VB8 or ‘Voces Boreales vocal octet‘ was conceived during the 2018-19 season to address a need for a niche vocal group that would be able to help fulfill the mission of the Montreal Choral Institute (MCI). It is an eight-voice professional choral group that is produced by the MCI.  It pre-dates the COVID-19 pandemic era, but the multiple restrictions during that time meant that VB8 gave some of its first performances outside during the summer of 2020. 

VB8 performs in multiple situations. It champions contemporary choral music and commissions new music – whilst performing this new repertoire in a historical context (i.e., alongside older repertoire). The VB8 octet also has an educational role, hosting workshops for composers and choral conductors as well as being small and flexible enough to give outreach performances in smaller venues, festivals, music series and schools. 

The octet is led by Andrew Gray, artistic director of Voces Boreales and the Montreal Choral Institute.