Elmer Iseler singers to hold concert on Manitoulin as part of 40th anniversary tour

The Elmer Iseler Singers will be performing a concert on Manitoulin Island on March 24 as part of their 40th anniversary Northern Ontario tour.

GORE BAY—This is definitely a concert not to be missed!

The Elmer Iseler Singers, with conductor Lydia Adams, will be performing on Manitoulin on March 24 as part of its 40th anniversary Northern Ontario Tour.

“We’re very excited about their visit,” stated Jane Best, conductor of the Manitoulin Community Choir who, along with the Island Singers, are the hosting choirs. “They are wonderful musicians as well as being wonderful people.”

Ms. Best noted the concert on Manitoulin is part of the Iseler Singers’ 40th anniversary Northern Ontario tour taking place this year from March 22 to 30. “They performed on the Island 20 years ago, in their 20th year. That time they did a workshop with The Island Singers, and then a concert as well.”

“They put on a fantastic concert last time they were on the Island, and they had such a great visit last time that they decided to make the Island part of their tour again this year,” said Ms. Best. 

The Elmer Iseler Singers, conducted by artistic director Lydia Adams, enters its 40th anniversary season in 2018-2019. This 20-voice fully professional choral ensemble, founded by the late Dr. Elmer Iseler in 1979, has built an enviable reputation throughout Canada, the United States and internationally through concerts and recordings. They perform repertoire that spans 500 years with a focus on Canadian composers and a mix of musical tastes.

They present a five-concert series in Toronto each season and are featured at concerts, workshops and festivals throughout Canada. Touring is also a major component of the group’s activities with national tours from east to west bi-annually and annual provincial tours. These events often engage community singers through workshops and in concert performances.

The group sponsors choral workshops annually through its GET MUSIC! educational outreach initiative for secondary school conductors and choirs, concluding with a joint public performance. The singers also work with university students to mentor young conductors, who also join them in the join public performance.

Ms. Best pointed out the Iseler Singers will be putting on a workshop with both the Manitoulin Community Choir and Island Singers on the afternoon of March 24, then everyone will get together for supper and the public concert will take place that evening.

“We (the choirs) will get to join in on a couple of their songs (at the concert), which is fantastic,” said Ms. Best. “It will be fun.”

The Elmer Iseler Singers are a 2014 National Choral Award recipient and a 2017 Juno nominee in the ‘Classical Album of the Year: Vocal or Choral Performance’ category and, most recently, the singers have been nominated for a 2019 Grammy Award as participants in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s brilliant Ralph Vaughan Williams Chandos CD recording, with Peter Oundjian conducting, as well as a 2019 Juno Award for ‘Classical Album of the Year: Vocal or Choral’ for David Braid’s Corono Divinae Misericordiae with the Elmer Iseler Singers featuring Patricia O’Callaghan, under the K52 independent label.

The concert will take place at the Mindemoya Missionary Church on March 24 at 7 pm. Tickets are $30 for adults and $20 for students and are available at the Recorder office, Manitoulin Expositor office, Central Pharmacy in Gore Bay and from members of the hosting choirs.