In Grateful Remembrance – November 11th, 2020

A Remembrance Day message from Elmer Iseler Singers’ Artistic Director, Lydia Adams

Dear friends of the Elmer Iseler Singers,

The Elmer Iseler Singers join voices today with the Toronto Children’s Chorus and the Toronto Youth Choir in grateful remembrance of all those who have served our country in times of war and conflict, and with thanks to those who continue to serve Canada today.

We remember with deepest gratitude all those men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

The Elmer Iseler Singers have been honoured to sing at the Old City Hall ceremony at the Cenotaph in Toronto for decades, and this year, with many ceremonies throughout Canada happening virtually, we bring you this video tribute with our friends in the Toronto Children’s Chorus and Toronto Youth Choir, singing the iconic words of Canadian physician, Lt. Col. John McCrae: In Flanders Fields.

We will remember…

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields text by Lt. Col. John McCrae. Music: Lydia Adams. Toronto Children’s Chorus, Toronto Youth Choir, and Elmer Iseler Singers, Lydia Adams, conductor; Lara Dodds-Eden, collaborative pianist. Live performance at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, November 11, 2018.

A Thanksgiving 2020 message and musical gift

A message from Elmer Iseler Singers Artistic Director Lydia Adams, General Manager Jessie Iseler, and the Elmer Iseler Singers Team:

Dear friends of the Elmer Iseler Singers:

Thanksgiving is a time to remember and to be thankful for all the gifts in our lives. We have so much to be thankful for: family, friends, our beautiful country and music in all forms, especially the magic of singing together.

We are told by the Encyclopedia Britannica that the first Canadian Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1578 in present day Nunavut by the Frobisher Expedition in search of the Northwest Passage, to give thanks for the safety of the fleet.

As Thanksgiving 2020 promises to be somewhat different in that we may not be together with our family and friends, the Elmer Iseler Singers wish to celebrate with you by sharing this musical gift – our recording of Gloria by the great Canadian composer Harry Somers. We were thrilled to sing this marvellous work in Ottawa at the Installation Ceremony of the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson as the 26th Governor General of Canada, and we have wonderful memories of that magnificent occasion and many others where we performed this work.

In this performance, the Elmer Iseler Singers are joined by outstanding trumpeters Michael Fedeshyn and Bob Grim and the esteemed organist Ruth Watson Henderson.

Please enjoy! Revel in the glorious colours of Canadian Autumn while listening to the glorious sounds of Harry Somers! Happy Thanksgiving from the Elmer Iseler Singers!

We want you to know how important you are to us and we thank you for your wonderful support. Stay tuned for exciting new projects to be announced in the next few weeks!

Yes, we will sing for you again, as soon as we can!

Lydia, Jessie and the Elmer Iseler Singers Team

Thanksgiving musical gift

Gloria by Harry Somers. The Elmer Iseler Singers, Lydia Adams, conductor; Ruth Watson Henderson, organ; Michael Fedeshyn and Bob Grim, trumpets. From the album: Harry Somers – The Glorious Sounds of Somers.

Paradise: A Song of Georgian Bay

Flowerpot Island, Georgian Bay by Julie Daoust

A Summertime Message from Lydia Adams and musical gift from the Elmer Iseler Singers

Lydia Adams, Parry Sound, Ontario
Lydia Adams (photo: Mark Rash)

Dear Friends of the Elmer Iseler Singers,

It’s the end of July, and the summer heat, thunderstorms and evening breezes are here reminding us that the world is continuing its regular cycle, no matter what else is happening on this planet.

Friday, July 31st,  we would have been with our long-time friends and colleagues at the Festival of the Sound, making music in the friendly surroundings of the Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Arts in Parry Sound, Ontario, watching the many boats cruising in the largest freshwater archipelago in the world.

The Elmer Iseler Singers have been guests of the Festival of the Sound since its inception, and we share our anniversary with the Festival – 41 years!

What a great partnership this continues to be, and we want to celebrate the Festival of the Sound, on Sabbatical this year, and Artistic Director James Campbell, to say:

We miss you, too!

We look forward to singing with you next summer and we have July 16th, 2021 marked in our calendar for your Gala Opening!

To celebrate today, we are offering you, our wonderful supporters, a musical gift commissioned by the Festival of the Sound and written especially for the Elmer Iseler Singers. Paradise: A Song of Georgian Bay by Parry Sound composer Eleanor Daley on a text by Parry Sound poet Eleanor Hunter, describes the heart and soul of the ancient and iconic Canadian Shield amidst the intense beauty of Georgian Bay. The music is accompanied by the stunning photography of Mark Rash, photographer for the Festival of the Sound; singers of the Elmer Iseler Singers, and one special photograph by Dr. Dan Daley.

We wish for you all, wherever you are, good health and peace.

Lydia Adams
Artistic Director
Elmer Iseler Singers

Summer festival musical gift from the Elmer Iseler Singers

Paradise: A Song of Georgian Bay by Eleanor Daley. The Elmer Iseler Singers, Lydia Adams, conductor and Shawn Grenke, piano. From the album: Elmer Iseler Singers Greatest Hits, Vol. 1.

Paradise: A Song of Georgian Bay by Eleanor Hunter (adapted Eleanor Daley)

A song is born in Georgian Bay,
where the rolling breakers roar
on the reefs that were laid in an ancient day,
and the song begins to soar,
when the tune is tossed to the waiting breeze
that flings it to the skies,
then down to the island’s pine trees
to add to their lullabies.

Paradise, this our paradise.

The waters give to the rocky shore,
and the shore gives to the land,
in the crashing surf that evermore
carves its beach of curving sand,
and each of them offers their sound to the song
as on to us it flies,
the lone loons call,
and the seagulls scream their wild and haunting calls.

Paradise, this our paradise.

Song for Canada

Canada Flag by Lydia Adams

Lydia Adams sends Canada Day greetings and an interview with composer, Paul Halley

Canada Day musical gift from the Elmer Iseler Singers

Song for Canada by Paul Halley. The Elmer Iseler Singers, Lydia Adams, conductor and Shawn Grenke, piano. From the album: Elmer Iseler Singers Greatest Hits, Vol. 1.

Song for Canada by Paul Halley

Sing!                                                                                             

Sing a new song,
Sing loud and strong,
Sing of this land of our hopes and our dreams.
Rich harmonies of races and creeds
Join in the chorus from sea unto sea:
Where the whale’s ancient lullaby

Meets the song of the wind in the whisp’ring pines,
All our voices come together, always singing,
“Land of tomorrow, your time has come.”

Oui!

Qu’un nouveau chant
Dise à présent
Un voeu d’accord qui doit remplir nos cooers.
Peuples divers touchant les deus mers,
Heureux voisins, ne formez qu’un seul choeur
Pour mélanger tous vos accents
Aux refrains des cognées dansant sous les vents.
Que nos voix ensemble chantent et rechantent,
“Oui – Bel aujourd’hui
Vois mon pays.”

Sing!

Sing of new birth,
Sing of the earth,
Sing of great mountains that reach for the sky.
Proud cities swell,
Vast plains do tell
Of the promise and hope for the future that lies
In the loon’s timeless melody,
In the cry of an eagle that’s soaring free.
All our voices come together, singing
“Land of tomorrow, your time has come.”

English words by Paul Halley
French words by Anton Raphael Boldaire

Song for the Mira

The Toronto Hunt Club, 2018 by Jessie Iseler Bride

A message from Lydia Adams

Song For The Mira by Allister MacGillivray, arr. Stuart Calvert. The Elmer Iseler Singers, Lydia Adams, conductor with soloist Nelson Lohnes; Shawn Grenke, piano; Clare Scholtz, oboe. From the album: Elmer Iseler Singers Greatest Hits, Vol. 1.

She’s Called Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia photo by Lydia Adams
‘She’s Called Nova Scotia’ by Rita MacNeil, album: Elmer Iseler Singers Greatest Hits, Vol. 1

Dear Friends – the Elmer Iseler Singers, its Board of Directors, conductor Lydia Adams and General Manager Jessie Iseler, join with Canadians everywhere to send our heartfelt thoughts and condolences to the people of Nova Scotia, who are dealing with unimaginable tragedy and loss this week.

The Elmer Iseler Singers have close ties to Nova Scotia and we have many dear friends and family there, and we share our deep grief with all who have lost family and friends, and with all Canadians.

We offer you a tribute with our performance of Stuart Calvert’s arrangement of Rita MacNeil’s ‘She’s Called Nova Scotia’, sung by Gisele Kulak and the choir, with Lydia Adams conducting, Shawn Grenke on piano, and Claire Sholtz on oboe.

JUNO nominations

David Braid: Corona Divinae Misericordiae

Jan. 29, 2019: Elmer Iseler Singers are nominated for a 2019 Juno Award for David Braid: Corona Divinae Misericordiae featuring Patricia O’Callaghan (CLASSICAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR: VOCAL OR CHORAL) and are please to announce the nomination of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for Vaughan Williams: Orchestral Works, as the Elmer Iseler Singers were also artists on the album along with TSO soloists Principal Viola Teng Li and Principal Oboe Sarah Jeffrey the recording also showcases Canadian pianist Louis Lortie, and singers Carla Huhtanen, Emily D’Angelo, Lawrence Wiliford, and Tyler Duncan, all under the direction of conductor Peter Oundjian.  (CLASSICAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR: LARGE ENSEMBLE). Additional articles are available from Broadway World and Ludwig Van websites.

Grammy nomination

Vaughan Williams: Orchestral Works

Dec. 7, 2018: The Toronto Symphony Orchestra recording of Vaughan Williams: Orchestral Works, has been nominated for a Grammy Award (BEST CLASSICAL COMPENDIUM). Elmer Iseler Singers were artists on the album along with TSO soloists Principal Viola Teng Li and Principal Oboe Sarah Jeffrey the recording also showcases Canadian pianist Louis Lortie, and singers Carla Huhtanen, Emily D’Angelo, Lawrence Wiliford, and Tyler Duncan, all under the direction of conductor Peter Oundjian.  Additional articles are available from Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Ludwig Van websites.