The SCCHS Chamber Singers travelled to Ottawa for the July 1st celebrations to represent Swift Current and Saskatchewan on Parliament Hill.
It was a very proud time for all the students who sang numerous times throughout Ottawa. On Canada Day, they sang three times with the Unisong Choir at the National Art Centre, sharing the stage with Natalie MacMaster and pianist Alain Lefevre. Other venues where the students sang and toured were the Rotunda on Parliament Hill, including a private tour of the House of Commons with Cypress Hills Grasslands MP David Anderson, Notre Dame Cathedral, National Art Gallery, Museum of Civilization, Parkdale United Church and even on the streets of Ottawa in the Byward Market where accompanist Chanella Hofeld played a piano that just happened to be available to us at the outdoor restaurant.
In order to prepare for these remarkable performances the students, Brianna Dennehy (our choir conductor), and Channela Hofeld (our accompanist), endured hours of preparation with guest conductor, Elroy Friesen, who led them to awe-inspiring performances on Canada Day. Kate Spencer was chosen to do a solo in “Wood River”, and Brady Frank was chosen to do a solo in “Yanaway Heyona”. Tanner Wilhelm was chosen to do percussion in two songs, “Woodsmoke and Oranges” and “Yanaway Heyona”. Esther Derksen entertained us with her remarkable “Loon call” in “Woodsmoke and Oranges”.
Although much of the tour consisted of hard work preparing for the many performances, the students also enjoyed some free time at Calypso Water Park, shopping at the Rideau centre, an Amphibus tour down the Ottawa River, a Haunted Walk tour, tours of the Museum of Civilization and the National Gallery of Canada, Changing of the Guard and of course the Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill as well as the spectacular fireworks display from the NAC balcony!
In order for such a memorable and privileged trip to occur, a lot of hard work and fundraising took place prior to the trip. Special thanks go out to the SCCHS Choral Executive, the parents, the students, accompanist Chanella Hofeld and a special mention goes to choir conductor Brianna Dennehy for her dedication and endless hours of preparation. Her efforts, along with the student’s efforts, shone through in their remarkable and moving performances. Also, thanks once again to our many sponsors throughout Swift Current and the Southwest where $35,000 in total was raised to send our students on a trip they will never forget!