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Mark Sirett: Biography

Mark Sirett
1952 -
Region: Ontario

Mark Sirett

Cantabile's Founding Artistic Director, Mark Sirett, is a native of Kingston and graduate of Queen's University. He holds both masters and doctoral degrees in choral conducting and pedagogy from the University of Iowa and has taught at the University of Alberta, the University of Western Ontario and Queen's University. For six years he served as Organist/Music Director at St. George's Cathedral, Kingston. Under his direction the Cathedral Girl Choristers won first prize in the 1996 CBC Choral Competition for amateur choirs.

Since their inception in the fall of 1996, the choirs have received numerous distinctions at the regional and national level of the National Music Festival Finals, including the Mathieson, Cooke, and City of Lincoln Trophies, and a Gold Award at the Young Prague 2004 Music Competition. Dr. Sirett has won two international awards in conducting: the Jury Prize for Imaginative Programming and Artistry at the 2002 Cork International Choral Festival, and Outstanding Conductor Award at the 2004 Young Prague Festival. In 2009 he was the recipient of the Presidents Leadership Award presented by Choirs Ontario for his contribution to the choral art in the province.

Dr. Sirett is frequently in demand as a guest conductor and clinician. He has directed the Ontario Youth Choir, Alberta Honours Children's Chorus, Unisong in Ottawa, Waterloo District High School Festival, Meet the Composer Festival (Des Moines IA), the Peel Honours Chamber Choir and the adult and children's camps for the Nova Scotia Choral Federation. As a clinician, he has presented for the Association of Canadian Choral Communities, Nova Scotia Music Educators, Nova Scotia Choral Federation, Manitoba Choral Federation, Ontario Vocals Festival, the Royal Canadian College of Organists and the Royal School of Church Music.

As an adjudicator he has served on the Jury of the Cork International Choral Festival in 2009; he has frequently adjudicated choral festivals in Canada including Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg.

Dr. Sirett is also an award-winning composer whose works are frequently performed by some of Canada's leading ensembles. Commissions have included works for the National Youth Choir of Canada, the Amabile Youth Singers, Ottawa Regional Youth Choir, Elora Festival Singers, University of Iowa and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. His published works are found in the catalogues of Boosey and Hawkes, ECS Publishing, Walton, Hinshaw, Alliance, Augsburg/Fortress, Warner/Chappell, and Canadian International. His recent work, "The Stars Point the Way" was honoured as "Outstanding Choral Composition" by the Association of Canadian Choral Communities."