Elmer Iseler Singers’ Artistic Director, Lydia Adams shines the spotlight on Barbara Chamberlin, conductor, Whitehorse Community Choir
Barbara Chamberlin is artistic director and conductor of the Whitehorse Community Choir, a participant in the Elmer Iseler Singers’ Canadian choral mentorship initiative of hope and optimism, culminating in a virtual performance of ‘We Rise Again’, by Leon Dubinsky – coming June 20, 2021 at 4:00pm!
Lydia invites Barbara to share her choir’s recording and rehearsal experiences over the past year and her hopes and aspirations for the future.
“Even with masks, we were thrilled to sing together, that’s what we do choirs for – to sing together.”
Lydia Adams’ Interview with Barbara Chamberlin
Whitehorse Community Choir
Whitehorse Community Choir is a four-part non-auditioned choir that comes together for the enjoyment of singing quality choral works in Whitehorse venues and in Yukon communities. Over the past 20+ years, the choir has grown from 35 singers to over 100 members, spread across a mixed chorus and three select chamber choirs: (1) the Neptunes, an un-auditioned low voice choir consisting of basses and tenors, both male and female; (2) the Persephone Singers, an auditioned women ‘s choir; and (3) the Chamber Choir, an auditioned mixed voice choir, established in 2008. Since 2005, Barbara Chamberlin has been the choir director, ably managing all four singing groups. Cheryl Wishart and Barry Kitchen accompany the choirs on the piano and organ.
Barbara Chamberlin has been a singer, performer, and teacher for many years, both in Whitehorse and in the Pacific Northwest. She has appeared on CMT, Breakfast TV, Bravo, and toured internationally as a performer and songwriter. Barbara is continually learning the ins and outs of conducting, voice and the mysteries of music. She teaches voice and piano and is currently exploring blues & jazz for her next CD. She also runs the Ravensong B&B in the summer, in the lovely Yukon neighbourhood of Riverdale.
Elmer Iseler Singers’ Artistic Director, Lydia Adams shines the spotlight on Ryan Billington, conductor, Cape Breton Chorale
The Cape Breton Chorale are participants in the Elmer Iseler Singers’ Canadian choral mentorship initiative of hope and optimism, culminating in a virtual performance of ‘We Rise Again’, by Leon Dubinsky – coming this Spring!
Lydia and Ryan talk about the impact of singing music by Cape Breton composer Leon Dubinsky and the song’s relevance today.
“it’s going to be very emotional for [the choir] and powerful for them … in bringing the message of that song and its Cape Breton roots to everybody across the country”
Lydia Adams’ Interview with Ryan Billington
Cape Breton Chorale
The internationally-acclaimed Cape Breton Chorale has been thrilling audiences at home in Canada and around the world since its formation in 1973. The 50-plus voice mixed adult group has played an important role in the cultural life of Cape Breton. The Chorale has performed in the Maritimes, Scotland, Ireland, England & Wales. They have shared the stage with musical stars including Celine Dion and Rita MacNeil, and performed before numerous visiting dignitaries, including Queen Elizabeth II. The Chorale has also made numerous appearances at the renowned Celtic Colours International Festival which takes place all over Cape Breton Island in early October.
Ryan Billington has been serving as Artistic Director and Conductor for the Cape Breton Chorale since 2017. He is also an Associate Professor in the music department at St. Francis Xavier University where he teaches voice, vocal jazz ensemble, and other courses. In 2011, his student vocal ensemble EXTRA from StFX was featured nationally on CBC Radio 2 Choral Concert with host Peter Togni. Prior to his appointment at StFX, Ryan performed as a professional choral singer in Toronto with the Nathaniel Dett Chorale and other choral ensembles. In more recent years, Ryan has performed across Atlantic Canada in jazz, oratorio, musical theatre and choral settings.
Elmer Iseler Singers’ Artistic Director, Lydia Adams shines the spotlight on Maria Fuller, conductor, Thunder Bay Symphony Chorus
Maria Fuller is conductor of the Thunder Bay Symphony Chorus, a participant in the Elmer Iseler Singers’ Canadian choral mentorship initiative of hope and optimism, culminating in a virtual performance of ‘We Rise Again’, by Leon Dubinsky – coming this Spring!
Lydia and Maria talk about the challenges of conducting using Zoom and the experience of joining with choirs across Canada in singing ‘We Rise Again’.
“the We Rise Again [project] … has given us a chance to enter into a broader and more national world in which to collaborate with others and to get to know others.”
Lydia Adams’ Interview with Maria Fuller
Thunder Bay Symphony Chorus
As an integral part of the Thunder Bay Symphony Organization, the Symphony Chorus was started in 1974 by Maestro Dwight Bennett to enable the presentation of some of the great choral repertoire along with major orchestral works. In addition to classical, opera, pops and holiday music, the Chorus has also enjoyed singing performances with students from the Lakehead University Vocal Ensemble, and last season they were delighted to join with the Elmer Iseler Singers in a performance of Hadyn’s Creation conducted by Lydia Adams.
Choristers are volunteers from the community and come with a range of musical backgrounds and experiences. The core that binds them is their love of singing and the willingness to work diligently to learn and perform the repertoire. Their musical leadership comes from the Music Director of the TBSO, Maestro Paul Haas, and the Resident Conductor, Maria Fuller.
Maria Fuller is the current Music Director of the Thunder Bay Symphony Chorus. A rising star in the international conducting scene, Maria is also a performer, pianist and trumpeter, and is also an acclaimed vocal coach, composer and arranger. Equally adept in the opera pit and on the concert stage, she shows a winning charisma and infectious joy in her music-making.
Elmer Iseler Singers’ Artistic Director, Lydia Adams shines the spotlight on James Pinhorn, conductor, Agincourt Madrigal Singers
Today, we shine the spotlight on James Pinhorn, conductor of the Agincourt Madrigal Singers, a participant in the Elmer Iseler Singers’ Canadian choral mentorship initiative of hope and optimism, culminating in a virtual performance of ‘We Rise Again’, by Leon Dubinsky – coming this Spring!
Lydia and James talk about overcoming challenges facing young singers in virtual learning, and the positive relationships and life skills gained from singing together in a choir.
“I think I teach Life through the medium of music”
Click Below to watch Lydia Adams’ Interview with James Pinhorn
Agincourt Madrigal Singers
The Agincourt Madrigal Singers is Agincourt Collegiate Institute’s only auditioned choral ensemble. This choir includes 27 grade 11 and 12 students, who are dedicated to developing their choral art in a chamber music setting. This year, the students meet online once a week to learn a choral repertoire which they describe as both challenging and rewarding to sing.
James Pinhorn conducts the Agincourt Madrigal Singers along with a number of Agincourt C.I. high school ensembles through his role as Assistant Curriculum Leader in Music. In late 2018, the Elmer Iseler Singers held workshops for all of the James’ award winning choral ensembles culminating in a concert featuring EIS and the students singing together under the baton of Lydia Adams. James has twice shared his choral expertise at the Ontario Music Educators Association annual conference, speaking on the state of music education in our schools and on training young male voices, and for fifteen seasons he conducted the massed choir at the Ontario Educational Leadership Centre. Along with conducting and educating, James is a composer and performer, recording over 50 original songs from his home studio.
“conductors get into choral music because we love the music … youth, particularly, get into choir for their community”
Elmer Iseler Singers’ Artistic Director, Lydia Adams shines the spotlight on Wiarton Concert Choir’s Marla Spencer
Marla Spencer is artistic director and conductor of the Wiarton Concert Choir – one of 5 Canadian choirs to join the Elmer Iseler Singers’ new national mentorship initiative of hope and optimism, culminating in a virtual performance of ‘We Rise Again’, by Leon Dubinsky – coming this Spring!
Lydia and Marla chat about the experience of coming together with singers across Canada to sing the inspiring choral work ‘We Rise Again’.
“sharing music … transcends all of the things that keep us apart!”
Lydia Adams chats with Marla Spencer
Wiarton Concert Choir
Since 1967, Wiarton Concert Choir has been producing big beautiful choral music in the picturesque small town of Wiarton, Ontario – basecamp to the Bruce Peninsula.
Their conductor, Marla Spencer, is also the co-ordinator of the Arts Performance and Arts Production Projects at Norwell District Secondary School where she works to foster confidence, creativity and co-operation in an Integrated Arts program. She is passionate about ensemble work, and enjoys leading teams of students through Theatre Norwell’s annual musical productions. Marla inspires the love of singing and storytelling through music – recent adventures include directing Shrek the Musical, The Sound of Music, Footloose and Mamma Mia!
The Elmer Iseler Singers announce a new Educational Mentorship Initiative!
We are pleased to announce that the Elmer Iseler Singers will sponsor and join with VIVA Singers Toronto’s Chamber Singers (ages 18-30) in educational and collaborative sessions of mentorship with the EIS as vocal coaches in a study of Handel’s “Messiah” choruses, in a virtual situation. Very few of the VIVA singers have ever experienced singing Handel’s “Messiah”, so this is an exceptional opportunity of learning together. This is an expansion of our ongoing Get Music! Educational Initiative, since we cannot be involved with schools at this pandemic time and is a virtual initiative from the Elmer Iseler Singers through our Artistic Director, Lydia Adams, in cooperation with Carol and Brad Ratzlaff, Co-Artistic Directors of VIVA Singers Toronto.
We are excited to bring to the youth of VIVA, the architecture of a major composition together with the diversity of vocal challenges in Handel’s “Messiah”. To focus on every phrase of several choruses of this monumental masterpiece is an experience of a lifetime.
The Elmer Iseler Singers are proud to present this educational opportunity to young singers in Toronto.
In Conversation with Lydia Adams
If you would like to contribute to the the VIVA Chamber Singers educational mentorship initiative or to any of the programs of the Elmer Iseler Singers, please contact us or click the support us button below.