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Dr. Robert Stewart, DMA

Dr. Robert Stewart, DMA

The Elmer Iseler Singers are delighted to congratulate former EIS baritone, Dr. Robert Stewart, on being awarded the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia.

A native of Saint John, N.B., Bob studied at Mount Allison University, the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto, the Tanglewood Music Centre and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

In Toronto, he was a member of the Canadian Opera Company and the Elmer Iseler Singers, where he met his wife, pianist Claire Preston. They moved to Melbourne, Australia, where they co-founded the Exaudi Youth Choir, one of Australia’s premier choral ensembles for young people, and they were the Open Age Champions at the Australian National Eisteddfod.

Claire and Bob are both inspiring educators and artists, and Bob has recently been appointed Head of Choral and Vocal Studies at the Hillcrest Christian College, where the choral program involves over 700 singers in 14 choirs, and features a Choral Excellence stream of award winning ensembles. Robert also conducts the Queensland Conservatorium Singers and is the Musical Director of the Queensland University Musical Society. He is frequently engaged as an adjudicator, guest conductor, and workshop clinician. Claire and Robert have 3 children: William (18), Genevieve (15), and Gabriel (11).

Congratulations, Bob!! The Elmer Iseler Singers are thrilled for your success and wish you all the very best in the future!

Winter Wonderland

The Elmer Iseler Singers perform Winter Wonderland, Toronto, ON, Canada

The Elmer Iseler Singers
Lydia Adams, Conductor, Artistic Director
Jessie Iseler, General Manager and Administrative team
The Board of Directors, James T. Chestnutt, Chair

Wish you, each and every one,

a joyous holiday season

and a New Year full of optimism, hope and singing!

Winter Wonderland by Felix Bernard, music; Richard B. Smith, lyrics; and arrangement by John Greer. Performed by the Elmer Iseler Singers, Lydia Adams, conductor and artistic director. Premiere presentation, Sherry & Shortbread ‘At Home’, December 19, 2021.

Official announcement of Sherry & Shortbread ‘At Home’

Lydia Adams Announces Sherry & Shortbread 'At Home' 2021

Elmer Iseler Singers’ Artistic Director, Lydia Adams, introduces our annual Sherry & Shortbread seasonal concert and fundraising event on December 19, 2021 at 4:00pm.

Please watch for further details.

Visit our event page for more information!

Your donation towards the work of the choir, through PayPal Giving Fund, Canada Helps or calling the EIS office at 416-217-0537, gives you access to our event.

For other ways to donate visit the EIS donate page. 2021 donation tax receipts will be issued for full amount.

Proceeds from this celebration will support the Elmer Iseler Singers’ return to live musical performances, world premieres, community workshops, and educational activities throughout the GTA, around Ontario, and across Canada.           

Please join us for this uplifting time together!

Prayer Before Sleep

2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the Remembrance Poppy in Canada
Prayer Before Sleep (from the Talmud Suite) by Sid Robinovitch, composer; Elmer Iseler, conductor; performed by the Elmer Iseler Singers; album Gloria: Sacred Choral Works (CBC Records, label series: Musica Viva, 1993).
From the Veterans Monument on French Mountain, Cape Breton Highlands National Park, photo by Lydia Adams

“They will never know the beauty of this place,
see the seasons change, enjoy nature’s chorus.
All we enjoy we owe to them, men and women
who are buried in the earth of foreign lands and in the seven seas.
Dedicated to the memory of Canadians who died overseas in the service of their country and so preserved our heritage.”

The Veterans Monument – Department of Veterans Affairs, Canada
View from the monument on French Mountain,
Cape Breton Highlands National Park – Placed in 1985.
Photo by Lydia Adams.

Prayer Before Sleep

Baruch atah Adonai
Eloheinu melech ha-olam

Exalted are Thou, O my Lord
Who art God and King of the World

Hamapil chavlei sheina al einai
Ut’numah al afapai

Who weighs down my eyes
with gentle bonds of sleep,
And refreshes my tired spirit with slumber.

Vihi ratson milfanecha
Adonai Elohai Velohei Avotai
Sh’tashkiveini l’shalom
V’ta-amideini l’shalom

May ever it be Thy will,
Lord my God, and God of all my fathers,
To lay me down in untroubled peace
And raise me up in peace once more.

V’al y’vahaluni rayonai
Vachalomot ra-im
V’harhorim ra-im
U-t’hi mitati shleima l’fanecha

Do not let dark imaginings disturb me
With thoughts of sin and despair,
O heal my fear and my suffering—
May my bed be enclosed in Thy care.

V’ha-er einai
Pen ishan hamavet
Ki atah hame-ir
L’ishon bat-ayin

Give light unto my eyes
Lest the sleep of death o’ertake me.
For ‘tis Thou who breathes life
Into man’s slumb’ring soul.

Baruch atah Adonai
Hame-ir la-olam kulo
Bichvodo

Exalted art Thou, O Lord,
Who illuminates all the world
With His Glory.

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.

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