Diane Loomer (Kolander)
(1940 - 2012)

Diane Loomer (Kolander)

Minnesota, United States of America
April 23, 1940

British Columbia, Canada
December 10, 2012

choral music
Guest Book
Diane, continue to walk with us, don't let us ever forget what it is really about. love b.
bruce armstrong (former member)
December 10th, 2013
I had the great honour of sharing a room with Diane in hospital shortly before her death. I treasure the memory of our conversation when all the lights were out.
Anonymous Fan
September 10th, 2013
Hi Dick,

Sorry for your loss of Diane, I know my condolences are late , just read about it today. So Sad.

I check on Old Family Friends via the internet from time to time, Diane's Contribution to Music is timeless.

I can still hear her singing "Puff the Magic Dragon" , fond memory of my childhood.

We have old pics from Germany of you and Diane in black and white, looking at them now has More Meaning.

Love Ya Richard Loomer.

jeff klein
July 19th, 2013
Ensemble Etoile has made tribute to Diane's Goin Home by revisiting a few of her choral pieces at the last two concerts this year. I just finished conducting Away from the Roll of the Sea an hour ago. It brought me back to when Diane conducted the piece...Her gestures, her smile, her remarks just stays with me. Rest in peace, Diane. You are always remembered by our choir. Thank you!
Roseanna Chu (friend)
May 28th, 2013
I first met Diane as a student doing a research project supervised by her husband. I remember her bringing us chocolate chip cookies while we sat around her dining room table discussing our project with Dr. Loomer. At a much later Chor Leoni performance to celebrate the opening of the new Department of Physical Therapy at UBC , I re-introduced myself and said how much I enjoyed the performance.

A few minutes later she tapped me on the shoulder and handed me 3 of the choir's CDs and said she hoped I continued to enjoy their music. I will never forget that generous gesture and continued to attend the choir's performances and give their CDs as gifts.

She will be deeply missed.
Marie Westby
March 21st, 2013
I discovered Chor Leoni years ago and was so impressed. I then had the pleasure of having Diane as clinician at the BC Choral Federation's Chorfest in Victoria several years ago. What a delightful experience! She was a wonderful conductor and her choirs reflected her expertise, her love of music and her personal connection. She will be sorely missed!
Stephen Lee (singer)
March 10th, 2013
I still remember with amazement how Diane greeted and welcomed my out-of-town visitor and me to the cast party after a performance in the Vancouver Playhouse. Ed and Vincent had invited us to come to the party which was downstairs and in back of the Playhouse. Diane knew she had never seen my visitor before, so she came over especially to greet her in Diane's famously warm way. They talked for several minutes. I was bowled over by this gesture in that large room full of so many people who all wanted Diane's ear.

I have read every tribute on here. They talk about how Diane worked her magic and got people to respond. That is an art. I don't think she learned that in a classroom. I am so sorry that I will miss the March performance at The Chan because I am a thousand miles away. It will be a memorable performance.

Andrew Hallum (audience member)
March 10th, 2013
It is just by fluke that I came across the information that Diane had passed on. I knew Diane from my studies at Douglas College in the late 1970's. Diane always encouraged me in my piano playing by saying that I had a great talent and to nurture that talent. I will always remember that comment and Diane's perpetually friendly smile which, in itself was so positive and one could glean the energy that came from that smile. I wish I had known Diane in later years just to tell her that her comments and her demeanour were so strong that they influenced me in my later life now, in music. I miss never having met up with Diane after the 70's but will always remember her spirit. She brought the gift of music to many people and will always be remembered.
David Sproule (friend)
March 7th, 2013
A thought from the Coro Leone Bologna
Pier Paolo Frabetti
March 5th, 2013
I've just been reading the many tributes to our beloved Diane. I needed some time before coming to this website. It's sad but also immensely heartwarming to be reminded (as if we could forget) of how much Diane meant to so many people from all around the world. The gifts of her music and her wonderful spirit were apparent to everyone from even a brief meeting.

Those of us who were lucky enough to sing for her, to look at her beautiful and inspiring face as we attempted to bring to our audience the meaning that shone there, can never forget those moments.

I joined Chor Leoni in year 2, and for the past 19 years, I have marvelled at her vision for the choir that she turned into reality through force of will, inspiration, phenomenal gifts of leadership and grace (and a bit of cajoling when needed, although she was never comfortable in that role). I will always count myself fortunate to be able to say that I was a member of this great choir-in-the-making.

Not the least of Diane's skills was in planning and organization, and almost as if she foresaw this sad moment, the choir's future is assured. It seems she was always thinking of us, and we will always think of her, with love, joy, and regret at her passing.

Doug Graeb (Chor Leoni member)
February 12th, 2013
L'Associazione Seghizzi esprime il più vivo cordoglio per la scomparsa di Diane Loomer, direttrice del Chor Leoni, che ha dato straordinarie prove di eccellenza musicale al concorso internazionale di canto corale Seghizzi 2012.

The Association Seghizzi expresses the deepest condolences for the death of Diane Loomer, Chor Leoni director, who gave extraordinary evidence of musical excellence in the international competition of choral singing Seghizzi 2012.
L'Associazione Seghizzi
January 23rd, 2013
They say you never forget your first love, or your first kiss, and you never forget your first choir either. I joined the Amabilis Singers in 1989, pretty early on in Diane's meteoric mid-life rise to choral fame.

It was an absolute blast. We sang opera choruses, doo-wop, avant-garde, folk, gospel, sacred, secular. We sang in English, French, Italian, Latin, and a variety of Scandinavian tongues (as befitting Diane's Scandinavian roots). We played in our home town in New Westminster, and took it in on the road to Whistler and to First Night in Vancouver. We hooked up with the rest of the Vancouver's choral scene for the Vancouver premier of Mahler's "Symphony of a Thousand Voices" (even though I think there was 'only' about 600 of us).

And all that happened in just a couple of years. In 1991, I moved away, but I will always remember those two years with great fondness. Diane had great musical chops. She took risks with repertoire, but was also good at picking crowd-pleasing music. She commanded our respect through clear communication of what she was after, and could always get what she wanted from us through love -- her love of music, and the love that flowed between her and the choir. It was all persuasion, no brutality. I can't say the same for other conductors I have sung for.

There's no shortage of love flowing out there, but let me add mine to the rest of the "D" team -- Dick and Dan.
Joel Hagen (Amabilis alumnus)
January 18th, 2013
I can still hardly believe she is gone. Diane Loomer was dearly beloved and admired in Canada, but she was also a cherished member of the larger choral community throughout North America and the world. She was a generous, affirming and encouraging presence in my life, both personally and professionally.

I remember her brother, Dave, the organist at the White Bear Lake (suburban St. Paul, Minnesota) church where I was choir director, telling me 25 years ago: "I have a sister who is a choir director up in British Columbia; you should meet her someday." I pictured a frumpy lady in a frock, wearing spectacles, and playing a church organ. Then I met Diane! My visual image of her could not have been more opposite of what I encountered. What a beautiful, classy, vibrant, elegant, giving, gifted and gracious woman she was!

What a treat it was to watch her conduct when she came to Minnesota for a collegiate honor choir and with Chor Leoni, bringing the music and people to life in such a gentle and empowering manner.

Diane's unwavering encouragement and support of my work is a gift that I will always treasure, and will do all in my power to pay forward. She was one-of-a-kind, designer original, never to be duplicated or replaced. Peace to her beautiful memory, and deep comfort to her family, friends and cherished choir members on her passing. Our loss is heaven's gain. Rest in peace, Diane.
Tim Sawyer (Minnesota choral colleagu)
January 18th, 2013
From all of us in Nova Scotia's Men's Choir we send condolences to Diane's family and musical friends. She not only instigated the forming of Nova Voce but visited us a few years ago to take a rehearsal with enthusiasm and encouragement. She was indeed amazing and we have lost an extraordinary musician, friend and mentor - indeed her "choirs" both East and West are her amazing legacies . Many thanks Diane. You will always live on in our hearts in Nova Scotia.
Duncan Miller (President NOVA VOCE)
January 16th, 2013
I attended a weekend workshop two years ago in Calgary that Diane hosted. She touched my soul...
Peter Dunn (Grateful Student)
January 15th, 2013
Take Care of Each Other . . . Sing, Sing, Sing!

I originally posted this to my blog at


On December 10, 2012 my dear friend Diane Loomer, C.M. passed away.

I’ve been staring at that sentence off and on for the past weeks as I deal with the necessary work of ensuring that the sad news is accorded its deserved attention, always with the intention of coming back to try to distill what it was about Diane that I loved so much.

We’ve known each other ever since my first year at New Westminster’s Douglas College. I was just out of high school, she was a returning adult student. We became friends and our musical lives became entertwined. Let me tell you how.

I started my Bachelor of Music degree on trombone. Guess who was my first accompanist? Yes, Diane. [Full disclosure: I was a mediocre trombonist, though I still love the sound of a well-played horn.]

I took a year off to work in Kelowna before returning to Douglas, where it quickly became apparent I needed to switch to a different instrument if I was going to transfer to UBC. They asked, “What else can you do?” I replied that I’d always sung – but only in church. That settled it, I’d audition for UBC on voice.

In order to do so I had to learn two “classical” songs. Diane coached me on the languages and accompanied me at my UBC audition. Jim Fankhauser said he could work with me and I was in. Again – because of Diane’s help.

Our paths would cross now and then at choral concerts in the ensuing years. She remained as genuinely interested in how I was doing as she was back in college days. Then a friend told me, “You should come hear this men’s choir that Diane has formed. It’s pretty cool.” I attended the first performance of their first show at the Bard tent and was impressed.

I told her afterwards that after an upcoming solo recital I’d like to sing with Chor Leoni. The next morning she called and said, “Bruce, I have a folder here with your name on it. You’re singing next Monday’s concert.”

OK then. “How hard can this be?” I thought to myself. Opening the folder, I found works in Russian, Finnish, Swedish, and Japanese, alongside the other expected languages: French, Latin, English, German. There was also a wide range of styles: classical (of course), but also Broadway (cool!) and Barbershop (eek!) I was hooked and I’ve been with the choir of lions ever since.

I was recruited to the first-ever Chor Leoni board of directors while on a bus trip to Whistler to sing a concert. A couple of meetings into the season we were told that our publicist – who had been doing the work as a favour – was too busy to continue. Would anyone at the table be interested in taking on the role?

“I think I could help with that,” I said.

“Great,” enthused Diane, “You need a title, how about Director of Communications?”

um . . . ok

I ended up learning a new set of skills because of that fateful meeting, and they eventually led to Brucecat Communications and my new career. Accepting the position meant constant communication between us: at least one phone call a day, an endless stream of emails back and forth, and many meetings. She was always encouraging, helpful, interested, and intensely involved in the minutiae that went into building the off stage persona that is Chor Leoni.

In my late 40′s I started encountering vocal difficulties. Singers are always terrified of losing “the voice” (always spoken of in the the third person). I began to think that I should stop singing and concentrate on what seemingly I did best – market concerts, preferably choral ones. Diane brushed my worries aside and hit me with a doubly whammy. In the same season she programmed Tormis’ Curse Upon Iron (Remembrance Day) and Respighi’s Laude per la Natività del Signore (Christmas). The two works couldn’t be more different; one was loud and high, the other lyrical coloratura. She told me that I would sing both of them and gave me a year’s notice. With Diane’s encouragement I signed up with vocal coach Lorraine Reinhardt, performed both of the works, and came out singing better than I had in ages. Diane’s confidence in me and her gentle prodding wouldn’t let me give up.

When I was offered the opportunity to join the MusicFest Vancouver team I realized the position would preclude my involvement in Chor Leoni’s madcap end-of-the-season concerts at the Bard tent. I dreaded telling Diane. She was initially disappointed but after a few days she called and said, “I’ve been thinking and you need to take that position. It’s a huge opportunity for you.”

The title of this post is a quote from Diane’s address to the 2011 UBC Spring Convocation, where she received an honorary Doctorate of Letters. It’s great advice and in many ways I feel she took care of me and kept me singing.
Bruce Hoffman (Chor leoni member)
January 13th, 2013
My deepest condolences to Richard, Dan and Ella. I have known Diane Loomer since my days at Douglas College (1989-1991). I have been very impressed by her energy, her hard work and her devotion to the choirs at Douglas College and other choirs she created. I am a professional trumpeter and I admire her as a conductor and as a musician. She will be sorely missed in this world. God bless you Diane.
Daeyong Ra
January 13th, 2013
I joined CL in 2000. a week or so later Diane turned 60. The oldest member and the newest member (me) were asked to share a few words about Diane. I hardly knew her having only been through one or two rehearsals, but I had no trouble in knowing what to say. From my first moments with CL I felt immediately a part of the family. I had sung in many choirs, but never had I felt such a welcome or such a sense of caring between the singers. In a very short period of time it was very clear where that came from and this was what I shared with the choir at that time.

Diane fostered and nurtured community, not only among the singers, but also to the audience. Audience members have commented innumerable times on this intangible sense of connection with the Choir. We care deeply for each other and our audiences because of how deeply Diane cared for us and we for her. I think this is why so many of us seem to be caught off guard by the depth of grief we have experienced at her loss.

She has left an amazing musical legacy, but she has also left a legacy of love and compassion which I feel has been ingrained in each one of us. This gives me comfort because I know that it is part of us and will not be easily taken away.

I will miss this about Diane, but I will also miss her gentle spirit, her quick humour, her energy, her joy, her love of music, her kindly couched but still stern reprimands, her grace, and her beauty.
James Emery (Chor Leoni member)
January 13th, 2013
Life has few moments of transcendence. In my experience an inordinate share of them have been a result of Diane's generous sharing of her amazing gifts of musicianship and personal attractiveness. Although she is gone there is a lasting aroma of her influence that continues to bless us all. The heavenly chorus is richer for our loss.
Paul Birch (Chor Leoni member)
January 12th, 2013
Thinking of you today and saying a special prayer for everyone involved. What a wonderful memorial. Barry and I watched and read with tears.
We have lost an angel and heaven's choir will be enriched. We were so very blessed to have had the wonderful heavenly creation of Diane on earth with us. She was just on lone to us, her place is in heaven with the angels. We will never forget her

Love Carol and Barry
Carol Lasko (friend)
January 12th, 2013
Diane, you were, and are, a shining light to all of us who lead choirs and share the joy of music with others.
Lorraine Jarvis (Choral musician)
January 12th, 2013
It is a strange feeling to cognitively know Diane is not with us anymore yet to feel and see her light - of music, humanity, spirit, inclusiveness, and grace - shine on. Tonight's celebration concert in her honour was beautiful, meaningful, and cathartic for me... as for many. Diane's legacy will continue to shine and I find deep comfort in that. I treasure the many truths I came to understand in knowing, learning from, and singing for Diane.

"Do not stand at my grave and weep; I am no there, I do not sleep... I am the diamond glints on snow... I am the soft starlight at night." Shine on, my friend!
Les Nerling (Chor Leoni member)
January 12th, 2013
What a beautiful celebration of life devoted to one of the world's very special people. I felt privileged to be part of this evening's sacred concert.

I have been a fan of Chor Leoni for years and I will miss watching Diane sculpt the sound and hearts of her most beloved Lions. She invited forward the best light and song from each person and I cry each time I hear them sing. She brought such healing to our world. I send blessings to her family - thanks for sharing her with us.
Susan Summers (Lover of good music and a)
January 12th, 2013
I have thought often about Diane since hearing of her passing, and the two words that keep surfacing are LOVE and LIGHT. I feel very grateful for Diane and her abundant generosity, joy, and belief in those she worked with. May your light shine through those you continue to inspire, Diane, and may we, who have been touched by your love, be generous with our love in turn.
Christina Jahn (Elektra alumnus)
January 12th, 2013
I was part of Diane's choir at UBC in the 90s. It was the big choir that anybody could join - no audition - and it was called the "Choral Union" but we all called it the "Choral Onion". Diane started conducting the choir the year I joined. About twenty minutes into our first rehearsal I realized that this was going to be an exceptional experience. She was warm and encouraging, but at the same time she had such exacting standards. When we gave a concert, the hall was packed. I'm not sure who first started using the phrase "Loomer Love-in" to replace "concert" but the descriptor stuck. We were all hard-core fans of hers and would do anything for her . . . she really brought out the best in us. I've been in many audition-only choirs since then but my fondest memories of singing still go way back to my Choral Onion days. What a wonderful person she was, and how sad that she is no longer with us in body; but she will always be with us in spirit. We were truly blessed to know her.
Heather Crawford (former choir member)
January 11th, 2013
Diane was an inspiration to all who had the honour and joy of being touched by her love and dedication to choral music and community building.
Barb McLean (Colleague & admirer)
January 11th, 2013
How sad to learn that Diane has left us! Sincere condolences to Dick and family and all those choristers who have been members of Diane's outstanding choirs. What an inspiration you have been to all of us, Diane! Your friendship, all-encompassing compassion and musicianship have greatly influenced all of us who came in contact with you. Sincere personal appreciation, Diane and Dick, from Joe Renzi and me for planting the seed in 2003 which became Nova Voce, Nova's Scotia's Provincial Men's Choir. You have touched so many lives. Thank you so much.
Terry Hurrell (Friend, Emeritus Director)
January 11th, 2013
I first met Diane when I was a novice (mid-age) conducting student 11 years ago. She made me feel so welcome and gave me such a sense of belonging that I consider her my rock for continuing on this great adventure. I had the privilege of working with her on 4 subsequent occasions. Thank you for the wonderful inspiration and everything that you have contributed ... you will never be forgotten.
Bryan Crocker (Friend)
January 11th, 2013
“Not a day goes by, not a single day
But you’re somewhere a part of my life
And it looks like you’ll stay”

This song from Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along has been coming to mind often since Diane left us. Because there has truly not been a single day gone by without something reminding me of her and my heart ached at our loss.

Sometimes it’s when I hear a piece of music. Sometimes it’s a memory of a concert, rehearsal or tour. Sometimes it’s as simple as an encouraging word or smile, with which Diane was so generously profligate.

Diane had a gift for inspiring her singers to strive for excellence, to go the extra mile, to make beautiful music that could change minds, hearts and lives. Through her ability to make everyone feel welcome, appreciated and her belief in our potential to achieve the very best, she created a unique ensemble which has played an important part in my life, both artistically and personally.

I will be forever grateful to Diane for the gifts she has given me. So many gifts that I suspect her influence will be a part of my artistic journey for the rest of my life.

Dick, Dan and Ella - you've also lost a wife, mother, grandmother and friend. I can only imagine how you feel. Much love to you all.

“Good night… and flights of angels sing thee to they rest.” Shakespeare
Ian Farthing (Member of Chor Leoni)
January 11th, 2013
Diane's radiance...she shared the most beautiful countenance and spirit for inspiring singing. What I admire most about her is how she only shared music and grace; she embodied the music as it should be. Her hospitality and genuine care for everyone came from such a beautiful heart - we are all poorer for her loss. Blessings to you all.
Katherine Goheen (Elektra alumnus)
January 11th, 2013
We have met up with Diane in Vancouver since 2009. She showed us not only music but lots of potentiality that female choir has. We were so happy to meet her music and her warm heart. We will never forget her and we will go on singing songs. Our thoughts and prayers are with her at any time.
Brilliant Harmony
January 10th, 2013
Diane--you were a beacon of joy that lit up the room. I absolutely loved making music with you--your approach to performing choral music will forever influence how I sing. Your soul lives on through the music you created. I, for one, will never forget you.
Jonah Hister (Chor Leoni alumnus)
January 10th, 2013
I was privileged to be choir manager for National Youth Choir in 1994 when Diane conducted. As a conductor myself, I was enriched by watching and listening as she built 40 individual singers, many of whom had never before met, into a fabulous choir in only one week. It was incredibly inspiring! Diane was such a wonderful inspiration to so many of us...singers, conductors, accompanists. We all benefited from her musicality, but mostly from her passion and compassion. Everyone who worked with her in any way still carries something of her with them to every rehearsal and performance. Thank you, Diane, for all you have given to us.
Bill Perrot (Friend)
January 10th, 2013
I want to remain a part of the family and share the grieving.
Jean-Luc Perron (Chor Leoni alumni)
January 10th, 2013
This sad news has had me thinking about all of you, and especially of Dick, for whom the loss must be immeasurable. I have so many good memories of excellent music-making with Chor Leoni, and specifically of the inimitable blend of professional rigour and personal warmth that made Diane one of the most remarkable directors I've ever had the pleasure of singing for. I owe her a special personal debt for her enthusiastic adoption of the project of performing and recording a handful of second-century AD pieces by the ancient Greek composer Mesomedes in 2005. I am about to introduce 40 British undergraduates to Mesomedes later this month, and I will think of Diane as I play Chor Leoni's recording of the surviving scores for them. I'm sure someone has noticed it before me, but it is remarkable how one can perceive her presence when listening to recordings of performances she has directed -- the only silent, and yet essential, performer.
David Creese (Chor Leoni alumni)
January 10th, 2013
Diane, and Chor Leoni have been a very important part to my life. Her passing, as I am sure it has been on everyone, has been hard to deal with.
Tyler Ferguson (Chor Leoni alumni)
January 10th, 2013
I can't imagine how difficult it must be for the Loomer family and Chor Leoni right now. I still remember the very first moment I met Diane—her genuine smile and laughter instantly put me at ease, and I knew I had found a safe place in Chor Leoni. It puts a huge smile on my face to see these wonderful tributes to Diane who was such an amazing force in Canada's cultural world! It's also reassuring to know that Diane's spirit lives on in her many legacies.
Shad Turner (Chor Leoni alumni)
January 10th, 2013
I still remember when I auditioned for CL in a practice room at UBC. In fact, if it weren't for Diane, I probably wouldn't still be singing now. She had such a profound effect on so many people. I have no doubt she's up there smiling away, conducting a choir of angels....
Justin Burwood (Chor Leoni alumni)
January 10th, 2013
It was a saddening moment for me but I know she touched the lives of many including myself and I will always have a fond place for her in my heart.
Johan Hister (Chor Leoni alumni)
January 10th, 2013
Your words of "sharing feelings of grief" but also wanting to "share the love that will ultimately overcome feelings" couldn't ring more true for me. We all have our own inner grief, but there is still this wonderful assurance in looking not inward, but rather outward. I look out and see everyone - and there are so many of us, both within and without the Chor Leoni family - that were lucky enough to know Diane. My thoughts are with all of the lions, Dick, and all of Diane's loved ones.

A couple of days before I heard the sad news, my orchestra (in London, ON) performed its annual Christmas pops concert and we welcomed a new group into the fold this season: the Primus Men's Choir from Amabile. Naturally, their warm sound got me nostalgic for the good old days and I met some of the men after the concert. Obviously, they are huge fans of Chor Leoni; we spoke fondly of Diane and the wonderful recordings that I feel so privileged to have been a part of and that they enjoy so much. Although in a certain sense it made the news that much harder to hear initially, this encounter gave me a better perspective about the far-reaching and long-lasting power of music and of the influence someone like Diane can have in this world.
Graham Lord (Chor Leoni alumni)
January 10th, 2013
I found out this tragic news via facebook. It has hit me very hard as we were very close during my years in Vancouver.
Don Macdonald (Chor Leoni alumni)
January 10th, 2013
I read this news with shock and sadness last night, and I have been thinking about Diane ever since. What a sorrowful loss--for her family, for the Lions, for Vancouver, for Canada, for the world of music. I think upon those few years as a Lion with great fondness--Diane's charisma, energy, and artistry enabled people from many walks of life to sing and listen as one in a way that harnessed a uniquely Canadian spirit of adventure, tradition, and open-mindedness. I appreciate your thinking of me by letting me know.
Brent Whitted (Chor Leoni alumni)
January 10th, 2013
I was very shocked and saddened by Diane's passing. Music has been such a huge part of my life, much of which I owe to her. Undoubtedly, the impact she made an impact on everyone who knew her was profound. At the same time, while she will be missed, I can't help also feeling grateful to have known her. The loss I feel is greatly outweighed by the gain, the way she changed the path of my life. God bless her.
Phil Grant (Chor Leoni alumni)
January 10th, 2013
The news hit me unexpectedly hard, partly because it brought back so many wonderful memories of my time in Chor Leoni and made me realize how much I miss that part of my life. I am just grateful I had one short but intense and memorable year singing with her.
Alex Fielding (Chor Leoni alumni)
January 10th, 2013
I am very saddened. Diane was an icon the community and music world.
Terry Horner (Chor Leoni alumni)
January 10th, 2013
Over the course of your life, you meet people who inspire you, people you know you'll never forget. Diane was this person to me, and to so many others. I am forever thankful to her for what she has taught me about music, about having fun while achieving great things, and for the generosity and kindness that she brought to everything she did. Like so many others, I always wanted to do my very best for her.
Greg Lypowy (Chor Leoni alumni)
January 10th, 2013
[This is] very very sad news. I have been reading all the news articles and blog posts about that for the past two days and it's just been really hard...Even though I'm no longer with Chor Leoni and I have not seen or spoken to Diane for some time now, she's still a huge part of my life and she has had a massive influence on my life. I have been listening to recordings of her UBC speech and other segments of interviews...just missing her. Her words come with such warmth and tenderness, and inspiring at the same time. I've also been listening to some recordings of Chor Leoni that I have...bringing back a lot of fond memories. I've never had someone that is so dear to me passed away so I'm not quite sure how to process or deal with it...but I do go to theatre school right now, so there are tools and people who can help me through it. I may not be as close to the family as I once was, but Diane is still a tremendous part of my life.
Sky Kao (Chor Leoni alumni)
January 10th, 2013
What a huge hole indeed; absolutely no one could ever fill her shoes…..she was truly one of a kind. As I sit here I still can't believe it. Diane is one of those people that are so strong and have such a presence and influence that you think they will live forever…..(indeed….her influence and immense spirit will live forever!!)
Henri Lorieau (Chor Leoni alumni)
January 10th, 2013
I am deeply saddened to hear of Diane’s passing. I will spend time today reflecting on Diane's dynamic presence in my life - and introducing me to the very special Chor Leoni family, and sharing the unique gift of her music.
Alex Reilly (Chor Leoni alumni)
January 10th, 2013
Diane's passing is a huge loss, not just for the Lions but for choral groups and singers throughout our country and beyond.
Michael Grice (Chor Leoni alumni)
January 10th, 2013
My life was truly enriched from having the privilege of knowing her and singing for her. I am left deeply saddened by her passing, which is a tremendous loss to us who remain. My heart goes out to Dick.
Jon Goheen (Chor Leoni alumni)
January 10th, 2013
I'm still in shock. Lots of tears over here. My relationship with Diane went well beyond singing in her choir. Dick and Diane were dinner guests at our place (and visa versa) and I "hung out" with Diane for many hours - just the two of us - choosing music for the Cypress catalogue and editing scores, etc. You might know the ACCC composition award (sponsored by Cypress) is now the "Diane Loomer Award". I want to give a seminar at the next Podium (Halifax) called "The Life and Legacy of Diane Loomer". I'm sure it would be well attended.
Larry Nickel (Chor Leoni alumni)
January 10th, 2013
I must say while I am absolutely devastated, I am also very grateful for the love and light that Diane brought to all of us and to me personally. My Facebook page is a tribute to her (and CL) at the moment.
Stephen Broscoe (Chor Leoni alumni)
January 10th, 2013
I am very saddened indeed. I knew of course that Diane was unwell, but had no idea it had been so obviously serious. I thought it would be another case of her overcoming the odds and bouncing back. My heart goes out to Dick and members of Chor Leoni.
Roy Campbell (Chor Leoni alumni)
January 10th, 2013
I heard about Diane's passing last night on CBC radio. Please give a special hug from me to Dick, and another one is for all of you. I remember fondly my time with the Pride. I admit to shedding tears while listening to "Going Home" last night.
Charly Bank (Chor Leoni alumni)
January 10th, 2013
I am still in a state of shock with the bad news. I had a great time in Chor Leoni thanks to Diane. She will be greatly missed.
Lawrence Lee (Chor Leoni alumni)
January 10th, 2013
Great times singing with Diane at National Youth Choir in 1994 and in Chor Leoni. Even when I was beginning singing in choirs back in 1991 with the Vancouver Bach Choir she was always supportive of and others despite different experience levels. When I think of Diane I also think of all the great people involved in the choral community which is something special.
Peter Zaenker (local musician/teacher)
January 10th, 2013
I knew Diane for thirty years, and remember fondly her beginnings as a conductor as she apprenticed with Jon Washburn with the same poise and grace that served her so well in all of her amazing endeavours. Her natural warmth of personality, welcoming manner and incandescent smile even then were irresistable, and made her so easy to love.

I had the pleasure to work with her many times - accompanying her first choir at Douglas College, Chor Leone and Elektra; working with her at various Chorfests and workshops sponsored by the Choral Federation; and even doing some arranging for her. The more she accomplished, the more evident it became that she was one of Canada's great choral ambassadors and personalities. In addition to her impressive musical triumphs and achievements, she remained the same warm, friendly, welcoming person.

And she was generous to boot. When I desperately needed a piano on which to practise or teach, I was welcome to use her lovely grand. It was a pleasure to phone her home and hope that she was not there to pick up, so that I could listen with great delight to her sung "Message Du Jour".

Her great love for her family and friends, her passion for choral music, and her commitment to excellence are but a few of the reasons I will miss Diane. I give my sincerest and warmest condolences to Dick and the family.
Eric Hominick (friend and colleague)
January 10th, 2013
I did not know you passed away last December.
I remember your sweet smile and gentle conducting.
Thank you, Diane, May your spirit rest in peace.

Brilliant Harmony and I pray for you.
Ko Matsushita (Friend)
January 9th, 2013
Diane touched thousands of lives, including mine. It was always a treat to sing under her gentle, deeply musical leadership. When Chor Leoni was new, I was priviledged enough to hear them perform at Bard on the Beach. Last time I saw Diane was at VISI where I heard EnChor perform for the first time; may I be lucky enough to sing like them one day! Thanks for blessing my life, Diane.
Erica Maller (UBC alumnus)
January 9th, 2013
I was among the fortunate who had the experience of singing in one of Diane's choirs. She imparted a love of singing to all of us, which came from her own joy in making music with the human voice.
Diane, you are missed, but you have left a legacy of the finest choral singing.
Colleen Adie (Chorister and friend)
January 9th, 2013
When I was with Diane I always felt the presence of music - it emanated
from her. I feel certain the world of choral music has lost one of it's most ardent supporters and so have we. I can't wait to hear the music she is creating in the heavens.
Judith Brown (Friend)
January 9th, 2013
I remember when Diane subbed for Rupert for a short while when he needed to be absent from the Christ Church Cathedral Choir. It was a wonderful experience; I finally understood why her choirs did so well. I had hoped that Diane might fill in for Rupert's coming sabbatical, but alas, it's not to be.
Rob Mayhew (chorister)
January 9th, 2013
More than any musician or person I've ever met, Diane showed me what it meant to transcend the technical aspects of being a musician and connect with the soul. This is perhaps more important than any technique or anything else related to music. She connected with the human spirit, and brought people together. What she did for the world cannot be duplicated. She is one in a million.

Thank you, Diane.
Keith Sinclair (Chor Leoni Singer)
January 9th, 2013
January 9th, 2013
Dear Erick, Dick and members of Chor Leoni,
It is with sincere sadness that we write to our brothers in Chor Leoni to grieve the passing of our dear friend and mentor, Diane Loomer.
As the only other female conductor I knew of who conducted a male choir, Diane was a wonderful mentor and source of inspiration as both of us maneuvered our paths through a way not trod by many women we knew in previous times. We laughed about the number of times strangers would be introduced to us and look behind us for the “real” conductor of the choir. Diane always affectionately referred to Primus as the younger lion brothers, and that CL should watch out as our guys matured. We had too few times to share concerts together, but when we did, the chemistry between the two groups was wonderfully musical and entertaining.
I will miss her dearly as she was only ever an email or a phone call away for advice. This past August we spent some time talking about music for orchestra and men’s choir for a concert we had with Orchestra London. And indeed, this past weekend, I conducted from the score she sent me – and we dedicated that concert to her many contributions to Canadian singing.
With our best wishes, Primus sends to all of Chor Leoni the attached mp3 recording of Sing Me to Heaven as a small tribute to Diane’s legacy

Carol Beynon, Senior Artistic Director, Primus: Amabile Men’s Choir
Dr Carol Beynon, Associate Vice Provost
School of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies
The University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario, CANADA N6G 1G9
Carol Beynon (Primus: Amabile Men’s C)
January 9th, 2013
We have lost a bright light in our community and a dear friend. Diane inspired me and so many others with her love of choral music. I have countless fond memories of our 22 years together with Elektra. Dick, Dan, and Ella, thank you for sharing Diane with us for so many years.
Morna Edmundson (friend and colleague)
January 9th, 2013
The gift of music is the gift of food for the soul. Diane gave this in huge measure with joy, warmth, enthusiasm, skill and discipline to inspire not only her choirs but her city, her country, and the world. Her legacy of high standards and what can be achieved by fulfilling one's vision will continue to be an inspiration to many who had the blessing to know her and walk with her. Our deep condolences to her family and her choirs.
Andrew & Judith Pike
January 8th, 2013
Several members of Williams Lake's Quintet Plus were fortunate enough to attend a workshop with Diane in 100 Mile House several years ago. It was a wonderful experience and we remember her as a brilliant, charming and elegant lady who made us feel really good about what we were doing. We extend our condolences to her family and to those who were fortunate enough to sing under her direction. She will be greatly missed - she touched many lives through her contributions to choral music across this country and internationally.

Williams Lake's Quintet Plus
Mary Trott (Williams Lake's Quintet P)
January 8th, 2013
As an audience member, and listener to music, I honour Diane Loomer's work in coalescing an outstanding level of choral music on the West Coast. Although there has been and continues to be excellent choral music here, her work has made choral music part of the public realm.
January 8th, 2013

We are saddened by the loss of Diane Loomer and offer our most sincere condolences to the members of Chor Leoni and the many people touched by her greatness.

Naramata Community Choir
Naramata Community Choir
January 8th, 2013
I am so grateful for being able to have two EnChor years under Diane's leadership. She made singing so much fun! We will miss you Diane - I cherish our last hug.
Rod Booth
January 8th, 2013
From the .

To the family of Diane Loomer and the members of Chor Leoni, it is with great sadness that we heard about Diane's recent passing and we share your loss. The music world will certainly be the poorer without her. Many of her choir's arrangements have found their way into the repertoires of many other choirs and the richness of sound and the passion for singing that she extracted from Chor Leoni is rightfully famous and an inspiration to all of us. On behalf of our choir please accept our sincere condolences and we wish you well at this difficult time.

John Truman (President - BWMC)
Burlington Welsh Male Chorus,
John Truman (Burlington Welsh Male Cho)
January 8th, 2013
How sad to hear the news of Diane's passing. I was fortunate enough to work with her both with the WVUC & PSC , and Festival 500 in St. John's Nfld. A true Canadian music ambassador for all of North America. A legacy not to be forgotten.

Condolences to her family and fellow choir friends.

Debbie B
Debbie Baxter
January 8th, 2013
Diane was a warm and inspiring colleague. In 1988 we took the Elmer Iseler conducting workshop at Kathaumixw and she remained a good friend. Always humble and generous, she would share with me the joys of being female conductors of all male choirs. Her performances were always heartfelt and moving. Her wonderful husband impressed me that year as he was toting a canoe all around British Columbia. I will miss her smile and her music.
Joyce Keil (colleague)
January 8th, 2013
I was very sorry to read of the loss of Diane. I worked with her once only some years ago in Quebec, and was completely knocked out with the standards she achieved in an incredibly short time in her atelier. She was charming, fun and brilliant, and I send my condolences to all her family, and to the Chor Leoni.
Peter Broadbent
January 8th, 2013
I offer my deepest condolences to Diane Loomer's family, friends, and choir members. I had the priviledge of meeting her through a friend of mine who was a member of one of her choirs. From my first impression of her, she was a warm and inviting person. I was a student learning about sound engineering and she gave me the opportunity to job shadow the engineer during one of the live recordings done at Ryerson Church. I will never forget her for that. To see her conducting Chor Leoni and Elektra, and the music and sounds that came out of the singers...awe inspiring, fun, and ethereal are the first three words that come to mind. I'm grateful to have met her and attended her Chor Leoni and Elektra concerts.
January 8th, 2013

Wherever in the world Diane Loomers choirs are heard, her amazing ability to make truly inspired music will live on. I live in Elliot Lake, ON and the only paper we take is the Sault Star, one day a week, so I totally missed the notices of her passing. It is hard to believe that she is no longer with us and my heart weeps for her family and all of you who were privileged to work under her direction. I'd like you to know that when I first heard the Chor Leoni, I went online and was able to call her...we had a wonderful conversation and I will never forget her warmth and her humility. I mourn with all of you...
Katherine Crockson
January 8th, 2013
The world has lost a beautiful person who filled the world with that beauty. Diane was a good friend, mentor, conductor, teacher, publisher, inspiration, and professional resource for countless musicians around the globe. We give thanks for the gifts she shared so humbly, and rejoice in her legacy that lives on. May heavenly choirs greet her with descants by countless Tenors! I send my Canadian greetings from Sacramento, California with eternal pride for her work.
Donald Kendrick
January 8th, 2013
I am so very sad to hear of Diane's passing. Diane embodied a magnificent spirit, so generous and caring, serene and ever buoyant! Over the years, I met up with Diane in various choral conducting settings and I can whole-heartedly say that she impacted my musical life in the most positive and inspiring ways. I so enjoyed hearing the Remembrance Day concert this year, as in past years, and am thankful for Diane leaving such a rich legacy through many Electra and Chor Leoni recordings. My heart goes out to Diane's husband and son and to the wonderful men of Chor Leoni. She is irreplaceable.
Gloria Brooks
January 8th, 2013
It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of Diane Loomer, one of the most inspiring figures of the Vancouver music scene. Her caring nature, boundless energy, musicality and love for life will be missed.

Early Music Vancouver
Early Music Vancouver
January 8th, 2013
My dear Canadian friends, I use your website to extend to all Chor Leoni members, and mainly to Dick, my deep condolencies for the loss of Diane, our singing and conducting angel... and I take advantage of this medium to give you my best wishes for Christmas and for the next year, personally by me and by all Tita Copetti choir!

Coro Tita Copetti,
Tolmezzo, Italy
Giuseppe (Coro Tita Copetti)
January 8th, 2013
Think about you every day Diane and miss you tremendously. You changed my life and taught me so many things in the short time that we had to spend together. In the words of another Canadian song writer:

"Cause I’m tired of losing the people I cared for. When the storm winds of life take them out by the roots" Rick Bochner.
January 8th, 2013
My thoughts are with Dick and the rest of the Lions at this time when Diane will be missed so terribly. She was so elegant and talented and yet so down to earth and would talk to us, essentially strangers, as though we had been life long friends. Hang on to your memories folks, as we, your fans in Victoria will.
Allan Mawdsley
January 8th, 2013
I can still remember the thrill of hearing Chor Leoni lifting their voices in song as they surrounded all of us in the audience at their ACDA Western Division convention concert in Anaheim in 2008. And of course I think of Diane as an inspiration as the co-founder of Elektra - an ensemble that serves as a role model for our Canzona Women's Ensemble in San Luis Obispo. We will miss her.

Canzona Women's Ensemble
San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Cricket Handler (Canzona Women's Ensemble)
January 8th, 2013
I am so sad to hear that such a wonderful person passed away. I met Mrs. Loomer in a flight to Europe few years ago and had a chat with her. There are just few people as her that we have the pleasure meeting - a charming lady & great musician! Rest in Peace.
Natalia Alexandrova
January 8th, 2013

Harry and I are so sorry to hear of Diane's passing. We attended every concert without fail. What a loss to the music world. We will remember her always. Rest in peace.
Shirley & Harry Davey
January 8th, 2013
Very shortly after Chor Leoni was formed I went to one of their Remembrance concerts. I was so moved by the music and the wonderful soul stirring sound of a male choir. I decided then and there that I wanted to be in such a choir. Shortly after I auditioned with Diane and joined the Amabilis Singers. I am now a proud member of the Vancouver Orpheus Male Choir (for 16 years) and have achieved my wish. Thank you Diane for your passion and drive to bring choral music to so many. Our world is so much richer for it.
Roberts Forbes
January 8th, 2013
I actually graduated from music prior to Diane (1979) just after high school but was always inspired by her independent nature. If there wasn't an opportunity available to her, she went out and formed it...for example, Electra & Chor Leoni.

When I'm organizing things I think of her and her courage.
Gerda Blok-Wilson
January 8th, 2013
A great loss for the choral community, not only locally but - as the comments here show - across the world. Over the years I had the pleasure of singing with Chor Leoni on occasion as well as recording some of their CDs and many concerts.

Surely the last two lines of Laurence Binyon's well-known poem, "For the Fallen", so movingly sung at Chor Leoni's Remembrance Day concerts, applies here, too:

"...At the going down of the sun and in the morning | We will remember them."

Your legacy will live on, Diane, in the hearts and voices of all who knew you.
Stuart Tarbuck (friend)
January 8th, 2013
Trying to whittle down all of the wonderful memories of Diane is difficult. I chose to focus on her total involvement in the performances at the Bard. She would throw herself into the skits dressed in character,once in yellow pigtails and big freckles painted on her face, and a gingham pinafore with knee socks. She was adorable! And adored.
Syndey Preston
January 8th, 2013
I met Diane first in 1965 in Philadelphia. Her life was not only music. She was a wonderful companion may it be eating Bratwurst in German guesthauses or "mountain food" in cottages in the Alps or watching football games of Dick's Air Force team in Frankfurt. She was almost as good a skier as a musician. She was a wonderful mother and together with Dick a lifelong reliable friend. We had the fascinating pleasure to see and enjoy her and the magnificient Chor Leoni for the last time at the festival in Gorizia/Italy last July. We are glad to have had such a farewell from her. Diane was authentic,genuine in everything, nothing artificial. Theologists say that these are the qualities of a Saint.

Dr. Peter Linhart
Dr. Peter Linhart
January 8th, 2013
All of us grieve for the family and Diane's Lions in her loss. Diane worked with us in the past and we loved her charm, kindness and joy of music, sharing it all with us and leading us to aspire to be the best. We will never forget her.

Audrey Owen for North Shore Chorus
Audrey Owen (North Shore Chorus)
January 8th, 2013
We will miss you Diane. You made such a difference for so many music educators by being a composer, conductor, adjudicator, model and mentor. However, your music, choirs and memories will remain with us forever. God Bless You Diane.

Peter Stigings
Peter Stigings
January 8th, 2013
It has been 50 years since Diane was a student at Gustavus Adolphus College and we shared a friendship, both as singers in concert choir and sorority. Diane was such a genuine and talented person. Many times were spent with Diane at the piano playing while we sang for the simple joy of it. She was a real gem. The greatest blessing is how she used her life fully, immersed in the beauty of music that transcends what cannot be expressed in words. We are thinking of you, Dick.

Kathy and Mark Thorsell
Kathy & Mark Thorsell (friend)
January 8th, 2013
Dear Members of Chor Leoni, We are very saddened to hear of the passing of your Artistic Director Diane Loomer. Coro Leone Bologna - Italy shares with you not only the name but also affection and warm friendship, and in this sad circumstance we wish to express our sincerest condolences to you all.

Tiziano Martinelli
Deputy President
Coro Leone Bologna - Italy
Tiziano Martinelli (Coro Leone Bologna)
January 8th, 2013
I was honored to hear Chor Leoni, and to meet Diane Loomer, at ACDA in Anaheim, CA in early 2008. What a gracious spirit she was, and what great singing she inspired. Rest in peace -- prayers from this desert rat in Southern California.
Heather KinKennon
January 8th, 2013
Dear friends we're very saddened to hear Diane Loomer's passing. We can only give you our deepest condolences, there aren't other words in these moments. RIP Mrs Diane.

Coro Polifonico di Ruda - Italy -
Ginafranco Pinat (Coro Polifonico di Ruda)
January 8th, 2013
The Vancouver Writers Fest had the glorious good fortune to work with Diane and Chor Leoni on events with three of Canada's finest writers: Alistair MacLeod, Jack Hodgins and Jane Urquhart.Diane selected the songs that would go with the readings chosen by the authors. The combination of word and song was much greater than the sum of its parts. For both the writers and the audience it was an experience to treasure. We will miss her greatly.

Hal Wake,
Vancouver Writers Fest
Hal Wake (Vancouver Writers Fest)
January 8th, 2013
The Board and patrons of Musique Saint Bernard, on Baie Sainte-Marie in Nova Scotia were deeply grieved by the loss of such an extraordinary artist. When Chor Leoni came to sing at St Bernard it was as if the heavens opened and broughta gift which we cherished for many years. Diane Loomer walked into that church, looked around, and immediately knew precisely how to use the acoustic of a large stone church to work brilliantly. It was a spectacular concert. This is a loss for all of us. It was a great honour to be in her presence and hear her choirs. Our condolences to her large family.

Lorelei Robins Board member,
Musique Saint Bernard, Nova Scotia
Lorelei Robins (Musique Saint Bernard)
January 8th, 2013
To all the members of Chor Leoni, and especially to Dick and the family, I can only begin to guess your loss and send you this poem by John O'Donohue

On The Death Of The Beloved

Though we need to weep your loss, You dwell in that safe place in our hearts, Where no storm or night or pain can reach you.

Your love was like the dawn Brightening over our lives Awakening beneath the dark A further adventure of colour.

The sound of your voice Found for us A new music That brightened everything.

Whatever you enfolded in your gaze Quickened in the joy of its being; You placed smiles like flowers On the altar of the heart. Your mind always sparkled With wonder at things.

Though your days here were brief, Your spirit was live, awake, complete.

We look towards each other no longer From the old distance of our names; Now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath, As close to us as we are to ourselves.

Though we cannot see you with outward eyes, We know our soul’s gaze is upon your face, Smiling back at us from within everything To which we bring our best refinement.

Let us not look for you only in memory, Where we would grow lonely without you. You would want us to find you in presence, Beside us when beauty brightens, When kindness glows And music echoes eternal tones.

When orchids brighten the earth, Darkest winter has turned to spring; May this dark grief flower with hope In every heart that loves you.

May you continue to inspire us: To enter each day with a generous heart. To serve the call of courage and love Until we see your beautiful face again In that land where there is no more separation, Where all tears will be wiped from our mind, And where we will never lose you again.
January 8th, 2013
To Dick and Family, to the Chor Leoni , Elektra and EnChor family and Singers everywhere who have been touched by Diane Loomer's presence go our deepest thoughts of sympathy. The Salt Spring Island Choral community and audiences were blessed with Diane's many visits here,performing with her Choirs and presenting her Choral Workshops. We are sad, yet consoled by the knowledge that Diane's legacy continues to shine in all of us through her music and the Choral leaders and singers she inspired at home and abroad. Thank you Diane for sharing your gifts of music ,vitality and humanity with all of us.
Anke Smeele
January 8th, 2013
On behalf of The Winnipeg Singers, we express sorrow at the passing of Diane Loomer. Diane's love of singers, choral music and expressive singing was evident in growth of choral music and the repetoire which her choirs performed. Until recently, Diane continued to be active as possible as her love for choral music was overwhelming beyond other life situations. We thank Diane for her gifts and her inspiration.

Ron Lambert
The Winnipeg Singers
Ron Lambert (Winnipeg Singers)
January 8th, 2013
My condolences, to you all. Diane is an inspiration to all who love to SING. Diane always had a Joy ,and to be in her presence was inspiring, she Shone as a TRUE STAR. I share in the Sorrow you all are feeling. Blessings, and Love
June Clark
January 8th, 2013
On behalf of the Coro Leone Bologna (Italy) I express my deepest condolences.
June (Coro Leone, Bologna)
January 8th, 2013
I saw her once when in Italy and have the competition. I really love her and I really adore with a woman so attractive and charming. I really sad hearing this, but her personality touched me and I believe of course for other. Rest now in peace for You. Thanks for bringing me joy and smile to this world. Good by :)
January 8th, 2013
Thank you dear friend. I recall so many memories of working, planning, laughing with you. Just one....the Guys Chorus from Kwayhquitlam Middle School, Port Coquitlam, going in to Vancouver to work with you and with "The Lions." Thank you for living your passion!
Donna Otto
January 8th, 2013
Such a tremendous loss, we are incredibly grieved to hear of Diane Loomer's passing. She was such an incredible woman.

Bard on the Beach
Vancouver BC
Bard on the Beach
January 8th, 2013
"As sure as the sunrise, as sure as the sea…
We rise again in the voices of our song."

Wisdom from Diane Loomer: "The Arts have the power to challenge our thoughts and assumptions, to inspire, to connect us to each other ... the arts have the power to make us better people … Remain open to change … Trust your instincts … Be kind … Give praise generously … Make a difference with your life. Don’t settle for ‘good enough’. Find and stick to your own standard of excellence. Make yourself and the world better through your work. Take care of each other. Sing. Sing… sing!"

You embodied this for us in the 'voice of your song,' Diane. Thank you!

The Choir Project
Naples, Florida
Marian Dolan (The Choir Project)
January 8th, 2013
We are very saddened to hear of the passing of Chor Leoni Men's Choir's Founder and Artistic Director, Diane Loomer. She was a choral powerhouse in Vancouver and beyond. RIP Diane. x

Vancouver Cantata Singers
Vancouver Cantata Singers
January 8th, 2013
We are incredibly saddened by the news of the passing of longtime friend and colleague, Diane Loomer. We fondly remember her time spent with the Vancouver Chamber Choir as Jon Washburn’s apprentice, and we express our sympathy to the members of Chor Leoni, Elektra Women’s Choir and EnChor, three outstanding choral ensembles of which she was the founder. She has left an incredible mark on the Canadian choral music scene, and her spirit and enthusiasm will live on for generations to come. Our thoughts go out to her family, friends, and all those who were touched by her passion.

Vancouver Chamber Choir
Vancouver Chamber Choir
January 8th, 2013

We are very saddened to hear the news of Diane Loomer's passing. The choral world was truly blessed to have had her in it, and she left quite a mark on it. Our thoughts go to her family and friends. May she rest in peace.

Pacifica Singers, Vancouver
Pacifica Singers
January 8th, 2013
Newman Sound mourns Canadian choral legend Diane Loomer who passed away this week. Countless singers and choir leaders across Canada and around the world have been inspired by her brilliant creativity and profound support for all choirs. Her powerful "Ave Maris Stella" has become a cornerstone of Newman Sound's repertoire. She was and always will be an inspiration not only for her musical gifts but also for her positive spirit and deep appreciation for the power of music. Our sincere sympathies to our colleagues in Chor Leoni Men's Choir and Elektra Women's Choir. She will be missed, but she has left us with an extraordinary legacy.

Newman Sound Men's Choir, Newfoundland
Newman Sound Men's Choir
January 8th, 2013
Dear Lions,

I am still shocked by the sad news that came my way today. As I write this message, I am still in disbelief...
It was a huge honor and privilege for me to have met and spent the two unforgettable weeks with Diane and all of you. I have learned so much from watching her rehearsing and performing with you. Not only music wise, but human and friend wise.
She was an inspiration for me, and will forever live in my heart.
It is now your duty to keep on working and singing as she taught you to.
I send you most sincere and deepest condolences from me and my choir members.
The most shining star among us has gone to the skies, to watch over us...

Tijana Vignjevic
Tijana Vignjevic (friend)
January 8th, 2013
Diane, you were an example of creativity, discipline, musicianship and generosity!
We were all blessed to have met you and shared with you and your choirs so many good moments!
We will miss you

María Guinand & Schola Cantorum de Venezuela
Maria Guinand (friend)
January 8th, 2013
Thinkin' of her, my eye falls on one of her best arrangements:

Work all done, time to rest
At the close of day,
Gave my all, done my best,
Goin' home to stay.
Daniele Cuder (Director, Coro Tita Copet)
January 8th, 2013
The Association of Canadian Choral Communities (ACCC) is saddened to announce the recent death of Diane Loomer, C.M., on December 10 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

With the passing of Diane Loomer, we have lost one of Canada’s most successful and inspirational choral conductors. Diane has been a sensitive and generous mentor to so many young choral conductors and musicians. Her warmth and love was obvious to any of us who had the good fortune to work with her and it is one of the characteristics that made her such a successful conductor.

Always a strong and active supporter of ACCC, Diane has contributed significantly to the organization over the years. She served as co-ordinator of the National Youth Choir for several years, was NYC conductor (1994) and was a frequent clinician and master conductor at Podium conferences. Diane served as an ACCC board member for many years and was instrumental in establishing the ACCC Competition for Choral Writing. She has been a valued member of the National Competition for Canadian Amateur Choirs committee since 2010 and held the position as ACCC Vice President for Advocacy (2008 - 2012). The recipient of many awards throughout her career, Diane and her husband, Dick, were presented with the ACCC Distinguished Service Award in 2010.

Diane has been an inspiration to us all, not only as a superb choral musician but also as a wonderful, warm and caring person. It has been a joy and privilege to know her as a friend. We mourn our loss and celebrate the life of a truly special individual.
Jeff Joudrey (president, ACCC)
January 8th, 2013
I wanted to pass on my condolences to all the members of Chor Leoni on the passing of Diane Loomer. Your choir, lead by Diane, sang at our wedding in 1999. What I always appreciated about Diane was her connection not only to music but to community in so many tangible ways. The presence of Chor Leoni, under Diane's leadership, made our wedding extraordinarily special and I will cherish those memories and be forever thankful for her presence in this world and in this community. Her spirit lives on in your voices and in your music and every nuance of Chor Leoni's sound that she so loved and nurtured. I will post the lyrics from one of the songs that Chor Leoni sang at our wedding - Diane and I disagreed about whether it was right for a wedding (she thinking not) but I thought the lyrics spoke to the various seasons of life through music, from the baby's lullaby, to the love song to the requiem. I think the lyrics are particularly appropriate t
o her passing - may we wrap her memory in song. With my heartfelt condolences.

In my heart's sequestered chambers lie truths stripped of poets' gloss
Words alone are vain and vacant, and my heart is mute
In response to aching silence, memory summons half-heard voices
And my soul finds primal eloquence, and wraps me in song

If you would comfort me, sing me a lullaby
If you would win my heart, sing me a love song
If you would mourn me and bring me to God,
sing me a requiem, sing me to Heaven

Touch in me all love and passion, pain and pleasure
Touch in me grief and comfort, love and passion, pain and pleasure
Sing me a lullaby, a love song, a requiem
Love me, comfort me, bring me to God

Sing me a love song, sing me to Heaven
Barbara Amiel
January 8th, 2013
Dear friends, 
we have heard about the tragedy that struck you choir. In the short time that she had spent in our city, we could see a little bit of her, and realize that she was a person of a great heart, a personn full of love! We are very sorry for your lost, and we pray to God to gave her a beautiful place in paradise.

Samira Merdzanic

Vokalni ansambl Bugojn, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Samira Merdzanic ( Vokalni ansambl Bugojn)
January 8th, 2013
Our choir tonight joins thousands of other people in mourning the loss of Diane Loomer. With her gifts, talents and spirit she has influenced all of us, not only in the music community but in many other ways. Diane died just yesterday.

Diane has been recognized throughout Canada and indeed in the wider world of music as a visionary, an inspirer and a mentor to literally thousands of people who have had the privilege of knowing and learning from her. And we, members of the Vancouver Welshmen’s Choir, are among them.

She is the founder and until just this year Director of the now world - famous and award winning Vancouver Men’s Choir CHOR LEONI as well as the very popular and exciting Women’s Chorus ELEKTRA, and the outstanding Mixed Chorus of people who have known her over the years. That choir is called ENCHOR

It is difficult to speak of Diane Loomer except in Superlatives.

The City, the Province and the Country have all been led to honour her, bestowing the Order of Canada, Honorary Degrees and many other signs of recognition.

She will be sorely missed. But as in the life of all truly generous people Diane Loomer has left a legacy of compositions she made popular, musical arrangements she crafted or championed, Choirs she led and other leaders and performers she mentored.

They will ensure that her gifts continue to inspire and her music brings joy to thousand as long as we live.

As we share in the sadness felt by her Husband, Son, and the many others we are thankful for the gift of her influence and musical legacy and will cherish her friendship.

Written by Bud Phillips
President of The Vancouver Welsh Men’s Choir
And read during our concert at Surrey Arts Centre
Tuesday December 11th. 2012
Bud Phillips (president, Vancouver Wels)
January 8th, 2013
Vesnivka Choir and its musical director Halyna Kvitka Kondracki wish to express their sincerest condolences to the family of Diane Loomer, including her family of choristers. Ms. Kondracki and the members of Vesnivka had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Loomer in St. John’s, Newfoundland in 1997 where they also had the opportunity to sing with Chor Leoni at Festival 500 Sharing the Voices. The loss of Ms. Loomer, a vibrant and respected musician, is surely a tremendous loss to the entire choral community of Canada. May she be always remembered.

On behalf of Vesnivka Choir
Lesia Komorowsky
Executive Member
Lesia Komorowsky (Vesnivka Choir)
January 8th, 2013
Dear Members of Chor Leoni,

My sincere condolences to you all. I grieve for you and with you.
Diane was and continues to be a great inspiration to me both professionally and personally, and I am blessed indeed to have known her and shared many wonderful moments these past 20+ years. I had the privilege of working with her at ACCC of course but also had the privilege of conducting granddaughter Ella here in Montreal.

We also shared the honour of being named Festival 500 Ambassadors, Diane in 2011 and myself in 2007.
I share with you this photo taken at Festival 500 in 2011, which we called our Ambassador Photo. It has been up on my fridge since then, and I love having it as a daily reminder of all the wonderful times shared with Diane (and Dick and Ella)
over the years.

Wishing you courage and peace,
Pat Abbott
former Executive Director of ACCC (1993-2009)
Pat Abbott (friend)
January 8th, 2013
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"Although I have never sung in one of Diane's choirs, I have been her sister-in-law for almost 50 years. She was a best friend and a model for living. My granddaughter said she thought the choir sounded like it would when Jesus comes back to earth."
Judy Giese
December 11th, 2013
"It was the Christmas season, 2004. Diane was acting director of Christ Church Cathedral choir and I was organist. I was grateful for her patience and encouragement, so lovingly given. I remember her fondly, especially at Christmas."
Ginger Shaw
December 10th, 2013
"Diane: such an amazing, loving, wonderful person even outside of the choral accomplishments! I always aspired to be more like you (not even close...). We miss you a lot but we're all keepin' on singing, as we know you are too. Much, much love."
Katie Longworth
February 10th, 2013
"Diane was the instigator who urged us to form an East Coast equivalent to Chor Leoni - Nova Voce, Nova Scotia's Men's choir has some 43 men now and has a well established reputation . We will miss her and her encouragement. Many thanks Diane ."
Duncan Miller
January 16th, 2013
"I will remember Diane from what I consider one of her favourite words-remarkable. She's left such an impression on me as singer and administrator; never hesitated to pass on her wealth of information for the musical and business side of the arts."
Maggie Van Seters
January 15th, 2013
"20 years ago, Diane invited me to audition for her new choir, Chor Leoni. For 20 years she inspired me to be a better singer, but more importantly, a better person through her example. I loved her like a second mother. Thanks for everything, Diane"
Mark MacDonald
January 13th, 2013
"I am thinking of Diane tonight as her memorial is being held at the Chan Centre. Attending Chorus America board meetings this weekend - we are all deeply saddened, but also grateful for the incredible contribution she made to so many over the years"
Leonard Ratzlaff
January 11th, 2013
"My six years singing with Elektra were the most special musical years of my life. I will never, ever forget Diane's beautiful face as she led our choir with love, grace and radiance. So, so special. Thank you, thank you, thank you."
Heidi Allen
January 11th, 2013
"I consider it the greatest privilege and honour to have known Diane as a friend and musician. My only regret is that I lived on the wrong coast and I treasure those all too infrequent times when I was able to sing under her inspired direction."
Carolyn Nielsen
January 10th, 2013
"I dropped by one evening, I could hear the D.C. Amabilis Choir rehersing, I sat alone, oh how I wanted to sing, but had never, she turned around and invited me up on stage...She gave me such a gift 20 years of family and non-stop singing! B.A."
Bruce Armstrong
January 10th, 2013


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