We Rise Again: Agincourt Madrigal Singers Spotlight

Agincourt Madrigal Singers with Lydia Adams

Cross Canada Virtual Choral Tour Spring 2021

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”

James Pinhorn

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”

James Pinhorn

We Rise Again: Wiarton Concert Choir Spotlight

Wiarton Concert Choir

Cross Canada Virtual Choral Tour Spring 2021

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!”

Marla Spencer

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!

Sheep May Safely Graze

Daffodils and clover by MLARANDA from Pixabay

A note from the Elmer Iseler Singers:

Dear EIS Friends!

With the coming of Passover, Ramadan and Easter 2021, we now see the signs of renewal in the earth. 

We are watching the sprouting of the daffodils in the garden and have seen our first red-winged blackbirds of the season in the nearby marsh. Now, we are listening and waiting for the sound of the frogs in the nearby pond, a welcome choral cacophony after the melting of the snow.

To celebrate the coming of Spring, the Elmer Iseler Singers send you this musical gift from a wonderful CD the Singers recorded with the Canadian Brass, our long-time friends and colleagues. For our musical gift today, we would like to send you ‘Sheep May Safely Graze’ from the ‘Birthday’ Cantata (BWV 208) by J.S. Bach. This is an arrangement of a well-known soprano solo from this cantata, a birthday present for the 31st birthday of Duke Christian of Saxe-Weissenfels, and this arrangement for choir and brass quintet was made by Canadian Brass trombonist Eugene Watts.

Please enjoy! 

Lydia Adams, Artistic Director
Jessie Iseler, General Manager
EIS Board of Directors, James T. Chestnutt, Chair
the Singers and staff of the Elmer Iseler Singers

Sheep May Safely Graze

Sheep May Safely Graze

J.S. Bach, composer with text by Salomon Franck. Lydia Adams, conductor; performed by the Elmer Iseler Singers with Canadian Brass: Charles Lazarus, Stuart Laughton, trumpets; Bernhard Scully, horn; Eugene Watts, trombone; and Charles Daellenbach, tuba. From the album People of Faith (Opening Day Records, 2006).

Sheep May Safely Graze by J.S. Bach and text by Salomon Franck
Text in English (translation from original German)

Sheep may safely graze and pasture
In a watchful Shepherd’s sight.

Those who rule with wisdom guiding
Bring to hearts a peace abiding
Bless a land with joy made bright.

Happy Spring to you all!

Daffodils and clover by MLARANDA from Pixabay

It’s a Long Way to Tipperary

Clover by Irish Fireside (flickr)
Clover ornament from Vecteezy

A note from Artistic Director Lydia Adams:

Top of the Morning to you all!

Today, we are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, and we hope that everyone is wearing some green for the occasion! 

To celebrate, the Elmer Iseler Singers are bringing you a musical gift from our November 2018 concert with the Toronto Children’s Chorus and the Toronto Youth Choir. This is a première performance of Stuart Calvert’s arrangement of this famous WWI marching song, written in 1912  by Harry Williams and Jack Judge. The audience is joining along in this performance, and why don’t you as well, as we celebrate everything Irish.

Wear the green! Play the tin whistle! Drown the shamrock! Walk with your shillelagh! Play the Irish harp and sing along with baritone Michael Thomas, the Elmer Iseler Singers, the Toronto Children’s Chorus, the Toronto Youth Choir, instrumentalists and Elise Bradley, conductor, to brighten your day!

Spring is on the way, and we can’t wait for the time when we can all join together once again in friendship and music, surely our own ‘pot of gold’ waiting for us just around the corner!


It’s a Long Way to Tipperary

It’s a Long Way to Tipperary composer: Harry Williams; text: Jack Judge; and arranger: Stuart Calvert. Conductor: Elise Bradley, MNZM, Artistic Director, Toronto Children’s Chorus. Performed by Michael Thomas, baritone; Elmer Iseler Singers, Lydia Adams, conductor; Toronto Children’s Chorus, Elise Bradley, conductor; Toronto Youth Choir, Matthew Otto, conductor; Stan Klebanoff, trumpet; Andy Morris, percussion; and Lara Dodds-Eden, pianist. Recorded November 11, 2018, at Toronto Centre for the Arts

It’s a Long Way to Tipperary by Harry Williams and text by Jack Judge (arranged by Stuart Calvert)

Up to mighty London came an Irish man one day
All the streets were paved with gold so everyone was gay!
Singing songs of Piccadilly, Strand, and Leicester Square
‘Til Paddy got excited and he shouted to them there: 

It’s a long way to Tipperary
It’s a long way to go.
It’s a long way to Tipperary
To the sweetest girl I know!

Goodbye Piccadilly
Farewell Leicester Square!
It’s a long long way to Tipperary
But my heart’s right there.

Paddy wrote a letter to his Irish Molly O’
Saying, “Should you not receive it, write and let me know!
If I make mistakes in spelling Molly dear”, said he
“Remember it’s the pen, that’s bad, Don’t lay the blame on me”. 


Molly wrote a neat reply to Irish Paddy O.
Saying. “Mike Mahoney wants to marry me, and so
Leave the Strand and Piccadilly, or you’ll be to blame
For love has fairly drove me silly, hoping you’re the same!” 


EIS logo - cropped

Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2021!

Clover ornament from Vecteezy

Cantate Domino

Ruth Watson Henderson, composer - Celebrating Women's Achievements, IWD2021
‘Cantate Domino’ by Ruth Watson Henderson; the women of the Elmer Iseler Singers; Lydia Adams, conductor; Claire Preston, pianist; Robert Venables and Robert DiVito, trumpeters; with soloists Kimberley Briggs, Carrie Loring, Linda Tsatsanis and Carolyn Kirby; album Sing all ye joyful: Music of Ruth Watson Henderson

A note from Artistic Director Lydia Adams:

Elmer Iseler Singers Celebrate International Women’s Day!

Dear Friends of the Elmer Iseler Singers,

Ruth Watson Henderson, composer
Ruth Watson Henderson, composer

Today, March 8th, 2021, the world marks International Women’s Day, and the Elmer Iseler Singers wish to celebrate by honouring all the incredible women composers worldwide, and especially those here in Canada.

We want to bring you a special musical gift for this occasion – the women of the Elmer Iseler Singers in a performance of Ruth Watson Henderson’s uplifting ‘Cantate Domino’.

On this recording, we hear the virtuosic, unique and unmistakeable sounds of Ruth Watson Henderson’s resplendent writing and her outstanding talent.

Our pianist for this performance is the brilliant Claire Preston; the trumpeters are the magnificent Robert Venables and Robert DiVito, and our soloists the always luminous Kimberley Briggs, Carrie Loring, Linda Tsatsanis and Carolyn Kirby, all joined by the women of the Elmer Iseler Singers.

Listening to this work of Ruth Watson Henderson’s always transports me with its exuberance and joy. We hope that you will enjoy it also.

Happy International Women’s Day 2021!

Rise Up, My Love

Hearts as music notes by monicore via pixabay
‘Rise Up, My Love’ by Healey Willan; Elmer Iseler Singers; Lydia Adams, conductor; album: Elmer Iseler Singers Greatest Hits, Vol. 1

A note from Artistic Director Lydia Adams:

Dear Friends of the Elmer Iseler Singers – There is Love in the air and the Elmer Iseler Singers wish to bring you a Valentine’s Day musical gift to lift your spirits and to add some sunshine to your day!

We couldn’t think of anything more beautiful to share than the gorgeous setting of ‘Rise Up, My Love’ by the great Canadian composer, Healey Willan.

We hope you enjoy it – and remember – Spring is coming and is only a couple of short months away, so let’s all continue to spread kindness and love to each other. We will soon feel the warm Spring sunshine on our faces.

Happy Valentine’s Day 2021!