Friday, December 15, 2017

Celebrity MC Spotlight 40th Ann. Christmas Concert TONIGHT!

Stairwell Carollers at Knox, Christmas 2016
The Stairwell Carollers are honoured that a number of close friends have agreed to be guest MCs at tonight's concert.

These include two former Carollers – CTV Ottawa’s Joel Haslam and popular francophone singing star Michel Bénac of LGS (Le Groupe Swing) – as well as Dr. Andrea McCrady, the Dominion Carillonneur, who has featured Pierre’s compositions multiple times on the Peace Tower carillon on Parliament Hill.

Michel Bénac sang in the tenor section of the Stairwell Carollers from 1996 to 2001. His voice can be heard on both our Qui creavit CD from 1997 and our year 2000 CD, I saw a swete semly syght.
Michel can be seen (with red hair) in this video from 2001, singing tenor in Away in a Manger.

Michel also worked with Pierre Massie in his a pop cappella group SAIJ (pronounced "sage") from 1997 to 2003. They performed in the Ottawa region at many venues and festivals - including the St. Jean Baptiste festival at Nepean Point, which was televised. They also sang on the Parliament Hill main stage for Canada day - televised Nationally. To top off their accomplishments, SAIJ won a Trille Or (the French counterpart to The Juno).
SAIJ - Michel on the left, Pierre Massie, centre

In 1999, Michel founded LGS (Le Groupe Swing), a Franco-Ontarian musical group whose first album brought widespread attention. LGS has performed over 200 times across Canada and around the world. To date, the group has won 12 Trille D'or awards and Attracted over 1.5 million YouTube views.

Dr. Andrea McCrady was named Dominion Carillonneur in 2008. She plays the Peace Tower every weekday and on request to serve parliamentarians.

She took up the carillon in 1971 as an undergraduate at Trinity College, CT. A medical doctor, Dr. McCrady retired in 2006 to continue her study of the carillon and received her Bachelor of Music magna cum laude from the University of Denver in 2008. She now serves as instructor in carillon studies at Carleton University.

She has adapted for the carillon, and performed, five of Pierre's carols - including Mourning Dove.

For nearly 30 years, Joel Haslam has been the Host and producer of Regional Contact - a local Ottawa "good news" show (now a segment of CTV news). He champions the heartwarming stories of everyday people engaged in extraordinary life adventures. Regional Contact has featured the Stairwell Carollers on a number of occasions, helping the choir increase its audience base along the way. Soon after the first segment, Joel joined the choir as a tenor and sang with the Stairwell Carollers from 1991 to 1993.
Joel Haslam, second from the left, sings at a Cumberland Museum Stairwell Caroller Christmas concert
Joel holds degrees in journalism and political science from Carleton University. He is a two-time recipient of the prestigious Dave Rogers award, presented to a Canadian journalist producing and reporting the best national television feature.

Denyse Mageau is a soprano and has sung with the Stairwell Carollers since 1978, shortly after the choir made its official debut.
Denyse, centre, sings at the Parliament Hill tree lighting ceremony with the Stairwell Carollers - mid 1980's
Born in Sturgeon Falls, Denyse was a teacher for 36 years. She taught Secondary level French and Cinema in schools through Ontario and in Germany. After retirement, she published children's stories and tales of her world travels. Thanks to a program of the Arts Council of Ontario, she was able to introduce poetry to children through singing and wordplay.

Chantal Prouse, a recipient of the 2017 Stairwell Carollers Scholarship will also speak.
It’s a concert not to be missed! 
Come hear the Stairwell Carollers sing “A Canadian Christmas” TONIGHT at Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Lisgar Street, 7:30pm (December 15th, 2017).

The Stairwell Carollers will present a special 40th anniversary donation of $3,000 to the Shepherds of Good Hope on the 15th - a result of their first ever “Sponsor a Song” fundraising campaign.
Tickets are $20 at the door,; 
The Leading Note, 370 Elgin St; 
Compact Music, 206 & 785 ½ Bank St locations; 
Books on Beechwood, 35 Beechwood Ave.
Hope to see you at Knox Presbyterian TONIGHT!

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

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