Baden Gaeke Franz
Friederike Von Aweyden
Debbie McLeod fell into choral directing quite by accident. After completing ARCT diplomas in piano and pipe organ, Debbie was teaching piano and working as a church organist to pay for her post-secondary education, with the goal of teaching high school English and History. But during her practicum, she was railroaded into helping with the school choir classes and musical, and discovered her true calling!
Debbie enjoyed many years as a music educator in the St. James-Assiniboia School Division, where she directed both middle school and high school choirs. In her second year of teaching, she began directing the auditioned divisional junior high choir, which she did until assuming directorship of the divisional high school choir until her retirement from teaching. Outside of teaching, Debbie worked as an adjudicator and clinician, and directed several Provincial Honour Choirs as well as the Westman Youth Choir. Debbie’s choirs have received critical acclaim locally, provincially, and nationally. Her choirs have performed at the World Curling Championships, Wednesday Morning Musicale, the New Music Festival, and on CBC radio, and have been guest performers with the Winnipeg Singers, the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir, Prairie Voices, the Bison’s Men’s Chorus, the Winnipeg Chamber Orchestra, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.
Many of Debbie’s former students urged her to form a community choir after her retirement from teaching. With the founding of Vocal Ascent, Debbie was thrilled to be reunited with many of her former choristers, and some of their parents as well! With more and more new members adding their voices to the choir, Debbie is very excited for the upcoming season!