Halifax Gay Men’s Chorus – Inaugural Meeting

There will be an information session on the upcoming Halifax Gay Men’s Chorus, on November 1st, from 6pm-8:30pm at the Halifax Central Library (5440 Spring Garden Road) at the Lindsay Children’s Room.

The session will include information about joining the chorus, refreshments, and a screening of “We Are the Vancouver Men’s Chorus” from the Vancouver Queer Film Festival.

Choirs for Change – Retreat!

For their second annual retreat weekend, Polaris singers went out to Hubbards to sing, to grow, and to connect.

This year they had the pleasure of being joined by Geung Kroeker-Lee, Artistic Director of Prairie Voices (Manitoba), who was able to be with them thanks to a grant from Arts Nova Scotia.

Between braving the cold waters of Hubbards Cove for a swim and going for walks on the rocky beach, members of Polaris were preparing for their upcoming performance for Nocturne: Art at Night Festival in Halifax on October 13th. They will be performing Jason Noble’s “Furiouser and Spuriouser” every hour, on the hour, between 6pm and midnight at St. Paul’s Anglican Church. As Jason Noble says, this piece is “a musical fairytale about the Internet after Lewis Carroll and René Descartes.”

Under the guidance of Geung Kroeker-Lee and conductor Jack Bennet, Polaris was also busy rehearsing for their upcoming fundraiser on November 2nd. More details about that performance to come!

Nova Scotia Youth Choir Black Folder Campaign

We have purchased new embossed choral folders for the Nova Scotia Youth Choir and would like to give our member choirs an opportunity to help us offset this cost and also advertise your choir to these wonderful singers.  When a choir donates $30 towards the cost of the folder we will insert a card in the inside plastic pocket to acknowledge your choir’s donation but also to promote your choir to our singers.  Please provide both  your choir name and contact information with your donation so we can include it on the insert. Of course if an individual is interested we can acknowledge your donation  in the inside plastic pocket if you like.

All donors will be acknowledged and can receive a charitable tax receipt.

You can make a donation by visiting Donate Here


Nova Scotia Youth Choir 2018 Concert Tour

 Once again the Nova Scotia Youth Choir has had a wonderful season, culminating in a concert tour that included three concerts and a church service and took us from Amherst to Halifax.  Thank you to all the singers for their hard work and dedication to the choir.    All three performances were exciting and moving.  Thank you also to our music staff, Guest Conductor – Timothy Shantz; Accompanist – Cynthia Davies; Resident Conductors – Christina Murray and Gary Ewer; and our Vocal Staff – Jason Davis, Lucy Hayes-Davis, Jennifer Farrell and Ross Thompson.  What a team!

Check out our YouTube Channel for a listen! NSYC 2018 Concert – Amherst




Tonic! quartet nominated for “Image of Harmony Award”

Tonic! has been the Atlantic Champion Women’s Barbershop Quartet every year since 2015, but there is more to this quartet than a cappella singing excellence. Recognizing their service to their barbershop chorus and beyond, members of their choral community have nominated Tonic! for Harmony Incorporated’s “Image of Harmony” Award.

Created in July 2012, Tonic! has gathered a long list of accolades at the Atlantic (Area 1) Championships. In addition to their four championships, the quartet received the Kathryn Ryan Memorial Trophy in 2015 and 2017 (most improved quartet based on score from previous year) and the Karen Gordon Memorial Trophy every year since 2015 (highest performance score). Always striving to improve their craft, current members Marion Fraser Pritchard (lead), Adele Merritt (bass), Cathy Hunter (baritone) and Mary Gareau (tenor), attended the Barbershop Harmony’s Society “Harmony University” in Nashville TN in the summer of 2017. Tonic! finished 2017 with their best showing ever at Harmony Incorporated’s International Quartet Competition, taking the eighth position in the coveted top ten.

Within the ScotianAires, the chorus to which all four belong, the women of Tonic! take on many leadership roles. Adele and Cathy are both assistant directors and section leaders for their voice parts. Adele has served as Music Chair and on the board of directors and Cathy is now the chorus librarian. Marion is a bass section leader, member of the board of directors and is Social Committee Co-Chair. Marion also serves as the Area 1 Quartet Co-ordinator. Mary just completed a very active few years as Music Chair and curator of the chorus history book and was Facilities Chair for the Area 1 contest for the last two years. These are just some examples of the duties the four have taken on over their time with the ScotianAires. And every chorus member knows that aside from their “official” roles, each of these talented women lead, encourage and support in many informal ways as well.

Teaching and developing the skills for and the love of a cappella singing is also a priority for this quartet. Adele and Cathy were responsible for preparing and implementing the “Find your Voice Program” for prospective new singers in the fall of 2015 and all four Tonic! members were involved in teaching this program. Adele and Cathy were also part of a group of musical leaders from the chorus that prepared a series of “Early Bird” training sessions that took place in the half hour before the chorus formal rehearsal and ran for two years. These were made available to any chorus member for their own development free of charge. For the past few summers Tonic! has led the chorus in ‘summer sessions’. Several of these have focused on encouraging quartetting, but the sessions have also helped members focus on vocal technique and just the fun of singing together!

As a quartet, Tonic! has also performed at numerous fundraisers and community functions including retirement parties, corporate events, at schools, at the Halifax Central library, and other venues too numerous to mention. They have also served as a demo quartet for Harmony Incorporated education classes, including Richard Llewellyn’s “Riser Placement for Quartets” class at the International Convention and Contests in 2015 in Verona, NY. For the past two years Tonic! has been the teaching quartet for the Area 1 Education days.

Area 1 director Linda Brehaut sums it up this way. “Area 1 is so pleased to have Tonic! represent us as our Area Champions!!! They have played a significant role in mentoring other quartets in the Area
through their willingness to teach, encourage and motivate….One characteristic of this quartet that stands out to me is their humble attitudes; despite being our Area champs, they are as quick to work with a novice quartet as they are to come along side our other medaling quartets, motivated as much by teaching as they are by learning.”

The chosen quartet will receive the “Image of Harmony” award at this year’s International Competition in Orlando, FL in early November. Thank you to Tonic! and all the nominated quartets for the many ways you nurture and spread the joy of a cappella harmony!

EMSNS Madrigal Group

Do you enjoy laughing and learning while you sing? The Early Music Society of Nova Scotia Madrigal Group is a relaxed, non-performing a cappella group that meets on Thursday mornings to sing a wide variety of English, Italian and French sixteenth-century music, directed by Andrew Pickett. We gather in the Fellowship Hall on the 2nd floor of First Baptist Church, 1300 Oxford St., Halifax, from 10:30–11:45 am. Drop-ins are always welcome, and we’re looking for new singers—bring a friend! Dues are $12 per week, $10 for EMSNS members. For more information email Andrew at andrewjpickett@yahoo.co.uk.

Cantabile Boys’ Choir Choral Composition Competition

In recognition of the Cantabile Boys’ Choir’s 10th season, the Cantabile Choral Society is holding a composition competition for a piece for unison children’s choir.

Competition Eligibility and Guidelines
– open to all Canadian composers
– works to be submitted must be unpublished and may not have been previously performed publicly

submissions are to be:
– under 5 minutes in length, produced using music notation software
– for unison children’s choir (occasional 2-part divisi is acceptable) with piano)
– written using an original text, one that is in public domain, or with written permission by the copyright holder

There is no entry fee to apply to this competition

Submission details
please send two PDF copies of the score to cantabiletruroinfo@gmail.com
1 copy as a completed document including full attribution of composer, lyricist, etc.
1 copy with composer’s name, text source, and other identifying marks removed
Cantabile Society Artistic Director Chris Bowman and a jury of peers will review the applications, from which a winner will be announced

The winner of this competition will receive a $500 honorarium (sponsored by past and present directors of the Cantabile Boys’ Choir and the Cantabile Board), and the winning selection will be premiered by the Cantabile Boys’ Choir during its 10th anniversary season.

Deadline for Submissions – October 15, 2018

Please contact Ron Laking, choir administrator, with any questions – 902-893-1576 or ron.laking@ns.sympatico.ca

The Cantabile Boys’ Choir is a small and enthusiastic group of boys (15 last season) who love to sing! Its members are in grades 3-7/voice change. Formed in the fall of 2009, the choir operates with co-conductors who also act as accompanists, which have included founding conductor Ross Thompson, current Cantabile Impact! conductor Brenna Conrad, and current artistic staff Chris Bowman and Sarah Glinz.

The Cantabile Choral Society prides itself on being a place where all are invited to make high quality music in a friendly, collaborative and supportive atmosphere. Cantabile choirs perform regularly in concert and are committed to enriching our community, including charitable and musical outreach opportunities, supporting the Truro Music Festival, and working with people of all ages and stages.

Vote The Big Sing as Halifax’s Best Community Project!

The Big Sing, a community singing event led by Jack Bennet (Choirs for Change, Phoenix Community Choir) and George Woodhouse, has been shortlisted as Halifax’s Best Community Project in this year’s “Best Of Halifax” awards presented by The Coast. As the only music-related nomination in this category, help us get the word out about this great event and the importance of community music-making!

To vote, follow the link below (it takes a few seconds to load):

As background, The Big Sing began in January 2017 and has since been offering drop-in singing experiences at local pubs around Halifax. All are welcome to attend, and are led through learning a 3-part harmony to a well-known song. Videos of the final performances each night are recorded and put on Youtube. In the past year and a half, The Big Sing has engaged with thousands of Nova Scotians in singing. In addition to a number of corporate and team-building retreats, they’ve performed at Full Circle Festival, Neptune Theatre, the Halifax Pride Festival, and recently with pop-icon Leslie Feist.

For more information, connect with them at the following links
Facebook: www.facebook.com/thebigsinghfx
Youtube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCM5fpHysysmIm3Ux54gfv_Q
Website: www.thebigsinghfx.com