Diane Loomer, award-winning musician, ambassador for Canadian choral music and recipient of the Order of Canada, died on December 10, 2012, at the age of 72. A former faculty member of the UBC School of Music and a leading and inspiring choral conductor, Diane was founder and director of the Chor Leoni Men’s Choir, the EnChor choir, and co-founder of the Elektra Women’s Choir.
Diane was born in St. Paul, MN, and graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1962. In the 70s she moved to the west coast with her husband and pursued the study and performance of music. After attending Douglas College, she transferred to UBC’s School of Music where she completed a music degree in 1982. That same year, she established a community vocal ensemble at Douglas College.
She had many connections with UBC over the years, first as a student and later as conductor of the UBC Choral Union in the 1990s. More recently, Diane was a mentor to students in the alumni mentorship program, a guest conductor with UBC choirs, and last spring her EnChor choir was invited to perform in a concert with the University Singers. Among her many awards and laurels, she received a Doctor of Letters honoris causa from UBC in May 2011. In his message to students and faculty, director of UBC’s School of Music Richard Kurth wrote: “Diane had spectacular musical and personal charisma, which characteristically drew its power from her passionate and articulate conviction in the power of music. For all her singers, and all her audiences, she will remain absolutely unforgettable.”