By Clare Fawcett, Antigonish Choral Ensemble
First published on Latest Issue, October 26th 2017

The Antigonish Choral Ensemble (ACE) was formed several years ago when a small group of avid vocalists from the local communities came together to make music and continue the long tradition of choral singing in Antigonish. The choir has grown to its present size of 34 voices—soprano, alto, tenor and bass—including members of the Antigonish Community and a growing number of students from StFX. The Antigonish Choral Ensemble is in its fifth season, and works under the direction of founding conductor Ryan Billington of the StFX Department of Music, and with pianist Amy Hendricks. The Antigonish Choral Ensemble presents concerts in Antigonish three times each year, one in the autumn, one in December and a final one in April before the StFX students leave campus.

On November 5, 2017, the Antigonish Choral Ensemble will present “Songs for Peace”, a concert featuring music of protest and peace. StFX Vocal Ensembles directed by Ryan Billington and the St. James Handbell Quartet—a group made up of members of the St. James Handbell Choir—round out the concert. The Antigonish Choral Ensemble will be joined by Mike Melchin on guitar and vocals and Rosemary Melchin on Celtic Harp for a moving rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine”. Several other “special guests” will also be featured.

Given the challenges facing our world today, protest and peace are apt themes for this autumn concert.  Music performed by the Antigonish Choral Ensemble and the other musicians reflects the tenor of our times by encouraging us to protest inequities while seeking peaceful solutions to conflict.  Traditional spirituals, music from the 1960s, and Derek Healey’s “In Flanders Fields” evoke images of peace and the tragedy of war.  Coming just before Remembrance Day, this is an apt choice of music.

Join the Antigonish Choral Ensemble with StFX Vocal Ensembles, the St. James Handbell Quartet and other special guests at St James United Church, 197 Main St., Antigonish (Corner of Main and Church) at 8:00 PM on Sunday, November 5, 2017. Entrance is by donation and all are welcome.

Leave a Comment