Thursday, March 2, 2017


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The Stairwell Carollers.

What's the first thing that comes to YOUR mind? A stairwell?
Caroling in Stairwells at Ottawa U, 2007


Caroling in the snow, Sparks Street Mall

Carollers in a stairwell?

Stairwell Carollers carol in a cozy Stairwell

As long-time Stairweller, Denyse, mentioned in her recent post, for a short time we used the French name, "L'Ensemble de Quatre Vents".

This name translates in English to "The Four Winds Ensemble" After a short period of use we came to the conclusion that it suggested wind instruments rather than voices, so quietly put it aside.

Walking to carol in the next residence stairwell, circa 1978
We started as U. of Ottawa students caroling in our residence stairwells and I've personally always liked the honest, slightly geeky ring of "The Stairwell Carollers"
It's also has an adorable origin story.

Not everyone has agreed with me about our name over the years.

Many Stairwellers have tried to talk us into changing or modifying our name, arguing that it isn't "dignified" or "representative".  Granted, we rarely carol outside anymore and we sing complex contemporary pieces in addition to the traditional carols and madrigals -- Christmas and Spring.

Spring Concert, Almonte 2016

Our decision?
This little guy has a weird name - and everyone loves him
The name we began with. A rose by any other name. Our Brand. Our identity.
Caroling in Ottawa's Rideau Center, 1986
Originality and longevity is the strength of our name, The Stairwell Carollers.
I think it reflects us perfectly, not in a literal sense, but in a metaphorical one.
Pre-concert warmup, St Columba Christmas 2016


Our final decision for our official French name, Les Chanteurs Stairwell was a choir committee decision. Choosing to not translate the English word "stairwell" gives it a connection to our original name.

The fact that it is a cleverly Bilingual name appeals to me. So I'm happy.

Apparently, so is our audience.

Please DONATE to make our 40th year special for everyone!

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You can also email your questions to me - info (at) stairwellcarollers (dot) com.
Holly :)

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