Music Leaders from the ScotianAires head to Nashville on Music Scholarship

Five talented music leaders from the Halifax-based Atlantic championship a cappella chorus, the ScotianAires, will soon be heading to Nashville, TN for a week of music education, thanks in part to the financial support of Sing Canada Harmony, a Canadian charity supporting music education.

The ScotianAires are a chapter of Harmony, Incorporated, an international organization of female a cappella singers specializing in the barbershop harmony style. Harmony, Inc., and Sing Canada Harmony, have partnered to support Canadian musical directors receiving scholarships for best-in-class training opportunities. Harmony University (Harmony U), held on the beautiful grounds of Belmont University in Nashville, is an intensive week long workshop hosted by the Barbershop Harmony Society with a wealth of educational opportunities for barbershop style singers from all over the world. This year’s program runs from July 22-29, 2018.

ScotianAire members Jill Reid, presently a Performance Judge with Harmony, Inc., and Fatima Whelan, a Performance Judge Candidate, will both attend the Coaches’ Apprentice Program. Reid will take part as an observer in order to free up her schedule for additional workshop opportunities. Whelan, a first time attendee at Harmony U, looks forward to the “great opportunity to learn from some amazing leaders, coaches and educators with the focus on Performance.”

Bass Section Leader Marion Fraser Pritchard returns for her second year in Nashville and looks forward to “classes in chorus leadership, and promotion of a cappella singing with youth in our community”. ScotianAires Assistant Director Adele Merritt will attend the Directors College and can’t wait to be immersed in a “barbershop bubble” for the week!

ScotianAires Director, Sue Kember is also a returning participant. Her schedule contains a little bit of everything: “I am looking forward to another awesome week at Harmony University. I have chosen courses that touch upon every aspect that I am involved in so I am really looking forward to the education I will be receiving on directing, coaching, leadership, quartetting and for a challenge, some arranging and beat boxing! It is going to be fantastic!”

Everyone is looking forward to the keynote address to be delivered by Deke Sharon, sometimes referred to as “the father of contemporary a cappella” and best known as the arranger of the music for the popular “Pitch Perfect” movie series. Performances by outstanding men’s barbershop quartets such as Main Street and Instant Classic will be a highlight and the five ScotianAires will also have a chance to perform as members of the Women’s Honor Chorus.

The Harmony, Inc. funding initiative “Director’s First” that Sing Canada Harmony has supported was launched in 2016 with the impressive goal of sending as many as 60 musical directors and leaders from Harmony, Inc. chapters to Harmony University in the space of five years. Since its inception, 25 Harmony Inc. music leaders from across Canada and the United States have travelled to Nashville.

The five ScotianAire participants attending Harmony U are grateful for all the support they have received, financial and otherwise, and look forward to sharing their experiences with the whole chorus when they are together again in August.

You can find out more about the ScotianAires at or follow them on Facebook at and on Twitter @ScotianAires.