The Aeolian Singers
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The Aeolian Singers

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada | SELF

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada | SELF
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Discography

In a Woman's Life (2003, with guests Blue Engine String Quartet and Susan Crowe)
Where I Live (2009)

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Bio

The Aeolian Singers is a 30-voice women’s choir currently celebrating 34 years of music making and innovative programming. The choir has toured Europe twice, recorded radio and television programs, and performed as guest artists of Symphony Nova Scotia. The Aeolian Singers has a primary focus on music composed specifically for women’s voices, and creates collaborative programs and partnerships with a variety of other artists, including singer/songwriters, dancers and various ethnic communities.

The Aeolian Singers began in 1976 under founding conductor Claire Wall, as a program of Dartmouth Continuing Education, and is now registered as a not-for-profit society in Nova Scotia, with charitable status federally with Revenue Canada. We are founding members of the Nova Scotia Choral Federation, and perform within the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM), in communities around Nova Scotia and outside of the province. The choir has received funding from the Canada Council for the Arts, the provincial government, the municipal government and from private donors and corporations, including the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Craig Foundation for the Visual and Performing Arts. We are a member of the Recreation Association of Nova Scotia, and have performed with many other women’s choirs throughout the Maritimes.

The choir is under the musical direction of native Nova Scotian, Jacqueline Chambers, who was appointed Artistic Director in 1990. A Nova Scotia Talent Trust scholarship recipient, Ms. Chambers holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Acadia University and an Artist’s Diploma in Voice from the University of Toronto. She teaches music and is a guidance counsellor with the Chignecto Central Regional School Board, and is active in the choral community as a clinician and adjudicator for workshops and festivals. The Aeolian Singers’ new accompanist is pianist Hannah Parks.

The Aeolians have collaborated with many Nova Scotian and Canadian artists, including the Blue Engine String Quartet, Connie Kaldor, Quartette, Raylene Rankin, Susan Crowe, the Rose Vaughan Trio, Mocean Dance, Marcia Kash, Cindy Church, Lisa Lindo, Martha Irving, Nova Voce men’s choir, Ardyth & Jennifer, El Viento Flamenco, and Sung Ha Shin Bouey. On International Women’s Day 2003 they presented the first of several Celebrating Women performances to a sold-out house at Pier 21 in partnership with the Nova Scotia Council on the Status of Women in the presence of her Excellency, Adrienne Clarkson, the Governor General of Canada, and the Right Honourable Madam Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin.

Over the years the choir helped raise the profile of various groups including Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, the Marguerite Centre, the North End Parents Resource Centre and Breast Cancer Action Network Nova Scotia.

The choir has appeared as guest artists on the Mahone Bay Concert Series, the Dartmouth Community Concert Series and at St. Peter’s Church in Sheet Harbour. They have also performed concerts of Jewish music repertoire on their own and on the Shaar Shalom Presents Series. The Aeolians have commissioned new works for women’s voices from a who’s who of Canadian songwriters and composers, including Alasdair MacLean, Scott Macmillan, Donna Rhodenizer, Gwen Swick, Gary Ewer, Lydia Adams, Dennis Farrell, Christopher Palmer, Raylene Rankin, Susan Crowe, Connie Kaldor and Jennifer Wyatt.

In the 2008-09 season the Aeolians were thrilled to be the core performing group at Muriel Duckworth’s 100th birthday celebration at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium. We also presented a peace-themed concert (The War Within) with a women’s choir from Saint John and to have recorded Where I Live – breast cancer oratorio, which the choir gave the Canadian premiere of last May. This was a major undertaking involving a string quartet and other musicians, and resulted in a new partnership with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Atlantic, who assisted the choir to tour to PEI and New Brunswick this fall at the start of our current (2009-10) season. We will perform an excerpt from Where I Live again in May for the CBCF at their fundraiser. These kinds of non-traditional choral presentations have drawn many new audience members for the Aeolian Singers. We keep in touch with our fans through our website, periodic email blasts to our mailing list and through Facebook .

The choir recently undertook a masterclass with international vocal superstars, Rajaton, as part of the Nova Scotia Choral Federation’s Rajaton Choral Festival, and sang in the massed choir with Rajaton at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium. Rajaton is at the forefront of innovative performance techniques including movement, lighting, costuming and non-traditional repertoire in the vocal community worldwide today. It was very important for our choir to have worked with them this year as we prepare for next season’s commissioned work. We have also collabo