Honouring Leon Dubinsky (1941-2023)

Dear Friends – The Elmer Iseler Singers and conductor Lydia Adams join with people the world over in paying tribute to songwriter Leon Dubinsky, who died in Cape Breton on Tuesday, January 17th, 2023.

Leon Dubinsky is perhaps best known as the writer of the iconic song, ‘We Rise Again’, synonymous with the resilience of the people of Cape Breton Island to face life’s difficulties and loss. ‘We Rise Again’ touches a universal chord in people’s hearts, and has inspired generations of people worldwide to keep moving forward and to stay strong in spite of hardships and challenges. It is an uplifting work that gives people hope for the future. The Elmer Iseler Singers have been honoured to sing ‘We Rise Again’ in every part of Canada where we have toured: East, West and North. Leon’s words and music have brought inspiration, hope and light to many thousands of audience members and singers around the world.

The Elmer Iseler Singers send our deepest condolences to Leon’s family and his many, many friends and colleagues.

Thank you, Leon. We are forever grateful.

The Elmer Iseler Singers, conductor Lydia Adams and pianist Shawn Grenke are joined by choirs from across Canada singing ‘We Rise Again’ to pay tribute to our friend, Leon Dubinsky.

Joining the EIS are:

  • Whitehorse Community Choir (Barbara Chamberlin, conductor)
  • Thunder Bay Symphony Chorus (Maria Fuller, conductor)
  • Wiarton Concert Choir (Marla Spencer, conductor)
  • Agincourt Madrigal Singers, Toronto (James Pinhorn, conductor)
  • Cape Breton Chorale (Ryan Billington, conductor)

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