Monday, December 11, 2017

Singing in a Humanitarian Key - Youtube Video

Denyse Mageau, centre, has been with the Stairwell Carollers for most of its 40 years. photo credit Iryna Zamchevska (OCISO)
Part 2 - A Choir like no Other

A singular aspect of The Stairwell Carollers choir is that they have been singing in a “humanitarian key” for decades. Apart from introducing great classic and original choral music to concert goers, the Carollers’ other mission is a charitable one - to give back to the community, and they have taken this to heart.
Stairwell Caroller 2016 Donation to The Alzheimers Society
Proceeds from their concerts and CD sales have allowed the choir to make donations totalling over $130,000 to dozens of local charities as well as music scholarships to local high school students going on to study at Canadian universities. Some of the Stairwell Carollers scholarship winners have gone on to significant careers themselves, including Corey Payette (2005), whose recent musical about the residential school experience, “Children of God”, was presented to much acclaim at the National Arts Centre.
Corey Payette, winner of the 2005 Stairwell Carollers Scholarship
This is the 40th anniversary season of the Stairwell Carollers and Pierre Massie has curated a very special Christmas program for the choir’s many fans to hear.
A Canadian Christmas program - First half
 On December 15, at Knox Presbyterian Church, the choir will be presenting a uniquely crafted program of Xmas carols, titled “A Canadian Christmas.” Pierre provides the context: “Canada's 150th year happened to coincide with our 40th season. It seemed appropriate to offer an all-Canadian Christmas concert to celebrate both milestones.”
A Canadian Christmas program - Second half
Concert goers will have the opportunity to hear three brand new carols on December 15. Pierre, an award-winning composer himself, has done a lively new arrangement of the ever-popular “Carol of the Bells”, and has written a beautiful bilingual carol in honour of Canada’s 150th and the choir’s 40th: “A Baby is Born / L'Enfant est né.” In addition, the choir will again be singing the made-in-Ottawa “Rideau Carol” specially composed for the choir by the author of this article. It’s a musical tour of the sites and sounds of the national’s capital.

The Stairwell Carollers are honoured that a number of close friends have agreed to be guest MCs at the December 15 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.
It’s a concert not to be missed! 
Come hear the Stairwell Carollers sing “A Canadian Christmas” at Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Lisgar Street, 7:30pm on December 15th.

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 on the 15th!

David Rain has been taking his musical cues from the back of Pierre Massie’s head for the past 25 years with the Stairwell Carollers.

Some photos credit Iryna Zamchevska (OCISO) - Thank you!

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

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