Rita formed the Vivaldi Chamber Choir and acted as its conductor and music director for many years. The choir was initially based in Burnaby, B.C. and received its incorporation under the Society Act in 1991 as “The Greater Vancouver Vivaldi Chamber Choir Society.” As interest in the group grew and membership in the choir began to reflect its regional nature, the rehearsal centre and typical performance venue moved to Vancouver.
Rita studied conducting with Martin Stefani in Germany, and in Vancouver with Steve Morgan and Leslie Dala. Rita conducted and directed the Vancouver Mennonite Children’s Choir for eleven years, and the Coquitlam Canzonets, a district school choir, for seven years. As a soprano Rita has been active as a recitalist and guest performer. She has studied in Germany with Professor William Reimer as well as Luigi Wood and Gary Zeller in Vancouver.
For much of his early life Peter Dent worked as an adult educator and arts administrator, maintaining music as a recreational activity. His developing amateur career as baritone lead him to consider music more seriously. Peter studied conducting with James Fankhauser and Phil Mattson. He conducted Jazz Etc. for many years, led the a capella group Home Made Jam and until 2002 Peter was the conductor of The Pacific Singers. He has composed several choral works and studied composition with Fred Stride. Mr Dent is also active as a jazz pianist.
Click here for a current profile of Peter Dent and his activities.
David Millard was born in Vancouver in 1959. A mild childhood interest in classical music became an obsession when, at the age of thirteen (in Helsinki-but that’s another story), he watched a televised Bach organ recital. Upon his return to Canada he sought out recordings of Bach, but studiously avoided the family piano until one day he heard his brother fooling around at the keyboard and sibling rivalry kicked in. He found that he had a talent for improvisation, and formal piano lessons soon followed. An impromptu visit to a church near his piano teacher’s house resulted in meeting William Bourns, who became his first organ teacher, and who guided him to two silver medals in Toronto Conservatory organ exams. A rash offer of serving as assistant organist at St. Catherine’s Church in North Vancouver sealed his fate; a Church musician was born.
David proceeded from there to the University of Victoria to study music history, organ and harpsichord. While at UVic, David took an introductory course in Linguistics which led him (after a brief excursus in Anthropology) to an MA in that discipline. He combined the two interests with research into historical and regional pronunciations of Latin in music performance (fifteen years before the subject became fashionable in the Early Music world). After his return to North Vancouver, David took up organist posts at St. Clement’s, St. John’s, and Holy Trinity Cathedral. He is now Director of Music at St. Martin’s Anglican Church in North Vancouver-the very church where he met his first organ teacher.
In 1989, he heard that a new choir was looking for singers, and told a friend about it. A month later, the friend talked David into joining the choir-the Vivaldi Chamber Choir-then under the direction of Rita Radzikowski. Ten years later, when Rita retired, David took over as Artistic Director. He also directs the Vancouver Jewish Folk Choir, and periodically serves as musical director for the North Shore Light Opera Society. After 14 years as a very successful leader David retired to enjoy more fully other aspects of his life.
In the Fall of 2018 David rejoined the Vivaldi Chamber Choir as a bass and in November was awarded Life Membership in the Society. The choir is honoured to have the benefit of his experience, talents and wisdom as the only Life Member actively involved with the group!
Sarit Aloni is recognized as a conductor, singer, pianist, choral arranger and educator. Sarit attended the Perugia Conservatory of Music (Italy) for graduate studies in Opera performance and holds an undergraduate degree in vocal performance from Tel Aviv Academy of Music, where she studied conducting with Dr. Noam Sheriff and Avner Etai. She taught voice and piano, and performed regularly in Israel and Italy, including as a soloist at the Vatican in Rome. She founded the Anashim choir, a women’s choir in Italy and currently conducts the International Choir at the University of British Columbia where she is a Master of Music candidate in choral conducting at the School of Music. She was appointed Atistic Director of the Vivaldi Chamber Choir in June 2014.