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: 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!