Rain in the Country

Autumn Leaves Frame by Yzzzly at pngitem.com

A message from Artistic Director Lydia Adams

Dear EIS Friends –

Thanksgiving 2021 is here and everywhere we look, the world is wrapping itself in the glorious reds and golds of Autumn.

To mark this time of gratitude, the Elmer Iseler Singers wish to send you a special gift of music, recorded by the EIS sopranos and altos for a CD, From Sea to Sea, by the brilliant composer and arranger, Aaron Jensen. For this CD, Aaron has chosen to celebrate the work of poets from across Canada. The piece the EIS sopranos and altos sing here, Rain in the Country, is on a poem by PEI/Ontario poet, Lucy Maud Montgomery. Rain in the Country, written for choir and percussion, is in two parts: a Maritime Song (built on the poem) and Dance (some Maritime-style mouth-music) to finish off in rousing style!

We wanted to let you all, each and every one, know how much we truly appreciate that you are such an important part of our community, and we thank you for your support.

We are excited also to let you know that we have begun rehearsing again, and had our first ‘in person’ sessions all together with all safety protocols in place.

Watch for announcements shortly on our upcoming season!

For now – please enjoy the choir as we revel in the sounds and sights of Canadian Autumn and the music of Aaron Jensen, as we prepare to sing for you once again in person with fabulous choral sounds!

On behalf of the Elmer Iseler Singers, General Manager Jessie Iseler and the Board of Directors, I wish you a most Happy Thanksgiving!

With sincere best wishes,

Lydia Adams
Conductor/Artistic Director
Elmer Iseler Singers

Rain in the Country: A Maritime Song and Dance. Aaron Jensen, composer and Lucy Maud Montgomery, poet; Lydia Adams, conductor; performed by the Sopranos and Altos of the Elmer Iseler Singers; Steáfán Hannigan and Aaron Jensen, percussion. From the album From Sea to Sea (Centrediscs, 2015 – Distributed by NAXOS).

Rain in the Country by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Here in the country the cool sweet rain
Falls on the daisies and growing grain,
Shadows the pond with widening rings,
Kisses the lips of the lowland springs,
Plays with the pines on the hilltop dim
And fills the valley with mist abrim.

It flashes in shadowy forest nooks,
Dimples the faces of woodland brooks,
Whispers with leaves in untrodden ways,
Wraps the distance in sober grays,
Dances o’er meadows of lushest green
And scatters the petals where roses lean.

R. Murray Schafer CC (July 18, 1933 – August 14, 2021)

R Murray Schafer in the studio (Facebook post from June 2020)

The Elmer Iseler Singers, Lydia Adams Conductor, wish to join together with thousands of music lovers worldwide in expressing our condolences in the passing of R. Murray Schafer.

We are all enriched through his groundbreaking creativity, inspiration and passion.

‘Hear The Sounds Go Round’ by R. Murray Schafer (World Premiere) performed by Elmer Iseler Singers, Pro Coro Canada, Vancouver Chamber Choir and Kaspars Putniņš (conductor).

R. Murray Schafer’s biography and list of works are available at THE LIVING COMPOSERS PROJECT.

Open Call for Auditions

Elmer Iseler Singers, Sarnia, May 2019 (Photo: Emily Nutson)

The Elmer Iseler Singers invite Canadian Professional Singers to Apply for the 2021-2022 Concert Season: All Voices

Based in Toronto, The Elmer Iseler Singers and Artistic Director Lydia Adams are pleased to announce an Open Call for Auditions for the 2021-2022 Concert Season for substitute work and possible future core work with the choir. The choir is looking for high-level professional-quality choral singers for all positions.

The EIS also announce auditions for a soprano/alto opening in the coming season.
Both sopranos and altos will be considered for this core position.

Successful applicants may be invited to a second round of auditions via Zoom, or in person if Covid-19 protocols allow.

The core choir generally rehearses on Monday evenings and Tuesday late afternoon in preparation for our Toronto concert series, educational programs, guest performances and national touring when medical restrictions allow. Extra rehearsals will usually occur the week prior to a concert.

Audition Requirements

Applicants are invited to submit your curriculum vitae to: info@elmeriselersingers.com and to lydia@elmeriselersingers.com.

Please attach an unlisted YouTube audition video, including two accompanied contrasting works demonstrating two languages. If recent accompanied video recordings are not possible given COVID-19 health guidelines from the applicant’s regional health authority, please submit two accompanied audio recordings from the past 24 months with works in two languages.

Please note: Applicants must be Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents of Canada.
The EIS welcome singers of diverse backgrounds and experiences, and is committed to the principles of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access.

The deadline to apply is August 15th, 2021.

For further information, contact:
Jessie Iseler, General Manager
info@elmeriselersingers.com
Voice: 905-880-1889

Wiarton Concert Choir joins Elmer Iseler Singers for virtual Cross Canada Tour

The Elmer Iseler Singers with the Wiarton Concert Choir in Wiarton, ON, 2018

Article by Tara Stanton for The Wiarton Echo

The Elmer Iseler Singers, a professional choral group centered in Toronto, has created an initiative of ‘hope and optimism’ through a virtual performance of the piece ‘We Rise Again’ by Leon Dubinsky. Artistic Director, Lydia Adams, has invited the Wiarton Concert Choir to participate in this venture, which, along with the Iseler Singers, combines the voices of five Canadian community choirs from Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory to Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. 

The Elmer Iseler Singers performed a concert in Wiarton in 2018, where they performed ‘We Rise Again’ alongside the Wiarton Concert Choir [pictured above].  Adams referenced that experience when she included the group in the virtual choral tour.  She believes that the piece is “a powerful message for both society and for our choral community as it rises to the challenge of building back stronger to create a bright future of choral singing.”  Other choirs involved in the project include the Whitehorse Community Choir, Agincourt Madrigal Singers, Thunder Bay Symphony Chorus, and Cape Breton Chorale. 

Wiarton Concert Choir members attended a virtual rehearsal with Ms. Adams and members of the Singers, and then recorded their own parts independently and submitted these for incorporation into the larger production.  In the weeks leading up to the release, all conductors are featured in interviews on the EIS website, where they share stories of creating and sharing music over the past year, and their excitement to bring live choral music back to their communities.  The final massed choral version of the piece will be released on the Elmer Iseler Singers website and YouTube channel on Sunday, June 20. 

In an interview with Lydia Adams, Marla Spencer, the Wiarton Concert Choir’s Conductor and Artistic Director, expressed what the choir members were able to gain from being part of this project. “It’s a renewed sense of hope and optimism for the future – for all of us”

She continued; “Singing is such an important part of who we are and what we do and sharing music is one of the things that transcends all of the things that keep us apart. Singing in a choir brings people together, and the experience of singing with professional singers as well as community singers can renew our spirit through music.”

To see the interviews and watch the June 20th massed choir performance of “We Rise Again” by Leon Dubinsky, tune in to the Elmer Iseler Singers Youtube channel or visit: elmeriselersingers.com for more information.

We Rise Again: Whitehorse Community Choir Spotlight

Whitehorse Community Choir

Cross Canada Virtual Choral Tour Spring 2021

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.”

Barbara Chamberlin

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.

We Rise Again: Cape Breton Chorale Spotlight

Cape Breton Chorale

Cross Canada Virtual Choral Tour Spring 2021

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”

Ryan Billington

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.