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Colibri Duo

Merrill Tanner and Ernst BirssMerrill Tanner and Ernst Birss comprise the Colibri Duo, a voice and guitar duo based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. They are available for performance in formal concerts, and at weddings, funerals and other special occasions. The duo's repertoire includes Renaissance lute songs, music by classical era composers Mozart, Schubert and Fernando Sor, music from Spain and Brazil, and arrangements of contemporary pop songs. Selections from Marjory-Kennedy Fraser’s Songs of the Hebrides (as arranged by Ernst Birss) add a Celtic element to their performances.

Ernst and Merrill gave their premiere recital at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in February 2006, and have since appeared on the Aquired Taste concert series, on the Arts Jasper series in Jasper, Alberta, at the Shurniak Gallery in Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, and many times on the Music Wednesdays at Noon series at Edmonton's McDougall Church and other concerts in Edmonton.

Soprano Merrill Tanner holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Voice Performance, teaches singing privately, leads a community singing group for people with Parkinson's disease and performs in the Colibri Duo. Her past performances include yearly recitals for the Wednesdays Music at Noon series with Ernst Birss, and solos with the Chorale St. Jean, the McDougall Church choir and the Saskatoon Chamber Singers, as well as solo performances at the Unitarian, Christian Science and United Churches in Edmonton.

She has also performed with guitarist David Grainger Brown, pianist Bob Casgrain and flutist Tammy Cooper. Merrill appeared as the Countess in Die Fledermaus (Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan Festival), as Monica in The Medium (Saskatoon Opera), as the Mother in The Little Match Girl (Prairie Opera), and in other roles in Saskatoon Fringe productions. Merrill is also a registered speech language pathologist and singing voice specialist, and in 2012 completed a PhD that demonstrates the value of "singing voice therapy" for people with Parkinson's disease.

Ernst Birss is a well known classical guitarist and guitar teacher based in Edmonton. He was first prize winner of the 1998 Northwest Guitar Competition, an annual event open to classical guitarists from Western Canada and the American Pacific Northwest.

To listen to some songs please click on the links below

1/ Scottish Traditional, The Dowerless Maiden
2/ Scottish Traditional, Kirsteen
3/ Thomas Campion, When to Her Lute Corinna Sings
4/ Enrique Granados, El Tralala