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We wish to thank everyone who came out to support our Spring Concert.

 

 

The Centennial Choir of Cornwall, rehearsing for its upcoming Christmas concert at Aultsville Theatre. Photo on Monday, November 20, 2023, in Cornwall, Ont. Todd Hambleton/Cornwall Standard-Freeholder/Postmedia Network PHOTO BY TODD HAMBLETON /Todd Hambleton/Standard-Freeholder  – Still going strong, and sounding great.

Two of the three original members of the Centennial Choir of Cornwall, Mike Pearson and Nancy Grant, with Pat McCourt not pictured. Photo on Monday, November 20, 2023, in Cornwall, Ont. Todd Hambleton/Cornwall Standard-Freeholder/Postmedia Network PHOTO BY TODD HAMBLETON /Todd Hambleton/Standard-Freeholder    “We have a mix of sacred and secular that tells the Christmas story,” said Lisa Zeran, in the role of director for 20 years, and a choir member for 30 years. In terms of seniority, Zeran is fairly new to the group – three current chorister members performed with the forerunner to the ensemble, the A Cappella Choir of Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School that was originally an all-female group before men were invited to join in the early 1960s. One of those males? Mike Pearson, who at a recent rehearsal at Knox-St. Paul’s United Church, was asked if he was surprised the choir has lasted this long. “Well, I’m surprised I’ve lasted this long,” Pearson said with a laugh. Other original members still singing are Nancy Grant and Pat McCourt, and the total of 55 performers – if the rehearsal was any indication – are very prepared to produce a memorable night just before the holiday season. In all, over 500 voices have sung with the choir – mothers and sons, fathers and daughters, siblings, and whole families. Some have been involved for the long haul, and there are often fresh faces too. “We just love to sing,” said Charlotte Rouleau, a current 11-year member and past-president, who held that position for eight years, with Julie Villeneuve now at the helm.  “(Members) became quite close over the years, they take care of each other.”

The Centennial Choir of Cornwall, rehearsing under the direction of Lisa Zeran. Photo on Monday, November 20, 2023, in Cornwall, Ont. Todd Hambleton/Cornwall Standard-Freeholder/Postmedia Network PHOTO BY TODD HAMBLETON /Todd Hambleton/Standard-Freeholder. Rouleau said it’s not uncommon for smaller sections of the choir to practice in individual houses, in addition to the full rehearsals held each Monday night. Members sing four parts -tenor, bass, soprano and alto – and those rehearsals go on from September to December for the Christmas show, and from January to May for the other big annual event, the spring concert. There are other performances on occasion – Rouleau said the choir has gathered to sing at long-term care homes, churches and other locations over the years, and also late this fall, it’ll perform as part of the Centre 105 Christmas Concert on Dec. 10. There’s an annual general meeting each mid-spring, and attendance pins are handed out. Also each year, a student bursary –and sometimes two of them – in the amount of $500 are handed out to deserving high school students planning to study in music in college or university.

Centennial Choir of Cornwall members (from left) include Julie Villeneuve (president), Lisa Zeran (director) and Charlotte Rouleau. Photo on Monday, November 20, 2023, in Cornwall, Ont. Todd Hambleton/Cornwall Standard-Freeholder/Postmedia Network PHOTO BY TODD HAMBLETON /Todd Hambleton/Standard-Freeholder. Students were the choir’s roots all those years ago, but when director W. Bennett Brown – the music teacher at CCVS – left the school in 1963, the choir was adrift. A glee club was formed, but it was short-lived. Not wanting the choir to fold completely, a group of students kept it going, and it sang as the Edgar Shaw Hanson Singers for a few years and included some Trinity Anglican Church Choir members. When director Ned Hanson left Cornwall, long-time CCVC choir member Brian McCartney was encouraged to take over, and with a name change required, the group celebrated Canada’s birthday by becoming in 1967 the Centennial Choir of Cornwall – and it thrived. The choir would appear at local festivals, at competitions in Toronto and Ottawa, and even at an international festival in Wales. Rouleau said the choir age range, appearance and sound can change from year to year, but that “the enjoyment we get from choral singing does not change. We keep coming back for more!” Zeran said the choir’s Winter’s Night With You show on Dec. 8 – with Christine Hickey on piano – will have a wide range of selections, from African Advent Carol to Phil Spector, the Indigo Girls to Gordon Lightfoot’s Song for a Winter’s Night. The performance will begin at 7 p.m., and tickets ($25 adults, $10 children 12-and-under) are available from choir members, Home Hardware (1300 Vincent Massey Dr.) and Melody Music (104 Pitt St.).

 

 

 

 

Centennial Choir of Cornwall is now starting our choir rehearsals. Do you like to sing? We are looking for new members. The ability to read music is an asset but not a requirement. After a few weeks, an informal audition will determine which section of the choir would be best suited to your voice. We are looking for those who sing tenor or bass in particular but all are welcome. The first rehearsal will be held on Monday, January 8, 2024, at 6:45 p.m. at Knox St. Paul United Church, 800 12th St. E..(East of McConnell), Cornwall.

Aimez-vous chanter? The Centennial Choir of Cornwall est à la recherche de nouveaux membres. Lire la musique est un atout, mais n’est pas une exigence. Après quelques semaines, une audition permettra de confirmer la section dans la chorale qui vous convient. Nous sommes à la recherche particulièrement de personnes qui chantent le ténor ou la basse mais tous sont bienvenus. La première pratique aura lieu le lundi 8 janvier 2024, à 18:45h à Knox St. Paul United Church, 800, 12e rue Est.(à l’est de McConnell), Cornwall.

 

Lisa Zeran, choir director, & Christine Hickey, accompanist

The Centennial Choir practices on Monday evenings from 7 pm to 9:15 pm at Knox St. Paul United Church located at 800 Twelfth St. E.,  Cornwall.