Cheticamp Choir Spring Concert Schedule

Buoyed by the response of enthusiastic audiences who attended their Christmas concert series, the Cheticamp community choir, le Choeur du Havre/the Harbour Choir, has been working hard since January preparing for their new spring concert series. The choir is excited about the repertoire which ranges from Classical to Celtic - a little something for everyone.

This season the concerts will take place in four locations across the county. This should allow as many people as possible the opportunity to attend a concert. The Cheticamp concert, to be held in L'église St-Pierre/St Peter's Church, will feature the Church’s Casavant organ. It will sound sublime played by talented organist and accompanist Brydon MacDonald. The choir has been looking forward to showcasing this magnificent instrument and will sing excerpts from Handel’s “Messiah”, “Cantique de Jean Racine” by Fauré, “Ave Verum Corpus” by Mozart, and “Pie Jesu” by Andrew Lloyd Webber upstairs in the choir loft, accompanied by the organ. Brydon will also play a few solo pieces to allow the audience to fully appreciate the organ. The remainder of the concert will be performed downstairs at the front of the church where the choir will sing a variety of pieces that are sure to delight the audience.

Choir Director Michel Aucoin founded le Choeur du Havre in the early 1990s. At that time it was an all Acadian group. Today, the eighteen members of the choir are drawn from a mixture of backgrounds. Half are Acadian while the others are of Scottish, Irish, English and US heritage. And, although they still sing a number of pieces in French, the choirs’ repertoire also encompasses choral music in many styles from many countries and many periods of music from the Middle Ages to today. Audiences, especially first time listeners, sometimes seem surprised by the quality of the choir. Generally unexpected, it is a happy surprise when they discover that such a small rural Cape Breton choir is capable of producing such a high caliber of singing.

The Casavant organ was bought and installed in 1904 and is one of the earliest organs constructed by Casavant et Frères. In excellent condition, it is one of the few early Casavant organs to still retain its original pipes, therefore, its original sound. Enhancing the beauty of its sound to the heights of near perfection are the acoustics of the church wherein it resides.

Construction of the Église St-Pierre began under the direction of parish priest Père Fiset in 1893. The church is recognized as producing one of the best architectural acoustics of any church in Canada. Over the years, choirs from different parts of Canada, the United States and Russia have travelled here just to experience the renowned acoustics of the Church. For example, about 15 years ago, the late Diane Loomer brought her choir (Chor Leoni, one of the best male choruses in North America and well known and loved internationally) to perform here and experience the acoustics. She and the members of the choir all agreed that, having travelled throughout the US and abroad, they had never sung in a space with such beautifully calibrated acoustics. The Little Eagles of Siberia (Russia’s foremost childrens' choir who were on a US and Canadian tour in the mid-90's) gave a stunning performance in Église St-Pierre. In one of only two performances offered in Nova Scotia (the other was in Halifax) they went out of their way - and braved a winter storm in the process - just to experience the world class acoustics of the Church.

The chorale sincerely hopes that many people will come out and support them. Half of the proceeds from the concerts is donated to each of the churches where they perform. The concerts will take place at the locations listed on the dates and times below.

Admission is by donation at all locations.

Sunday, 29 May, Le Foyer Pere Fiset, Cheticamp, 2 PM matinee

Sunday, 29 May, Eglise St-Pierre, Cheticamp, 7:30 PM (featuring the Casavant organ)

Monday, 30 May, Wilson United Church, Margaree Centre, 7:30 PM.

Tuesday, 31 May, St. Margaret of Scotland Church, Broad Cove, 7:30 PM.

Another date of note for the choir this year is June 2 when members will be selling 50/50 tickets at the Cheticamp Coop to raise funds for choir expenses. The draw will be held at the Coop that same evening.

For further information about the concerts or the 50/50 draw contact

Wayne Aucoin at 902-224-2043.

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