Director of The Elora Singers choir for four years. In this position, he and the choir worked together to perform in creative ways while remaining safe during the pandemic. This included entertaining audiences through recorded digital performances and livestreams, all while social distancing and wearing masks. The recording sessions for this new album were the first time the choir sang together without masks and distancing since the pandemic began. “After singing for two years with 8-10 feet between singers and wearing masks, it was a thrill to hear the ensemble again in the way we had been accustomed,” said Vuorinen.  

The group’s passion for song and perseverance through unprecedented times has paid off in countless ways, resulting in their harmonious, Juno-nominated Christmas album, recorded in early fall 2021 and released on November 19, 2021. “The music on the album consists of music that moves through the Advent and Christmas seasons and includes several new settings of familiar carols, as well as newly composed pieces,” shared Vuorinen. “I wanted to feature Canadian composers on the album, and so we included beautiful settings by Canadians, Gerda Blok-Wilson, Derek Holman, Mark Sirett, and Jeff Enns, who also sings in the choir,” he noted.  

Grebel celebrates the incredible achievement of Professor Mark Vuorinen and The Elora Singers. As the group strives to provide the gift of music to local, national, and international communities, their art is being recognized as one of Canada’s renowned acts through the 2023 Juno Awards. The next live concerts of The Elora Singers are coming up on March 5 in Kitchener, Baroque Meditations, and in Guelph with a performance of Arvo Pärt’s Passio, on April 2. 

“Congratulations from all of Grebel to Mark and The Elora Singers on the well-deserved nomination,” said Grebel Dean Troy Osborne. “This nomination reflects highly on Mark’s leadership and direction of The Elora Singers.” 

Stay tuned to discover the winners of the Juno Awards, which will be announced on March 11 in Edmonton, Alberta. Congratulations to Mark Vuorinen and The Elora Singers, as well as all the other nominees! 

By Farah Jurdi 

List of 2023 Classical Album of the Year (Large Ensemble) Juno Award nominations