For the first time, Ottawa will be hosting:
More info will be available in February at: https://www.facebook.com/ottawairishfilmfestival/timeline
Our upcoming concert for the 2014 Christmas season is almost upon us! Come join us at the Church of the Ascension, 253 Echo Drive, on December 7th at 7:30 pm for an evening of Celtic songs celebrating Christmas and Winter traditions. There will be some old favourites, but there will be a lot of new musical discoveries to make as well!
Entry is by donation at the door.
We hope to see you there!
I wrote a guest post on the blog of a good friend this weekend, on leadership lessons from the conductor’s podium. Go check it out!
The 2014-2015 season is almost upon us, and it’s shaping up to be a good one! The choir is going from strength to strength this year, as we are now affiliated with the Music Department at Carleton University! We are also going to be making a CD this year, our first! As a result, I’ve been hard at work finding some really good new songs and polishing up some our favourite songs from past seasons.
We are always happy to welcome new members to the choir. If you’re interested in joining, or in coming to check out a rehearsal, our first rehearsal of the year will be Tuesday September 9th, from 7:15 pm to 9:15 pm, at St. John the Evangelist Church on Somerset and Elgin.
See you in September!
Following on from my last post, I thought I would post a list of the great resources I have come across for Celtic Choral music.
Anuna – still a bit too challenging for my choir, but definitely some interesting music here.
In the Isle of Man:
There isn’t much out there that’s in Kernewek (Cornish Gaelic), but this web site is a great resource for songs – An-Daras
My resource for Galician songs appears to now be subscriber only, unfortunately.
Cypress Choral Music – tell Larry I sent you!
As I do every August, I have been spending the month working on new music for the choir. That is, I spend the month of August looking for and arranging music for the choir.
There’s so much Celtic music out there that I think would make great choral music, but so little of it is actually available for choir. What is out there, at least in North America, is multiple versions of old standby songs like “Molly Malone”, or “Loch Lomond” or “The Ash Grove”, or else newly composed music for religious services that’s billed as “Celtic” for little discernible reason except calling something “Celtic” sells. While I think there’s a place for the old standbys, I’m also interested in bringing little known songs from genuinely Celtic traditions to audiences here in Ottawa. How many places are you going to hear a Cornish Obby Oss song, or a Manx Halloween trick-or-treating song, or Breton Kan ha diskan, sung by a choir?
The internet has made my job easier, frankly, as I can now consult with and order from publishing houses in Wales, Scotland and Ireland. While there’s some music in the Celtic languages available in choral format via these publishers, they often assume local interest only and thus a facility with the language that my choir doesn’t have. Pronunciation guides for non-speakers are not provided.
There are also lots of great websites out there with resources, particularly for the less-well-known Celtic traditions, such as Cornish, Manx, Breton and Galician. But while there are lots of songs available, they don’t always come available for choir.
Thus, comes my month of arranging, tweaking and clarifying choral music in the Celtic languages for my choir. I’m currently working on some Welsh carols, both plygain (a style of Christmas hymn sung after Midnight services on Christmas Day, between 3 and 6 am) and regular Christmas carols. My version has the pronunciation guide embedded straight into the sheet music, so that non-Welsh speakers can get their tongues around the lyrics.
I’m also working on a choral version of a Cornish song, Naw Map Harth (Nine Brave Boys), as well as a choral arrangement of a song in Scots Gaidhlig called Blasad nan Deur (Tasting the Tears), recently composed for Struileag (Shore to Shore). I’m particularly excited by the last one, as this one will take me out of the traditional Celtic sounds and into a more modern style.
I won’t be winning any awards for spectacular choral arranging any time soon, but with any luck, this work will help make Celtic language song more accessible, particularly for non-speakers!
I’m happy to report that the Ottawa Celtic Choir will be performing at Almonte Celtfest 2014, on the main stage at Gemill Park on July 5th starting at 12 noon. We will be singing the Canadian and Irish National Anthems, as well as entertaining the crowd with 30 minutes of Celtic choral music.
I’m really excited about this; each year I try and find a new and exciting experience for the choir, and this year, we have the opportunity to perform at Almonte Celtfest!
This site has been a long time coming. The choir has been around since 2007 sometime, but my lack of ability with websites has prevented us from having a proper website, until now! In the days, weeks and months that follow, I will be putting up some information about the choir, contact information, some media of us, our plans for the year, and most importantly, how to join if you’re interested in singing with us!