Shelburne Free Press
Export date: Tue Apr 23 6:50:00 2019 / +0000 GMT

Great Lakes Touring Choir is Canadian-proud in Scotland

By Marni Walsh


On July 16, I had the honour of witnessing the Great Lakes Touring Concert Choir as they brought pride to our region performing in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The Choir, composed of area vocalists, mostly from the Headwaters' Choir, as well as the Brampton Festival Singers, was invited to perform at St. Giles Cathedral, a magnificent Gothic cathedral built in 1120.

It was an inspiring and moving experience for the 30 members of the choir, who had been preparing for the performance since January.

The ethereal blend of their voices in the vast beauty of the cathedral brought the angels closer to earth as their melodies floated to the high spires.

Hundreds of listeners circled the choir as they sang from the loft in the central portion of the cathedral in front of the grand three-storey tall pipe organ. Viewers came in from the busy streets of Edinburgh drawn by the sounds of their voices.

The crowd seemed to take special delight in the realization that these were Canadians who had travelled over 6,000 kilometres just to experience that musical moment, and share a common love of song with other travellers from around the world.

St. Giles was not the first invitation for the choristers to perform abroad.

Founded by Conductor Robert Hennig a decade ago, the Touring Concert Choir has performed at an impressive list of venues including Carnegie Hall in New York City; St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican; Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris; Esterhazy Palace in Vienna; Lincoln Cathedral and St. Alban's Cathedral, both in England; as well as in Salzburg and Prague.

Scottish sights on the musical tour included Edinburgh Castle, majestically poised on the ancient dormant volcano overlooking the city, national galleries, the world famous Blair Atholl Distillery, Clava Cairns, an ancient cemetery thought to be 4,000 years old, Culloden Battlefield where hundreds of Highlanders fell for Prince Charlie in 1746, a ride on Harry Potter's Jacobite train, a short cruise on Loch Ness, 1,000 years of history in the ancient ruins of Urguhart Castle, and the picturesque landscape of the Highlands, filled with time worn mountains, lush forests, gentle waterfalls, and crystal clear lakes, all evoking vivid imagery of stalwart, ancestral Scots fighting brutal battles for independence from English dominance.

The Great Lakes Touring Choir concert, entitled "Love Notes to Canada,” featured Canadian compositions from our own beautiful country; from the west coast, the prairies, central Canada, and the Maritimes.

The Conductor for the tour, Shelagh Tyreman, is also the music director at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Brampton. She holds three music degrees and is a classical singer, musical theatre performer and private teacher.

“The depth and quality of the Canadian compositions is inspiring,” said Ms. Tyreman, commenting on the pride of “Canadian artists, representing Canada internationally.”

Anyone interested in becoming involved with the Headwaters' Concert Choir - members “span all ages and walks of life” and rehearsals are every other Monday night. No auditions are required. Call or text for a consultation: 647-529-6752.
Post date: 2016-07-30 10:12:36
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