CANDESCA IS AN AWARD-WINNING SINGING ENSEMBLE OF YOUNG WOMEN, BASED IN KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA.
Selected by audition, each member has a solid musical foundation with backgrounds that vary from high-level instrumentalists and composers to musical theatre performers and actors. They excel in competitions both vocally and instrumentally as well as being honor roll students and cultural ambassadors in their community. Combining attention to detail with the beauty of angelic voices, Candesca inspires audiences with a beautiful interpretation of the traditional classics. Their repertoire includes Gregorian chant, classical art song from a variety of cultures and medieval arrangements of contemporary music, much of which is sung a Capella.
CANDESCA has already risen to acclaim, performing annually with the Canadian School of Ballet’s Nutcracker Suite and a beautiful collaboration of dance and music composed by Arnold Draper called “In Arden Woods”. They have also had the honor of performing with The Okanagan Symphony and Canadian composer, Imant Ramisch as well as many fundraising concerts throughout the Okanagan. In 2008, a concert tour to Europe took them to 5 cities, including a performance in Veendam, Kelowna’s sister city, bringing European audiences to their feet. Most recently, they traveled to New York City to perform at St. John the Divine, the largest gothic cathedral in the world and Trinity Wall Street Church, a historical classical music venue opposite Ground Zero.
"THESE EXPERIENCES HELP PREPARE THESE YOUNG LADIES TO BECOME AMBASSADORS OF CULTURE AND CLASSICAL MUSIC WITHIN CANADA AND THE CANADIAN SCHOOL SYSTEM.
THEIR MESSAGE IS ONE OF HOPE AND JOY IN THE ARTS."
ALEXANDRA KOSACHUKOVA BABBEL
Alexandra Kosachukova Babbel, Conductor of CANDESCA, brings to the organization years of proven artistic vision. Ms. Babbel has demonstrated a keen eye for identifying new talent and providing a sound educational environment for musicians to fully develop their craft.
Not only has Ms. Babbel enjoyed an operatic career with multiple leading roles as an operatic and concert solo performer, she holds a BA in Choral Music Education, University of Michigan, a MA in Opera Performance, University of Alberta and Post-Masters Certiﬁcate of Performance, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois including doctoral studies.
Before relocating to Canada, she held position of Voice Department Head at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois.
As the founding artistic director of CANDESCA, Ms. Babbel has trained and developed young singers who have gone on to succeed in performing. Encouraging young voices to embrace personal discipline and training at the collegiate levels has culminated in numerous successful careers, not only in music, but in medicine, law, finances, and home economics.
TALENTED VOCALISTS – CHOSEN THROUGH AUDITION, EACH MEMBER OF CANDESCA EXCELS IN DIFFERENT MUSICAL GENRES, FROM HIGH-LEVEL INSTRUMENTALISTS AND COMPOSERS, TO MUSICAL THEATRE PERFORMERS, DANCERS, AND ACTORS.
Alex has been studying music since she was 7, and singing classically since she was 12. She is currently the Principal Violist of the Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra, where she has also composed pieces that have been performed by the OSYO. Alex is passionate about music theory and is currently working towards Associate Diplomas in both Theory and Voice. She is also a student voice teacher at VCMS.
Stay tuned to learn more about Baylee.
Stay tuned to learn more about Brynn.
Stay tuned to learn more about Emily.
Eva has been singing her whole life, but she truly began her singing journey at the age of 14 after winning a singing competition in France. She discovered classical singing in high school, where she sang in multiple choirs as well as Vocal Jazz and R&B groups. Eva's love for singing only grows with time, and she is honored to be a member of CANDESCA. Eva is also a business owner and mother to her 1 year old daughter Rhea.
Stay tuned to learn more about Hailey.
When Helena Plaxton was just a baby, she began singing in her mom’s music and movement classes. Throughout the years she has gained experience in musical theatre, opera, classical, and jazz singing both on her own and in groups, and even learned many instruments such as guitar, piano, ukulele and flute. Today she works as an Early Childhood Educator at Angels Academy with her own little one on the way.
Vocalist and composer Jessie Rivest creates choral art and enjoys singing a cappella, experimental, and barbershop styles. She is obsessed with meaning-making and extremely passionate about performance and storytelling. Jessie spent her early years in Woodstock, Ontario, then studied in Toronto, where she earned her B. Mus from York University and Arts Management Cert. from Humber College.
Stay tuned to learn more about Lillian.
Stay tuned to learn more about Moeka.
Rachael is honoured to be a part of Candesca and sing with so many talented women. She is a grade 12 student at KSS and this is her first year singing classical music. Post-graduation, she is planning to study Kinesiology at University.
Sofia Di Pieri
Sofia has been in musical theatre since she was 9 years old, but this is the first year she has ever done classical training. It’s been super fun and she has learned so much! In the future, After high school, she hopes to study Biology and move onto Naturopathic Medicine.