Canzona was conceived and organized by Cricket Handler and Jill Anderson in the summer of 2009. In the fall of that year, we recruited a group of 22 female choral singers known to us in the community, and began some preliminary rehearsals. We also arranged to operate initially under the umbrella of Arts Enable, a 501(c)(3) non-profit California corporation.
In 2010, Canzona gave its first series of concerts, our Premiere Concert in February, and Welcome Spring! in May. (For programs of past concerts, please see Look & Listen.) In keeping with our mission of mentoring younger female choral singers, our February concert featured girls from the Central Coast Children’s Choir, and our May concert featured a soloist from Cuesta College.
In the fall of 2010, Canzona began its current format of presenting a regular season of two concerts, one in the fall and one in the spring. Our November, 2010 concert was entitled Autumn Harmonies, and our March, 2011 concert was entitled Salute to Spring! Again in keeping with our practice of mentoring, the November concert featured young ladies from the San Luis Obispo High School Concert Choir.
Our 2011-12 season comprised a November concert entitled Autumn Landscapes, and a March concert entitled A Celebration of Love in which we featured the women from the Cuesta College Choirs. Also in 2011, Canzona received its own 501(c)(3) designation, and was therefore able to operate under its own non-profit status. Since gaining this status, we have been able to apply for, and receive, grants from the City of San Luis Obispo and from the San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation!
Our 2012-13 season, featured a November concert entitled Weaving Women’s Voices (a collaboration with the ensemble Soli Deo Gloria from Fresno) and a March concert entitled Celtic & Beyond, highlighting music from the British Isles (Ireland, Scotland & England).
Canzona’s current season, 2015-16, represents Canzona’s Seventh Season! For more information about our performances, go to our Current Season.
In addition to highlighting our local school performing arts organizations, Canzona has made an effort to include a solo instrumentalist in nearly every concert. Thus far, we have featured a violinist, a harpist, a French horn player, several flutists, an oboist, a clarinetist and a cellist on our programs.
We are excited about our future, and look forward to seeing our organization grow!