Artistic Director and founder Alexandra Babbel’s CANDESCA is an award-winning singing ensemble based in Kelowna. Selected by audition, members have musical backgrounds that vary from high level instrumentalists and composers to musical theatre performers and actors. Members have excelled in competitions both vocally and instrumentally and serve as cultural ambassadors in our community and abroad.
These musicians combine attention to detail with the beauty of their voices to inspire audiences with a youthful interpretation of the traditional classics. Their repertoire includes Gregorian chant, classical art songs from a variety of cultures and mideval arrangements of contemporary music, much of which is sung a-cappella.
Established 10 years ago, CANDESCA has risen to acclaim performing commissioned pieces composed by Arnold Draper and sharing the stage with the Okanagan Symphony and internationally renowned Canadian composer Imant Raminsh. In 2008, a concert tour took CANDESCA to Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt and London including a performance in Veendam – Kelowna’s sister-city in the Netherlands.
Their European tour destinations included Prague, Dresden, Leipzig and a Master Class with famed international soprano Barbara Bonney at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.
In 2015, CANDESCA traveled to New York City for the second time to perform at St. John the Divine, the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and St. Paul’s Catheral, a historic classical music venue opposite Ground Zero and worked with the Brooklyn Youth Choir.
CANDESCA members have received master class instruction from “Lord of the Rings” soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian and Dawn Upshaw. Several have gone on to full-time professional study and careers. Candesca, meaning “Beginning to Shine” continues to share a message of hope and joy in the Arts!