The NSCF’s Year in Review

Tune Up & Sing Out:

This past spring, the Nova Scotia Choral Federation partnered with the Robbie Songs Project and the Canadian Chamber Choir to host “Tune Up & Sing Out”. This virtual program allowed choristers from across the globe (Canada, the United States, and Australia!) to spruce up their vocal technique, clear out the COVID cobwebs and share in the joy of creating music together, all from the safety of their own homes!

The project consisted of two virtual workshops led by Dr. Julia Davids and choristers from the Canadian Chamber Choir, and culminated with the creation of a virtual choir performance of “Why Can’t We”. An original song by Nova Scotian folk duo, Naming the Twins, “Why Can’t We” was arranged for choir by Nova Scotian composer Donna Rhodenizer. Please enjoy this musical offering by the Tune Up & SIng Out Virtual chorus with video edited by William Duffy!


Choral Companion:

A new initiative by the NSCF, Choral Companion offered choristers an opportunity to come together with local choral and vocal specialists. Led by Dr. Frances Farrell, Jason Davis, Lucy Hayes-Davis and Lynette Wahlstrom, participants learned choral selections from a variety of styles and genres and participated in private vocal lessons and group masterclasses. Highlights from the week included a talent night (an homage to our Talent Night at Sing Summer Camps) where program staff and choristers alike shared their own musical offerings with the rest of the program participants.

Please enjoy the Choral Companion Chorus’ performance of “Heilig, Heilig, Heilig” by Franz Schubert, led by Dr. Frances Farrell!

Nova Scotia Youth Choir:

After plans for our 30th anniversary concert tour were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 iteration of the Nova Scotia Youth Choir was planned with a virtual format in mind. Again partnering with Settler conductor and NSYC alum Christina Murray, the NSCF also brought on Mi’kmaw filmmaker Shelley MacDonald and Mi’kmaw dancer Sarah Prosper to create a film project for choir and dancer.

Choristers returned to our summer home at the Berwick United Church Camp for a rehearsal weekend in late August. This weekend was facilitated by water protector and Mi’kmaw knowledge keepers Dorene Bernard and Ducie Howe. The NSYC choristers, committee, and NSCF staff were privileged to learn from Dorene and Ducie and to participate in ceremony as a way to ground our project. The following weekend, the NSYC 2021 choir gathered again at First Baptist United to record with the help of Stonehouse Sound.

To close the production period of the NSYC project, the NSYC choir and team captured video around the province at Point Pleasant Park and the Treaty Truckhouse in Shubenacadie. This truckhouse has become the gathering point for resistance, and is one way that Mi’kmaq water protectors constantly exercise and demonstrate their treaty rights.

We are thrilled to have received funding from the Canada Council of the Arts and cannot wait to share the final film from this project in the New Year. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for updates!

Looking Ahead:

Despite the recent restrictions that have been announced in response to the Omicron variant here in Nova Scotia, the NSCF is beginning preparations for a return to more in-person programming! Our dates are booked at Berwick United Church Camp for Sing Summer 2022, and we are hoping for a return of our other programs like the Children’s Chorus of Nova Scotia, Juvenata, and other workshop opportunities.

Again, keep your eyes peeled for an official announcement in the New Year! Happy Holidays!

-NSCF Staff (Tim & Ryan)