#returntosinging – Cape Breton Chorale


The Cape Breton Chorale (CB Chorale) has had a successful year of music making despite restrictions imposed by the pandemic. CB Chorale has kindly provided some photos from their season and testimonials from their President and choristers. Through a combination of outdoor rehearsals, virtual strategies, social distancing, and mask wearing, the CB Chorale was able to offer a Christmas Card video to their community this past December. More details on their website, linked here:


Cape Breton Chorale singing in the outdoor amphitheatre at Open Hearth Park in Sydney (early October 2020)

Ruth Ann Morrison
President, Cape Breton Chorale
Covid 19 certainly brought some unique challenges to our Cape Breton Chorale family. In spite of restrictions and losing our regular rehearsal space we managed to regroup and find a way to continue. We soon realized that even with masks and physical distancing the camaraderie and joy of singing together was very much alive. In person rehearsals with a Zoom connection for those at home provided a way to strengthen our skills, learn new repertoire and stay connected. Mini recording sessions provided a goal and incentive to keep going. Many thanks to our director Ryan Billington for his innovative planning and commitment .



December 2020 taping with CB Chorale at Calvin United Church, New Waterford



J. Allan McIntosh
“The science is in. Singing is really, really good for you and the most recent research suggests that group singing is the most exhilarating and transformative of all. The good feelings we get from singing in a group are a kind of evolutionary reward for coming together cooperatively.” (The Neuroscience of Singing by Cassandra Sheppard) The Cape Breton Chorale has been meeting according to the proper protocols and even with the masks and distancing we have experienced the joy of being together in song, a taste of what is to come as restrictions relax, we hope, in the weeks and months ahead.




March 2021 recording session at Calvin Presbyterian Church, New Waterford

Mary Jane Ross
Social distancing, unfortunately necessary since last March, is the antithesis of choral singing. In a choir we seek to come together intellectually, artistically, and physically; the restrictions of tthe past months have made this much more difficult. So thank you to everyone in the Cape Breton Chorale and especially to our director, Ryan Billington; our accompanist, Paula Jane Francis; and our president, Ruth Ann Morrison for making our rehearsals and recorded performances possible in these challenging times. May we all be vaccinated soon!




Linda Dieltgens
I miss practicing together. Zooming has been a godsend, but nothing is the same as singing together. I long for that thrill we feel when we are singing in many parts and create that “Wall of Sound”. It is difficult to determine balance when your own voice seems to boom in your mask. I think it is making us better musicians working independently, but I will be glad when we can perform normally again.


Photos of CB Chorale rehearsing via Zoom: