NSCF History – We Need Your Input!

Dear NSCF members and friends,

We need your help. Not money or physical labour, or billeting, or return of overdue music, or
concert dates, or volunteer tasks – or any of the things we usually ask you for. This won’t hurt
and you’ll probably find it fun.

We are currently compiling a Nova Scotia Choral Federation history document. The decision to
do this was sparked by Tim’s retirement announcement. He has certainly earned some free
time and peace for his next adventures. But we don’t want to lose decades of institutional
memory when he hands over the Executive Director’s position in June.

A lot has happened in the Choral Federation’s 47 years. The history is all here but it’s in many
files and documents – and in Tim’s head.

This project will not result in a dull weighty book. Our goal is a living document where future
staff and volunteers can find concise, clear information they need from the past and can add to
it in the future.

The sifting and sorting and collecting and summarizing is in hand. That work will give us the
‘what’, ‘when’, ‘where’, and ‘how’ of our past. But it will not give a full picture of why it all
mattered. This is where you come in.

We want this living document to capture the energy and warm, vibrant soul of the organization.
Why did so many of Nova Scotia’s young people start out as JCCers and keep coming to our
programs through their teens? Did choral singing influence a career decision for someone in
your family? Why does a particular oratorio chorus or Here’s to Song evoke a powerful memory
for you? Did you drive home from Berwick surrounded by dirty clothes and bedding with your
child enthusing about Cabin Fever? Or maybe your passenger was a quiet teenager fingering a
bracelet of threads made on a very special evening. What Hollywood Night skit will you never
forget? Were you ever part of the ‘scotch tape and eraser brigade’ for a music mending work
session, or a Sobeys grocery tape counting party? Was there a special guest conductor or
counsellor or gopher whose name still makes you smile?

Please send us your memories – hilarious, tender, profound, embarrassing (just don’t
embarrass other people without their blessing, please!) – we want them all. There’s no
maximum word length but short and sweet is always good.

Email to paddymuir@gmail.com Or if a handwritten note by snail mail works best for you,
that’s fine too. The office will collect and make sure they get to the right place. And please pass
this message along to anyone you know who may have been involved with NSCF in the past but
now lives elsewhere.

If we could have your contributions by the end of January that would be terrific. Thank you!

Choral Canada’s 2024 Competition for Choral Writing

Submissions for Choral Canada’s 2024 Competition for Choral Writing are now open! Choral Canada encourages and supports the creation of choral music for choirs and singing groups by emerging/early-career Canadian composers and music creators. Since 2000, composers and music creators from across Canada have submitted their compositions to be considered for the Diane Loomer Award. In 2018, the Stephen Chatman Student Award was introduced to support student composers.
Competition Regulations and Application Guidelines for each category can be found here: 

https://bit.ly/3Gb0Qoh. Entry deadline: January 15, 2024.

The 2024 competition is sponsored by J.W. Pepper. The Diane Loomer Award is sponsored by Cypress Choral Music. The Stephen Chatman Student Award is made possible by Stephen Chatman and Tara Wohlberg.

General Manager, Halifax Camerata Singers



Halifax Camerata Singers invites applications for the part-time position of General Manager to deliver operational services required for the choir’s continued artistic success and financial viability. This is an independent contractor position, renewable annually, reporting to the Board Chair and working closely with the Artistic Director.

Working from a home office, the GM is responsible for the following types of tasks:

Production and marketing (focusing primarily on usually two self- presented concerts each year as well as ongoing industry networking and community outreach)
Administration (including managing mail, files, preparing and obtaining signatures for contracts as needed, maintaining customer relationship management records, booking venues)
Support for grant applications and fundraising efforts (Camerata has a Fundraising Chair and will be contracting a professional grant writer. The GM will provide support to fundraising and grant writing with input from Artistic Director, Treasurer and Board; two grant applications are yearly, while the major one, Canada Council, is a multi-year grant)
Financial (paying invoices and maintaining accurate expenditure and deposit records; assisting Treasurer in preparing materials for the annual budget and documents for the choir’s bookkeeper and accountant)

Halifax Camerata Singers is Atlantic Canada’s premier chamber choir. The choir has won major awards, is featured regularly on CBC Radio, and forms the core of the Symphony Nova Scotia Chorus.

The position requires experience in arts management, an independent work ethic and a spirit for collaboration on a wide range of projects. Outstanding interpersonal, communication and telephone skills and excellent computer skills are a must. There are strict and non-negotiable deadlines, so the incumbent must have superior time management skills and a proven record of working to deadlines. The candidate
should have a passion for choral music. The successful candidate must show evidence of the above qualities and experience. A more detailed list of job responsibilities can be provided to interested applicants. The position will be paid a monthly stipend and will be discussed with applicants during the interview process.

Applications for this position will remain open until December 1, 2023. We are looking for candidates who can start in this position immediately upon contract signing, or by January 1, 2024, at the latest. We thank all candidates for their interest; however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.
For information or to submit your resume and cover letter, please email the GM Search Committee at GMsearch@halifaxcamerata.org.

Coastal Voices – New Singers Welcome!

Coastal Voices is welcoming new singers in January!

The sound of men’s voices raised in harmony – beautiful and stirring! If you’re a man that enjoys singing, the Coastal Voices Men’s Choir may be just right for you.

We are a community choir which meets 7 pm, Thursday nights at the New Horizons Senior’s club in Musquodoboit Harbour. We begin rehearsing in January and prepare a concert program which is offered each spring in several communities along the Eastern shore. 

In addition to learning a variety of songs, we work on developing a uniform choral tone and building music reading skills. 

Lots of fun, friendship and musical support are provided in this friendly group. Practice tracks are made available for all the songs so inexperienced singers can feel comfortable taking part and it never hurts to have an experienced singer  helping you along!

If you’re interested, check out our website @CoastalVoices.ca or contact Ross Thompson artisticdirector@coastalvoices.ca for more information.

Executive Director, Nova Scotia Choral Federation

Executive Director, Nova Scotia Choral Federation

Halifax, NS

Founded in 1976 the Nova Scotia Choral Federation (NSCF) is one of eight cultural federations, supported by the government of Nova Scotia. As a registered charity, NSCF has developed an excellent complement of programs and services for choirs of all ages in the province.  Our Junior Choir Camp began in 1979 and was the model for similar camps in other provinces in Canada.  Since then our camps have grown to include Youth and Adult Choirs camps offering a camp experience to singers starting at the age of 8 years old.  NSCF also provides an opportunity for youth singers to take part in an auditioned provincial youth choir which is managed by NSCF each year and biennially supports a quartet of youth singers to attend the Nation Youth Choir of Canada, a program of Choral Canada .

The leadership shown by the Nova Scotia Choral Federation has assisted in the widespread participation in choral music throughout Nova Scotia. There are opportunities for all program alumni to stay involved in the Federation’s activities. School children are given the opportunity to develop choral experience in schools and networking takes place with provincial, national and international choral communities. There is training to encourage and support choral conducting, and professional, well-paid opportunities for both emerging and established artists. Corporations and governments recognize the valuable role choral music plays in enriching society and demonstrate their understanding through active support.

Nova Scotia Choral Federation is currently seeking a new Executive Director

The Executive Director is the leader within NSCF and plays an integral role in building and maintaining relationships in the choral community in Nova Scotia.  They are an active member on the board of the Cultural Federation for Nova Scotia. This individual is also involved on a national level with the board for Choral Canada, and maintains positive relationships with the other choral federations in the country.   Other key responsibilities of the Executive Director include:

  • Promoting and increasing awareness of NSCF and the programs/services available for choirs in Nova Scotia
  • Management and awareness of funding opportunities for NSCF.  This includes review of proposal opportunities for funding and preparation of funding applications
  • Development of budgets for NSCF programs throughout the year
  • Assist in preparation and review of all financial statements monthly and for the end of each fiscal year (including regular communication with the NSCF Treasurer and Bookkeeper)
  • Manage scheduling of meetings, communication and relationships with the NSCF Board of Directors – this includes attending and preparing for Board  Meetings, the Annual General Meeting and any other committee meetings as needed
  • Act as the organization’s spokesperson – including activities such as interviews, news releases, and other proactive communication with media
  • Attendance at key national meetings and conferences throughout the year
  • Create a culture that empowers and motivates NSCF staff and volunteers

As the ideal candidate for this role, you have leadership experience in the choral community in Nova Scotia or your current community.  Previous experience in a senior management role within a not for profit organization would be considered a definite asset.  Other qualifications include:

  • A background and education in Music, Choral Conducting, Music Education or Fine Arts
  • Demonstrated experience in managing budgets and financial management, including fund development
  • Experience in planning and managing successful events and projects
  • Ability to build and maintain strong relationships
  • A passion for continuing to build and develop choral opportunities for singers in Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada
  • Experience in collaborating with other organizations at a provincial and national level

Nova Scotia Choral Federation has built a strong legacy in Nova Scotia and continues to be a choral leader in Canada.  Be part of the next chapter in keeping the momentum of choral music and experiences moving forward in Nova Scotia. 

To express interest in the Executive Director role, please forward your cover letter and resume to the Selection Committee, Att: Anne MacDonald at anne@nscf.ca.

A full job description is available by request.  

The Robbie Songs Project – A Legacy Choral Tribute to Robbie Smith

Following the success of the Let’s Have Some Music concerts on April 29, 2023 in Truro and April 30, 2023 in Halifax, we are excited to announce the that the recordings will soon be available. Pre-save now on your favourite streaming service! 17 beautiful pieces by Nova Scotian songwriter @Robbie Smith , Naming the Twins , performed by Cantabile Society of Truro , Choirs for Change, Dartmouth Choral Society, Halifax Gay Men’s Chorus, Nova Voce, The Aeolian Singers, Middleton Choral Society, Halifax Newcomer Choir, Coastal Voices Men’s Choir, EnChor East, Kathleen Glauser



Massed Choir for the RCCO’s annual Festival of Carols

The Royal Canadian College of Organists Halifax Centre invite you and those in your choirs to join the Massed Choir for the RCCO’s annual Festival of Carols happening on Monday, December 4 at the Cathedral Church of All Saints

This celebration of the season features a 50+ voice massed choir, organ music, poetry and sacred readings (read this year by The Hon. Dr. Mayann Francis), and guest choir Galileo Baroque Ensemble (dir. Andrew Pickett). It promises to be a joyous start to your Christmas season! 

The Massed Choir is a low-key, one-evening commitment group of people from all over the region who love to sing. In just 24 hours, over 30 singers have registered! I hope you will join us. You do not need to be an RCCO member or a member of a religious community to join us. ALL are welcome!! Please share this widely! Details are below. 

COMMITMENT: Monday, December 4 @ All Saints Cathedral (1330 Cathedral Ln)

Rehearsal: 5:45pm

Organ Preludes: 7:00pm

Service: 7:30-8:30pm

MUSIC: (pdf will be sent to those who register by end of next week)

Hymns: ‘Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending,’ ‘O Come, Divine Messiah,’ ‘In the Bleak Midwinter,’ and ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!’

Massed Choir Anthems‘Ding! Dong! Merrily on High!’ (arr. Charles Wood), ‘Good King Wenceslas’ (arr. Terry Hurrell)

The choir will be led by Wayne Rogers and Lynette Wahlstrom, with Shawn Whynot accompanying. 

Individual registration is requiredRegister by clicking here

Aeolian Singers Annual Wreath Fundraiser

The Aeolian Singers annual wreath fundraiser is underway! 

The perfect addition to any front door to celebrate the season 💚 don’t miss out on these stunning, locally made, 20″ wreaths.

Order yours before October 31st for delivery in early December, cost is $25/ea. Reach out to a local choir member or email fundraising@aeoliansingers.ca

Your support brings Choral music to the community! It helps to keep choir membership affordable, hire amazing musicians and composers, purchase beautiful music, cover venue fees, and more.

Thank you for your continued support!

Shelburne Chorus – Repertoire Recommendations

The newly formed Shelburne Chorus, a non-auditioned community choir of 25 singers, directed by Ben von Bredow, is looking for recommendations on relatively easy SATB pieces for next season that are part of the NSCF library.

Ben’s background is liturgical music and we are asking for help in finding non-sacred music.

Of course we will include some pieces from the Robbie Songs Collection, but if anyone is familiar with some of the titles in the library and would venture to send us some recommendations, we would greatly appreciate it.

Please send to Ben at benvonbredow@gmail.com

ESMS Madrigal Group – Join us!

EMSNS Madrigal Group new session starts November 2

Do you enjoy laughing and learning while you sing? The Early Music Society of Nova Scotia Madrigal Group is a relaxed a cappella ensemble that meets on Thursday mornings to sing a wide variety of English, Italian and French sixteenth-century music, directed by Andrew Pickett. Our next session begins Thursday, November 2, running through December 21, meeting at Faith City Church, 6225 Summit St, Halifax, from 10:30 am–12 pm. Please contact Andrew at andrewjpickett@yahoo.co.uk if you’d like to join in!