Photo by Denise Cooperwhite

On May 27th kick off your celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary with the Milton Choristers and their presentation of Canada Sings Eh?! Part Deux, bringing to a close their 48th season.

Last year at this time the choir performed its first all-Canadian repertoire Canada Sings ‘Eh?! to a very enthusiastic response from the audience.  At the fondly named “Brag and Drag” end-of-season wrap up meeting, a choir member put it to the others saying “I think we’ve only just touched the tip of the iceberg on Canadian music. I think there’s so much more we can do”, explained Stephanie Kimmerer, Marketing Director for the Milton Choristers. It resonated with the others as well and when another member chimed in with “Let’s call it ‘Part Deux’ ”, the theme for their 48th season-ending concert was born.

The Milton Choristers are one of Ontario’s oldest continuously-performing choirs so choosing local Canadian content in a year celebrating Canada’s history just made sense. Sheena Nykolaiszyn, Artistic Director said, “We are fortunate to have a rich choral tradition in Canada, made up of the contributions of composers, musicians and singers, and across many genres such as classical, folk and pop. The Milton Choristers are thrilled to present a selection of these musical gems in this special year, in which Canada turns 150 years old.”

Canadians are a humble, down-home and friendly bunch, always aiming to please. As such the second installment of the all-Canadian repertoire is unique, loaded with personal touches sure to please Miltonians and Canadians at heart. Audience favourites including special guests, music performed by women only and men only, Canadianna folk and indigenous music, and compositions by popular Canadian artists are all represented.

Read on for some of the highlights:

This will be a special concert for Judy Hunter, the founder of the Milton Choristers and beloved fixture of the Milton music scene. It’s a little known fact that her sister, Rebecca Windhager, wrote a choral piece A Dream in 1979.  The choir will proudly perform the piece accompanied by special guest Judy Hunter, with her sister Rebecca in the audience.   Later in the program, Judy will perform again on the piano with accompanist Susan Edmunds on the flute, the instruments they are classically trained on.

In a fun twist, I’se the B’y, which in Newfoundland means “I’m the boy”, will be sung by the women. Not losing the local and personal touch, the arrangement is by John E. Govedas who was once the accompanist for the Milton Choristers.

Special guest, soprano Rosemary Ganton, daughter of Richard, tenor and Choristers’ President, will perform several Canadian pieces on her own. Rosemary will also integrate descant to the choristers’ traditional 4-part-choir (soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone/bass sections), bringing added layers and richness to the music.

A Canadian celebration of music wouldn’t be complete without this special guest.  From Waterloo ON, the indigenous group Mino Ode Kwewak N’gamowak (Goodhearted Women Singers) will celebrate life through traditional song and drum circle.

Additionally, the audience will be treated to a fabulous collection of Canadian English and French pop and folk music including:  Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell (women only), Stan Rogers’ Canadian folk song Fogarty’s Cove (men only), All the Diamonds by Bruce Cockburn, Early Morning Rain by Gordon Lightfoot and Springtime in Alberta by Ian Tyson. “The choir voted to bring back 2 favourites from last year: Royal Hudson and We Rise Again”, said Kimmerer.  “And, the audience should be prepared for a little audience participation, and sing along to the three verses of O Canada, two in English and one in French”, Kimmerer said with a twinkle and smile.

The concert will start at 7 p.m. and end at approximately 9 p.m. on Saturday May 27th. It will be performed at Knox Presbyterian Church at 170 Main Street East, Milton.  Ticket prices are $50 for a Family (2 Adults, 2 Children), $25 for Adults, $20 for Seniors, $5 for Children / HS Students.  Tickets can be purchased at the door or by calling 905-875-1730.

“Come and celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday and you will experience joy and pleasure in that moment” promises Kimmerer.  “This was such fun last year and we can’t wait to do it again.  See you on the 27th!”

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