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Elise Letourneau portrait

"Elise Letourneau capitalizes on her active background in the jazz field, while also displaying considerable skill writing academically/classically oriented music. Letourneau writes with vivid imagination, confidence, and a willingness to try new things in the choral idiom."
- Giselle Wyers, Chair of Voice & Choral, University of Washington School of Music

"Elise, thank you so much for sharing with us your music, your passion, your collaboration, and the wonderful "Our Home Is This Country". We have all loved working on the commission and working so collaboratively with everyone! It has been a joy!"
- Elise Bradley, Director, Toronto Children's Chorus

"Elise Letourneau has put ten poems into admirable choral settings, with each piece displaying a true sensitivity to the text while preserving the music's own identity. Capital Vox performs the works beautifully demonstrating a clear understanding of both elements. The quality of their singing belies their amateur standing despite the sometimes challenging sophistication of Ms. Letourneau's scores. This collection has great variety and still manages to present a cohesive overall tone. An element of jazz, in various forms and degrees, is an underlying factor throughout yet the listening experience will appeal to any audience that has an appreciation for fine music. I fully expect that at least some of this material will find its way into the repertoires of professional choirs as well as the many community-based groups that exist everywhere."
- Bob (Robert M.) Freedman, Grammy-winning arranger-composer

"Wonderful singing and wonderful music... sounds like a choir of Angels being led by the top Angel."
Sheila Jordan, jazz vocalist, recipient of the 2012 National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Masters Award

"At all times those beautiful piano-based compositions mingling with the choir make for an interesting and unexpected listening experience. Daybreak in Alabama is my fave. It just kicks!"
- Amanda Putz, CBC Radio

"Capital Vox Jazz Choir's CD presents an interesting variety of songs by Elise Letourneau, a versatile composer who has won many awards. Her setting of 'Ave Maria' for children’s voices won my Choral Composition Competition in 2011. For this CD, she has set numerous texts in contrasting jazz styles. There are lyrical themes that come across in bluesy colours, and upbeat songs with lively bounce that show the choir's rhythmic precision. This CD provides the listener with very enjoyable music."
- Ruth Watson Henderson, Composer - Pianist

"I have enjoyed tremendously listening to this new CD; the music is fresh and speaks its own language. I appreciate very much the choice of major poets - a pretty eclectic collection including Margaret Atwood, Emily Dickinson, the early Afro-American jazz poet Langston Hughes - and even the venerable St. Francis of Assisi. This is music of as much substance as that of its featured poets. It is rich in part because of the interaction of great poetry and inspired, creative music - and bears repeated listening on many levels. From the opening words 'Don't worry about saving these songs!' to St. Francis' final 'Amen' echoing across the ages, this music has a great deal to offer the perceptive - and even the casual - listener, on both the literary and music levels, and everything in between. Bravo Elise!"
- Donald Patriquin, Composer/arranger - Professor of Music, McGill University (retired)

"Thank-you for providing such an exciting, fun, and informative day for our choir! I heard so many enthusiastic and positive comments afterwards -- you were a big hit! Even on the challenging Benedictus, where more than half the group were sight-reading it, you really brought it along in that short time. I have to say that now I have "Take Five" on the brain all the time -- I think that's called an 'earworm'! It was also great to learn your 'To the One Who Listens' -- a lovely piece! And we never get tired of singing your amazing 'Peace Prayer.'"
- Cynthia Shaffer, University of Ottawa Choir

"Elise Letourneau has the whole musical package -- perfect time, perfect rhythm, perfectly in tune, the meaningful delivery of lyrics, improvisatory ideas, beautiful tone. Just pure talent."
- Barry Kernfeld, author of What to Listen for in Jazz and editor of The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz

"Most artistry comes from the desire to express, to be heard or seen, to be acknowledged, to speak from the depths of one's soul. Elise Letourneau creates from a deeper place of compassion for others, from generosity of spirit, with a connection from within her own soul to the souls of others. That's why when she sings, she touches others; when she composes, the lyrics speak to others; when she paints or draws or designs, all of these forms transcend form and go to others' hearts."
- Janet Lawson, Grammy-nominated vocalist, Adjunct Professor of Vocal Jazz, New School University and New York University

" Elise Letourneau vocalizes from the heart with a controlled range second to none."
- Michael Black, WPSU, 91.5 FM

"Your choral writing makes English a language worth singing in."- Vancouver Chamber Choir audience member