Singing is a vital component of elementary school music education. In Canada three times more children under the age of 18 sing in a choir than play hockey. Singing and choir are barrier free activities and how important it is, therefore, to have such experiences available to students

A sincere thank you to this group of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia students, who collaboratively wrote and performed “Without Our Voices” to share how they feel about singing being prohibited in schools throughout the fall of 2020. Expressing themselves creatively, they truly show us that, “where words fail, music speaks”. Annika Murray Cameron Boulter Campbell Hayman Caroline Boulter (violin) Justin Skinner (piano) Kara Taylor William Austin #ChoirIsOurSport #LetThemSing Singing in schools continues to be prohibited in Nova Scotia schools as of December 3, 2020. 
We continue to seek clarity and consistency in Nova Scotia policies around singing.
Knowing that choral singing is a vital part of Nova Scotia communities, the Nova Scotia Choral Federation has been advocating for safe choral singing in community, faith and school settings.
Watch our full presentation to Dr. Strang here:

Meeting with Dr. Strang
Nova Scotia Guidelines

Please share!


Knowing that choral singing is a vital part of Nova Scotia communities, the Nova Scotia Choral Federation has been advocating for safe choral singing in community, faith and school settings.

Currently there is no singing allowed in schools even as sports activities are not only permitted, they take place without social distancing and mask free. Singing and choir are barrier free activities and how important it is, therefore, to have such experiences available to students

We continue to seek clarity and consistency in Nova Scotia policies around singing.

Watch our full presentation to Dr. Strang here: https://youtu.be/hRoBOd0-uCQ

View our guidelines for community choral singing here: https://nscf.ca/covid-19-guidelines-resources/

Please share!

A Farewell for Maureen MacLean from Middleton Choral Society

On the evening of July 8, members of the Middleton Choral Society gathered at a private home for a reception to honour their retiring director Maureen MacLean. Maureen, who began as the community choir’s accompanist, has been director for 43 years. A musical icon in Middleton, she was a successful elementary Music teacher there; until this year she also served as president of the Annapolis Valley Centre of the Royal Canadian College of Organists (RCCO). She is a valued piano teacher still, as well as organist at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Bridgetown.

The choir presents two formal concerts each year, a seasonal one at Christmas and one in the spring. As well, an informal program has been presented at Mountain Lea Lodge each December. The choir’s dedicated membership is, on average, 35 unauditioned singers, with excellent distribution in all four vocal parts. Maureen’s devotion to the NSCF Choir Camp in Berwick each summer is legendary, having attended the earliest one. Each year Maureen makes sure that MCS grants a Choir Camp scholarship to a young person in the community. As well, Maureen has supported the High C’s Choral Festival held in the Digby area each May. MCS has done choir exchanges with other community choirs; the choir has also performed in Broadway musicals in co-operation with the Greenwood Players.

Maureen gets her repertoire ideas from various sources. As a member of NSCF, she uses its extensive choral library. At conferences and choir camps she exchanges notes with fellow musicians. In preparing programs, she goes through MCS’s own library, borrows from the NSCF library, and purchases a few new pieces each year. She is careful to choose a varied program: Canadian compositions, sacred and secular selections, jazz and gospel arrangements, folk songs, and show tunes are all considered. At the top of any playlist would be compositions by our own Nova Scotia composers.

Recognizing that singing is a physical endeavour, Maureen uses the first 20 minutes of rehearsals for vocal warm-ups. Borrowing freely from musical friends, she constantly varies the exercises and drills. Choristers gain an appreciation of their own voices, as well as working within a group of fellow singers. On occasion, she has brought in an expert musician to conduct a workshop: a frequent visitor has been composer Gary Ewer. In 2005, MCS commissioned Gary to write “Nova Scotia Is Our Home” to celebrate the 400 th anniversary of the Port Royal settlement. At this time, Stephen McNeil, MLA for Annapolis, moved a resolution in the House of Assembly: “Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House extend congratulations to the Middleton Choral Society and, in particular, director Maureen MacLean, for all their hard work and effort on launching the premiere performance of “Nova Scotia is Our Home.”

The final performance of MCS with Maureen at the helm occurred on Sunday November 17 before a packed house in Evergreen Theatre in Margaretsville. A distinct feature which has become a trademark of MCS’s concerts is the participation in the program of individual choir members as vocalists or instrumentalists in support of the regular choral works. Following the concert, choir members enjoyed a pot luck at Margaretsville United Church. Once COVID-19 has run its course, news of a new director and renewed energy for Middleton Choral Society will be forthcoming. Stay tuned!
John A.Montgomerie, September 2020

Celandine: An Exercise in Social Dreaming – Polaris Choirs for Change

Celandine: An Exercise in Social Dreaming

Performed by Polaris (Choirs for Change) Music by Ryan Henwood Text by Claire Bennet Video by Tim Mombourquette

Celandine, meaning “joys to come” in the language of flowers, explores the transition from a busy life led by superficial desires (the Past) to a sudden absence of these structures in a time of isolation and questioning (the Present). The third section (the Future) represents a call to reconnect with nature, guided by a sense of community and transience. We have been sending polluted noise out into the world for so long, it is now time to pause, listen, and react to the music the environment is trying to relay to us, and imagine a joyful, hopeful future. This piece was created for Nocturne: Art at Night 2020 with funding received through the Province of Nova Scotia’s Cultural and Youth Activities grant program.

National Roundtables for the Canadian Choral Community: Connect & Exchange

Choral Canada is hosting a second series of National Roundtables for the Canadian choral community: Connect & Exchange.

This will be a time to reconnect with colleagues, to share in the ups and downs of running a choir during COVID-19, and to exchange practical ideas based on what has or has not been working well. Come hear from some choral leaders in the country and engage in small group discussions.
Six roundtables will be offered in English and two in French, co-hosted with Alliance chorale du Québec. Summaries from the sessions will be made available in both languages.

Advance registration required. Register here today!

Free Online Vocal/Choral Opportunities – HRM Students

The Halifax Regional Arts program is offering multiple music-making opportunities for students in the HRM.










The Halifax Regional Arts Program is offering online choral classes. To register for this and other choral/music offerings, please go to https://hra.hrce.ca/ and click on “online offerings”


“If a choir is only about singing and performing – there will be no choir for awhile. If a choir is about teaching and learning, growing, connecting, community, cultural exploration and transmission, and innovating – we will find a way to have choir”-Kellie Walsh

While there are some restrictions in place with regards to singing in person, we can move online and take this opportunity to develop our choral skills, study some choral repertoire, and build a choral community that is bound by a love of choral singing!  In addition to exploring choral repertoire, we will learn about sight-singing; ear training; vocal health, body mapping, conducting; improvisation; music appreciation (listening to choirs from around the world) and tips for a successful choral audition.




Virtual Meeting for Choral Leaders in Nova Scotia with Dr. Strang


On Friday, October 23, at 2 pm there has been a opportunity organised for choral leaders to meet virtually with Dr. Strang, our Chief Medical Health Officer, to discuss guidelines around group singing in Nova Scotia.  If you would like to participate please fill out this form.  If you have any questions you would like submitted before hand or if you cannot attend and have a question please do fill in the form.


NSCF – 45th Annual General Meeting

45th Annual General Meeting
Friday, October 30, 2020
7:00 pm
Via Zoom – Please register here in advance to receive a link to the AGM

Election of Officers
Each year the Nominating Committee selects a slate of nominees for their individual skills, expertise and their
willingness to devote the time required for committee work and Federation business. The committee also strives for
the widest possible provincial representation.  If you are interested in nominating someone to our Board of Directors the deadline for nominations is October 16, 2020.
The procedure is as follows:

Members will submit motions of nominations any time up to 14 days prior to the Annual General Meeting. Motions
must be made in writing, signed by the mover and the seconder, and delivered to the Federation office. The nominee
must deliver signed acceptance by the deadline and provide biographical information suitable for reproduction or
distribution to Annual General Meeting delegates.

NSCF: Guidelines For Choral Singing In Nova Scotia & Other Resources for Choral Organizations

The Nova Scotia Choral Federation (NSCF) has developed guidelines for choral singing in Nova Scotia; these guidelines have been approved by the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage and Health Nova Scotia. In addition,  we have compiled other resources that may assist choral organizations  as they plan for their upcoming 2020/2021 seasons. These resources include guidelines created by the Government of Nova Scotia in consultation with the NSCF, a webinar on copyright as choirs consider creating virtual choir performances sponsored by American choral organizations,  and potential provincial funding opportunities.


Government of Nova Scotia: COVID-19 Guidance for Vocalists and Instrumentalists & Other Resources

Government of Nova Scotia: COVID-19 Small Business Reopening and Support Grant

National Association for Teachers of Singing: Copyright Guidance for Singing in a Virtual World

If you have any questions about the above resources, please contact the Nova Scotia Choral Federation Staff:

Executive Director: Tim Callahan-Cross

Program Coordinator: Ryan Henwood