Music is My Medicine: A Cultural Exchange between Children’s Choirs
Coastal Sound Children’s Choir is thrilled to host Jeunes chanteurs d’Acadie from Moncton, New Brunswick April 30 – May 7, 2016.
This cultural exchange, made possible with funding from Experiences Canada, has local choristers twinned with an Acadian French-speaking choir of teens based in Dieppe, New Brunswick. Singers in the two choirs will be living in each others’ homes for 8 days, studying local history, culture and geography while sharing their towns and cultures through the lens of choral singing.
Choral music brings people together, and creates community. One goal of the exchange is to develop new skills and appreciation for music of our respective communities: Acadian, Japanese-Canadian, Coast Salish for example.
While visiting this area, Jeunes Chanteurs d’Acadie will gain deeper understandings of the people and history of this area, and will have many opportunities to connect with locals through song, in places of cultural and historical significance. For Coastal Sound’s Artistic Director Diana Clark, this connection to place, people and history is an important objective of the exchange:
“It’s not just about singing songs on tour. It’s about intentionally and purposefully creating opportunities for profound and transformative experiences for these young artists, using choral singing as the means to do so. For instance: singing about cherry blossoms, in Japanese, for Japanese-Canadian elders at the Nikkei Centre, while learning about Japanese-Canadian history including internment and redress.”
Local singers in Coastal Sound Children’s Choir are also brushing up on their French speaking skills, since Jeunes Chanteurs d’Acadie are mostly of Acadian heritage. “This is a wonderful opportunity for everyone to practice their second (or third) language skills”, says Clark. Both choirs also routinely sing in a number of different languages.
Throughout the exchange, singers will serve as ambassadors and tour guides of the area. When on stage, Coastal Sound choristers will be recounting anecdotes about local lore and geography. For Clark and her singers, it is all a valuable opportunity for professional and artistic growth.
“We need to explore our own identities and cultures, so that we can then be engaged, invested and contributing citizens. At Coastal Sound, we help people of all ages make these explorations and connections through choral singing.”
Coastal Sound Children’s Choir will be travelling to Dieppe/ Moncton New Brunswick, July 3-10, 2016. Of all of the experiences, one the most fun and interesting is staying in each other’s homes!
“There is a lot of nervous excitement and much anticipation at the idea of living with another family for a week, experiencing life and culture in their town,” says Clark, who herself remembers such experiences many years ago on school Band program exchanges. “It is always surprising and reassuring to find kindred spirits with so much in common, in another part of the world. These exchanges build connection and understanding between people– sharing music together deepens the experience.”
Jeunes Chanteurs d’Acadie and their director Nadine Hébert will perform around the area, including performances at the top of the Sea 2 Sky Gondola; on BC Ferries; Vancouver Aquarium; Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre; at the Komagata Maru monument; Royal BC Museum and at the BC Parliament Building.
Hear all the Coastal Sound Children’s Choirs and Jeunes Chanteurs d’Acadie at 7pm on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at New Westminster Christian Reformed Church:
8255 13th Avenue, Burnaby
Buy Tickets: $10 and $5
For more information or to request an interview:
Andrea Howorth 604-802-2440
Coastal Sound Music Academy – Biography
The Coastal Sound Music Academy transforms lives and builds community through the pursuit of choral music excellence. From the 4-year-olds in the Sources song play program to the professional, award winning Youth and Children’s Choirs and DeCoro choir for adults, there is a place for singers to share a sense of spirit, artistry, heart and community. Whether they are singing “O Canada” at Grey Cup, Indie rock arrangements or traditional a cappella singing, Coastal Sound has gained a reputation for presenting artistic, entertaining and engaging performances.
Jeunes Chanteurs d’Acadie – Biography
The Jeunes Chanteurs d’Acadie choir was founded in 1969 by Sister Lorette Gallant and is now conducted by her grandniece, Nadine Hébert. Throughout the years, the choir gained national and international recognition by participating in many competitions and festivals across Canada, the United States, Cuba and Europe. The choir, which is now comprised of 35 singers aged 11 to 17, continues to thrive towards musical excellence. The choir’s multilingual repertoire features selections ranging from classical to the modern. The various musical genres explored are a testament to this young choir’s versatility over its 40 years of existence. The Jeunes Chanteurs d’Acadie choir continues to spread the Acadian’s “Joie de vivre” by singing songs from the traditional Acadian repertoire.