Aeolian Singers Announce New Season

Aeolian Singers 2018-19 Season Opens with Northern Lights Theme

The Aeolian Singers open their 2018-19 season under the artistic leadership of Heather Fraser with a focus exploring the themes of sea and sky. The women’s choir will present a pair of concerts in November and another in May, with a Victoria Day weekend road trip to PEI planned in conjunction with PEI vocal ensemble, Sirens (sirenschoir.com).

Artistic Director Heather Fraser commented: “These two powerful aspects of nature fill us with wonder and awe, and I think we all draw different things from them – energy, creativity, contemplation, fear, comfort. I’m excited to present moving music this season by composers from northern regions (Baltic, Scandinavia) as well as music from our own Maritime heritage, where both sky and sea, with their power and influence, have become woven into the fabric of our cultures, folklore and history.”

 

The season opens with a pair of concerts focusing on the North and northern composers. Aurora – Of Frost and Fire will present music, poetry and soundscapes that depict the northern sky at night, including evocative images of the heavens, and myths and lore from various cultures. The centerpiece of this program will be Norwegian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds’ Northern Lights(complete with tuned pitch wine glasses). Reflecting the shimmering and sparkly aspects of the program, the Aeolians will be sharing the stage with harpist, Alys Howe (alyshowe.com). Pianist Diana Torbert will also be featured in fabulous accompaniments that sparkle like a starry night sky. The concerts take place on Saturday, November 24 at 7:30 p.m. at Bethany United Church, Halifax, and on Sunday, November 25 at 3:00 p.m. at Knox United Church in Lower Sackville.

The May concerts (Atlantic Blue) will explore songs of the sea – the tragedies, triumphs and power of the ocean and its power over us, including loved ones lost and loves gained. Exploring mostly Canadian repertoire and some fabulous arrangements of folk songs, this program will include music by the Wailin’ Jennies, Kathleen Allan’s Maid on the Shore and Early Spring, as well as Don MacDonald’s Selene’s Boat. The choir will also perform a newly commissioned work premiered this past July at Podium Canada of Ron Hynes’s Atlantic Blue, about the Ocean Ranger disaster, as well as a new arrangement of Rose Vaughan’s haunting Stone and Sand and Sea and Sky by retired Halifax music educator, Lois McVannel. The performances will take place at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic on May 10 and 11, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are available for the Aeolians’ concerts from choir members and at the door. You can also purchase them online from the choir’s website – www.aeoliansingers.ca. All tickets are $20 regular and $10 for students.

Heather Fraser, who was appointed as Artistic Director commencing in 2017-18 is a native Nova Scotian who is immersed in the contemporary choral music world. During the 2016-17 season she undertook a self-directed intensive study period with top choral conductors in the US and Canada. She is also currently Artistic Director of the award-winning Annapolis Valley Honour Choirs, and a choral specialist and accompanist with the Halifax Regional Centre for Education.

Now in their 43rdseason, the Aeolian Singers (www.aeoliansingers.ca) began in 1976 under founding director Claire Wall as a program of Dartmouth Continuing Education. Since then, Jacqueline Chambers, and most recently, Janet Gaskin also conducted them. The Aeolians are champions of music for women, and over the years have commissioned many new works by a range of Canadian composers, including music by singer/songwriters Susan Crowe, Connie Kaldor and the late Raylene Rankin. They’ve shared the stage with a who’s who of musicians in their innovative and moving programs, and made three recordings, including the Canadian premiere of breast cancer oratorio, Where I Live, which they subsequently recorded, and performed with Symphony Nova Scotia and throughout Atlantic Canada, the U.K. and Europe. Halifax pianist Diana Torbert accompanies the Aeolians.

Stay up to date on social media through Twitter and Facebook, or visit the choir’s website to purchase tickets.

For more information: Peggy Walt, peggy@culturalaffairs.ca, (902) 422-5403, (902) 476-1096 (cell) or visit www.aeoliansingers.ca

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