Spirit in Song: the Spring Wind Whispers

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Sunday, April 30, 2023 at 4:00 pm EDT

Featuring the stunning Requiem by John Rutter and three Premiere works by composers Matthew EmeryMatthew-John Knights and Nicholas Kelly.

Join the Elmer Iseler Singers and conductor Lydia Adams to hear the world premiere performance of Barren Cabin, Tin Roof, by composer Matthew Emery, with texts by Canadian poet Marjorie Pickthall, a 30-minute work showcasing the composer’s brilliance in sound texture interacting with his use of shimmering harmonies and elegant melody; a work about humility and thankfulness, containing themes of adventure, turmoil, exploration, hope and peace. The EIS are also thrilled to sing the world premiere performance of I Heard the Spring Wind Whisper, by Matthew-John Knights, the recipient of the 2021 Ruth Watson Henderson Choral Composition Competition Award through Choirs Ontario, and the Toronto premiere of Memory’s Voices by Nicholas Ryan Kelly, the 2019 recipient of the Ruth Watson Henderson Choral Composition Award. Of course, we are also singing a stunningly beautiful work by Ruth Watson Henderson herself, Come, Holy Spirit. Joined by the magnificent playing of James Campbell, clarinet; Suzanne Shulman, flute, Jerzy Kapłanek, violin; Katie Schlaikjer, cello; Erica Goodman, harp; Guy Few, piano; Shawn Grenke, organ and Tim Francom on percussion, the EIS will finish the program with the resplendent Requiem by the British master composer, John Rutter.

We welcome you warmly to hear this program of transcendent choral music by these great composers


  • Requiem – John Rutter
  • Barren Cabin, Tin Roof – Matthew Emery (world premiere)
  • Come, Holy Spirit – Ruth Watson Henderson
  • I Heard the Spring Wind Whisper – Matthew-John Knights (world premiere – awarded the 2021 Ruth Watson Henderson Prize for composition)
  • Memory’s Voices – Nicholas Ryan Kelly (co-premiere – awarded the 2019 Ruth Watson Henderson Prize for composition)




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Apr 30, 2023
4:00 pm EDT

Eglinton St. George’s United Church
35 Lytton Blvd., Toronto, ON, M4R 1L2