Bio

Maura Volante has been singing all her life, with a long history of performance, teaching and leading community singing. She is also an experienced contra and family dance caller.

Singing Folk Songs

Maura sings traditional folk songs from Canada, the British Isles and the U.S., in English and French. She works alone and with collaborators, and always invites audiences to sing with her on choruses and repeat parts, providing an engaging experience for people of all ages. Maura has performed at many venues in Ottawa and beyond. Here is a sample of her appearances at various community events in recent years:

The Tipper, Vancouver

August 2019 and August 2015
Canadian Folk Songs. In 2019 Maura performed as part of the duo, Rideau Rounders, with Ranald Thurgood. Both concerts featured traditional Canadian folk songs, along with local musicians.

Princeton Traditional Music Festival, Princeton, BC

August 2019 and August 2015
Songs of Ontario & Atlantic Canada. In 2019, Maura performed as part of the duo, Rideau Rounders, with Ranald Thurgood. Both times at this festival featured several workshops with Canadian folk songs.

Log Drive Café

2012-2018
Produced and promoted monthly coffeehouse event providing opportunities for local musicians who sing and play folk music. Performed many times at the Log Drive Café, with various collaborators, and has done much of the production work, including promotion and programming.

Folk at the Oak,

2014-2019
Regular performer at folk club put on by the Old Sod Society at the Royal Oak-Canal.

Paul Landry Park

August 25 2018
Canadian Songs  
Led a community singalong at a local park, touring participants from Newfoundland to British Columbia with stops in the Maritimes, Quebec, Ontario and the Prairies. Organized by the Hunt Club Community Organization.

Glebe Centre

June 2017
Canada 150 Street Party. Sang traditional Canadian folk songs, in collaboration with Daphne Volante.

Workers’ History Museum,

October 2014, 2015 & 2016
Women’s History Celebration. Sang traditional folk songs on the theme of women and work, along with storyteller Ruth Verger.

MacKinnon Family Homestead Ceilidh, Richmond, PEI

July 2016
Sang songs and provided piano accompaniment to fiddle tunes at a community ceilidh in Prince Edward Island.

1st United Church

November 2015
Benefit for Refugees. Performed a selection of folk songs, along with several other performers, to raise money for a refugee sponsorship group.

Colonel By Day

August 2012, 2013, 2014
Canadian Folk Songs. Performed singalong concerts at CHOO/COPO’s annual event.

Old Town Hall

February 2014
Songs of Love & Lust. Produced and performed singalong concert of traditional folk songs, with Ranald Thurgood and Daphne Volante.

Old Town Hall

June 2013
Canadian Folk Songs. Produced and performed singalong concert of traditional Canadian folk songs, with Ranald Thurgood and Daphne Volante.

Gigspace

November 2012
Ballads & Sea Songs. Produced and performed singalong concert of traditional folk music including ballads and sea songs (shanties & other sea songs), with Ranald Thurgood, Dale Morland and Neville Miller

Billings Estate Museum,

July 2009
Singing Our Heritage. Presented two participatory workshops on Canadian folk songs with Ranald Thurgood.

Blue Skies Music Festival

2001-2011
Presented workshops for adults and children at this annual music festival, including Songs of the Sea, Canadian Folk Songs, Improvisational Singing and other topics.

Singing Christmas Carols

Maura has organized and led the singing at many participatory Christmas carolling events in recent years. Here is a sample of such appearances:

Royal Oak Pub (canal)

December 2018, 2017
Produced and facilitated group carolling session.

D’Arcy McGee’s Pub

December 2015, 2014 & 2013
Produced and facilitated group carolling session.

Beau’s Brewery

December 2015
Provided a carol singing session for employees of Beau’s Brewery after their general meeting.

Billings Estate Museum,

December 2008, 2009 & 2010
Performed and led Christmas carols with the Holly & Ivy Carollers, a group Maura formed and directed

Elmdale Tavern

December 2010
Produced and facilitated group carolling session at this Hintonburg pub.

Improvisational Singing

Maura also enjoys vocal improvisation, and has both led and participated in improvisational singing events. Here are a few of these occasions:

Sing Here Now

2016-2017
Produced and facilitated monthly participatory session of vocal improvisation.

Chamberfest

August 2012
Chamber Elements. Participated in improvised choir performance of a piece by Scott Thompson, under the direction of Christine Duncan

Feral Choir, AB Productions,

December 2012
Participated in improvised choir performance directed by Phil Minton.

Classes, Choirs and Other Teaching Work

Folk Song Circle: a 4-week series

October-November, 2019
Ottawa Public Library. Taught folk songs (mainly Canadian) and led singing for a daytime series aimed at older adults.

Canadian Folk Songs: a 6-week class

Fall, 2019
Abbotsford Recreation Centre. Taught course involving singing skills, folk process and historical context of Canadian Folk Songs.

All Together Now: a multigenerational choir

2007-2008
Organized and directed weekly multigenerational choir, with seniors, home-schooled children and their parents, and adults of other ages. Performed twice at the Abbotsford House for celebratory luncheons.

Capital City Workers’ Choir: a labour choir

2006-2008
Directed this community choir, which included arranging for choir and teaching numerous workers’ songs. Performed for union meetings and conferences.

Oya: an improvisational vocal ensemble

2005-2007
Organized and directed weekly improvisational practice for small ensemble of talented singers. Oya performed at conferences and community gatherings.

Singing for Ourselves

2005-2011
Various locations including ArtsCourt, Bronson Centre, Alcorn Music Studios, Old Town Hall and the Shenkman Arts Centre
Organized, promoted and taught basic singing course for beginners and more advanced singers, including songs and playful exercises, to gain confidence and skills.

WoodsWalk Singing, Mud Lake Conservation Area,

2006-2011
Organized and led walking/singing experiences for small groups, in which we sang as we walked and stopped at special places for songs and playful exercises.

Private Teaching

Many private students in home, 2005-2016
Taught adults and children, guiding each student to achieve personal goals in singing through ear training, breath control and playful exploration of the voice.

Dance Teaching

Contra Dance

1997-present
Taught and called dozens of contra dances, in environments ranging from big halls in Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal to small parties such as weddings and birthdays.

Family Dance

1996-present
Taught simpler folk dances suitable for children and beginner adults, in a variety of locations such as schools, community classes, parties, family dance events and summer camps.

Kind Words From Others

Mary:

So pleased to have made this connection. Maura you are an inspiring, talented soul. Keep it up.

Patty:

Hello Maura. I was at the show and was absolutely delighted with the evening, I would really like to join your song circle.

Susan:

Maura, it was great last night! Please keep up this great event for us that appreciate participating in culture, in music, in heritage, even without being particularly gifted musically!

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