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: Thunder Bay Symphony Chorus Spotlight

Thunder Bay Symphony Chorus

Cross Canada Virtual Choral Tour Spring 2021

Elmer Iseler Singers’ Artistic Director, Lydia Adams shines the spotlight on Maria Fuller, conductor, Thunder Bay Symphony Chorus

Maria Fuller is conductor of the Thunder Bay Symphony Chorus, 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 Maria talk about the challenges of conducting using Zoom and the experience of joining with choirs across Canada in singing ‘We Rise Again’.

“the We Rise Again [project] … has given us a chance to enter into a broader and more national world in which to collaborate with others and to get to know others.”

Maria Fuller

Lydia Adams’ Interview with Maria Fuller

Thunder Bay Symphony Chorus

As an integral part of the Thunder Bay Symphony Organization, the Symphony Chorus was started in 1974 by Maestro Dwight Bennett to enable the presentation of some of the great choral repertoire along with major orchestral works. In addition to classical, opera, pops and holiday music, the Chorus has also enjoyed singing performances with students from the Lakehead University Vocal Ensemble, and last season they were delighted to join with the Elmer Iseler Singers in a performance of Hadyn’s Creation conducted by Lydia Adams.

Choristers are volunteers from the community and come with a range of musical backgrounds and experiences. The core that binds them is their love of singing and the willingness to work diligently to learn and perform the repertoire. Their musical leadership comes from the Music Director of the TBSO, Maestro Paul Haas, and the Resident Conductor, Maria Fuller.

Maria Fuller is the current Music Director of the Thunder Bay Symphony Chorus. A rising star in the international conducting scene, Maria is also a performer, pianist and trumpeter, and is also an acclaimed vocal coach, composer and arranger. Equally adept in the opera pit and on the concert stage, she shows a winning charisma and infectious joy in her music-making.