For on November 12, the Royal Canadian College of Organists will be hosting one of the country’s national treasures, the Elmer Iseler Singers, as they come to Charlottetown during their Maritime concert tour to perform for one night only in St. Dunstan’s Basilica.

The 20 member choral ensemble hails from Toronto, and was formed by the eminent choral conductor Elmer Iseler in 1979. Working with this group, Iseler was able to achieve a choral sound and technique that set a benchmark to which other choirs have aspired, and the group has gone on to be recognized as one of the finest choral groups in Canada. Their sonic artistry is evident through their many broadcast performances and recordings.

Award winning director Lydia Adams took over the baton after Elmer passed away in 1998, and has since striven to continue the tradition of choral excellence established by Iseler. However, her passion for inspiring others extends beyond the Iseler Singers to choristers around the world. In fact, one of the truly exciting features of the the concert is that choristers from across the Island are invited to sit alongside the ensemble in a special free workshop rehearsal prior to the performance, during which time they will be taught a set of pieces to be performed during the concert’s finale. The chance to learn from this esteemed director and sing with a choir of such calibre is an opportunity that comes by rarely. Those interested in participating in this workshop should contact Ann or Leo (see below) so that adequate copies of the repertoire are prepared. The workshop selections are:

O Quantum Qualia – Healey Willan
All Creatures of Our God and King – Gustav Holst
The Island Hymn

The workshop will run 4:30-6:00pm.

The concert takes place Wednesday November 12 at 7:30 PM. Tickets for this event are $20 for adults, $15 for students, and $10 for children aged 12 and under and are available online:

 Tickets here!

Tickets may also be acquired directly through members of the RCCO (contacts Ann Francis at 902-367-2850 and Leo Marchildon at 902-894-3486, ext.4), or through the Basilica parish office during regular business hours 9 – 4 pm. Those wishing to participate in the workshop should also contact Ann or Leo to register.

We’re so pleased to share our “Lost Voices” video with you!

Earlier this year, Sirens was awarded a grant from the Prince Edward Island Council of the Arts (PEICA) as part of the PEI 2014 Sesquicentennial Public Art Collection. We commissioned Island composer Dr. Richard Covey to compose a new choral work, “Lost Voices”, that explores the 1864 Charlottetown Conference from the perspective of the women who were present. With text from the diaries of Margaret Lord Gray, Dr. Covey created a piece of rich layers, contrasting melodies, and movement.

Following our premiere performance on April 28, we went into recording mode. As part of our project, the PEICA supported our efforts to capture a video of the commission. Recording the video was a two part process: first, we were to capture the audio recording and secondly, we shot a video. And now the final product is online!

A big thank you goes out to Trevor Campbell for recording our audio, Brian Sharp and Ghislaine O’Hanley for filming the video, Dr. Covey for composing a gorgeous piece of music, and of course, the PEICA for helping to bring our commission to fruition!
Much choral love all around – enjoy!