About 2020-01-28T13:09:00+00:00

ABOUT US

Who are We?

New West Symphony & Chorus started in 2010 with 30 volunteer members, and has grown to close to 100 members, each committed to New West’s vision to use music as a conduit to bless others.  They have quickly gained recognition in Calgary, and consistently fill churches and auditoriums at their concerts throughout the year.  New West Symphony & Chorus holds three major sell-out events per season: Christmas with New West at the Jack Singer Concert Hall, a major fundraiser, and a Spring Concert at the Bella Music Hall at Mount Royal University.

New West performs approximately 15 times per year, performing choral and orchestral music that includes genres such as classical, pop, gospel and contemporary.

They exist to “bless people of all age, leading them to experience love through music, community and compassionate giving.”

The members of New West value living with Christ-like behavior, constantly pursuing excellence, and fostering a sense of belonging with their membership and audiences. They uphold honesty and respect, paired with being fun and inspiring others.

New West Symphony & Chorus is a registered charity, and is committed to using their platform as a means to help people who are vulnerable and are experiencing challenges.   Each year its members choose two organizations, one local and one international, to support through its New West Gives Back program.  Throughout the year, these partner organizations are highlighted at concerts to help raise funds and awareness for these worthy causes.

Meet our Musical Director: Henric Idestrom

Henric joined New West Symphony & Chorus as Musical Director in 2017.  Amazingly, he is also currently the Director of New York’s SymphoNYChorus, travelling weekly between the two cities.  Henric had an eight-year tenure as Chair of the Arts at Rocky Mountain College in Calgary. While at RMC, he conducted numerous productions including Night at the Oscars and Give My Regards to Broadway.

Henric spent a number of years at Centre Street Church conducting the choir and orchestra and building their worship and arts department.  He also produced six recordings, two of which won SHAI Gospel Music Awards in 2007. He was then honored in 2008 with the Gospel Music Association’s Covenant Award for Choir Album of the Year. Henric received his Masters in Conducting from Azusa Pacific University in California.

Henric brings his passion to everything he does, and inspires loyalty and engagement from his members by challenging them to perform like professionals and introducing new music every season. The chorus and orchestra provides an environment for deep camaraderie to form in a city that can be a rather lonely place. Audiences keep coming back to be energized and inspired by the ever-changing repertoire and enthusiastic performances.

Our Executive Leadership Team:

  • Executive Director: Darryn Werth
  • Associate Executive Director: Steve Lenz
  • Operations Director: Dulaine Lough
  • Associate Operations Director: Desiree Arthur
  • Creative Director: Nicole Blenkin
  • Musical Director: Henric Idestrom
  • Associate Musical Director: Chris Neufeld

Members of the Board:

  • Joe Essenburg – Chair
  • Lily Lau-Porta – Secretary
  • Gail Thiessen – Treasurer
  • Ruth Esau
  • Edi Dygert
  • Steve Lenz
  • Dan Clarke

Our History:

New West Symphony & Chorus was founded in 2010 by Jonathan & Kristin Schorr.  Their vision for musical excellence, community and generosity created a legacy that we are proud to continue to this day.

Past Musical Directors:

  • Jonathan Schorr (2010-2015)
  • David Klob (2015-2017)

Symphony Members

STRINGS

Bridget McLeod

Viola

Member since 2013.

Leanne Wilkie

Violin

Member since 2010.

Andrea Elias

Violin

Member since 2018.

Rachel Hersey

Violin

Member since 2013.

Chris Neufeld

Violin

Member since 2018.

Naomi Wilson

Violin

Member since 2019.

Elisa Riegel

Cello

Member since 2019.

Kiara Rautenbach

Violin

Member since 2019.

Jerry Proppe

Cello

Member since 2019.

Kari Calderwood

Harp

Member since 2019.

WOODWINDS

Joanne Sampson

Clarinet and alto saxophone

Member since 2010.

Lily Lau-Porta

Flute

Member since 2010.

Melanie Dewar

Oboe

Member since 2010.

Scott Regnault

Bassoon

Member since 2012.

BRASS

Jon McInnis

Trumpet

Member since 2014.

Robert Calderwood

French Horn

Member since 2011.

Ron Strem

Trombone

Member since 2010.

Steven Lenz

French Horn

Member since 2015.

Sylvia Polachuck

Trombone

Member since 2017.

Zakk Relf

Ephonium

Member since 2018.

Darryn Werth

Trumpet

Member since 2013.

RHYTHM & PIANO

Colleen Roller

Piano

Member since 2010.

Jennifer Bodiguel

Piano

Member since 2010.

Gabriel Amaya

Percussion

Member since 2013.

Steven Warren

Percussion

Member since 2012.

Joe Essenburg

Bass Guitar

Member since 2011.

Chorus Members

SOPRANOS

Carrie Lynne Johnstone

Member since 2010.

Christina Wiebe

Member since 2014.

Connie Albers

Member since 2013.

Desiree Arthur

Member since 2010.

Eve Wollin

Member since 2010.

Gail Thiessen

Member since 2017.

Kayla Pallister

Member since 2017.

Kristin Waterhouse

Member since 2017.

Laura Jay

Member since 2010.

Nicole Warren

Member since 2012.

Shannon Plintz

Member since 2013.

Sylvia Brophy

Member since 2010.

Vanessa Calderwood

Member since 2015.

Michelle Heibert

Member since 2018.

Betty Kassa

Member since 2018.

Breanne Neufeld

Member since 2018.

Samara Brown

Member since 2018.

Tayo Gbalajobi

Member since 2018.

Wendy Dart

Member since 2019.

Teresa Frentz

Member since 2019.

ALTOS

Andrea Ellis

Member since 2013.

Michelle Schalm

Member since 2015-2016, 2018-

Candace Hiebert

Member since 2013.

Cathy Kokot

Member since 2017.

Cindy Zarn

Member since 2016.

Dallas Belbeck

Member since 2010.

Evelyn Eisses

Member since 2017.

Melanie Loewen

Member since 2018.

Melanna Heebner

Member since 2010.

Nicole Youngash

Member since 2012.

Rose-Anne Bishop

Member since 2010.

Tilly Hiebert

Member since 2017.

Ana Kerley

Member since 2018.

Val Wedel

Member since 2018.

Chelsea Jani

Member since 2018.

Dulaine Lough

Member since 2018.

Claudia Obando

Member since 2019.

Alicia Hein

Member since 2019.

Alex Proppe

Member since 2019.

Bethany Wikkerink

Member since 2019.

Nadine DeBruyn

Member since 2019.

Kelly Kreiger

Member since 2019.

TENORS

Charles Arthur

Member since 2010.

Daniel Clarke

Member since 2017.

Brian Li

Member since 2012-2014. 2017-

Kevin Calvert

Member since 2018.

Dan Blenkin

Member since 2013-2015. 2017-

Kent Potter

Member since 2018.

Pierrick Gelinas

Member since 2019.

Ian van de Burgt

Member since 2019.

Dave Dart

Member since 2019.

Nathan DeBruyn

Member since 2019.

BASSES

Christopher Wiebe

Member since 2012.

Jameson DeBruyn

Member since 2010.

Kevin Weir

Member since 2010.

Will Benner

Member since 2018.

Dustin Kerley

Member since 2018.

Jeff Brunner

Member since 2018.

Josh Leffelaar

Member since 2018.

Markus Lemke

Member since 2019.

Peter Lottes

Member since 2018.

Technical Support

James Wedel

Technical Support

Member since 2018.

Nicole Blenkin

Creative Director

Member since 2019.

Conductors

Chris Neufeld

Member since 2018.

Henric Idestrom

Member since 2017.