Volume 6 Week 27

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(Posted 11:30 a.m., May 30)

Cumberland Community Singers celebrate their 15th anniversary
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

It’s been 15 years since a group of like-minded musically inclined woman from the former municipality of Cumberland got together to form the Cumberland Community Singers.

Since then the group has seen a number of members come and go including five musical directors, but they have stayed true to their original purpose which was to share their joy of music with the community.

On Sunday, the chorus celebrated its 15th anniversary with 200 or so friends and fans at the former Cumberland Town Hall on Centrum Boulevard.

The program included an appearance by the Cross Town Youth Chorus, Canadian composer James Wright who accompanied the chorus on piano during their performance of his original composition “Celebrate in Song!”, and 25 alumni who joined the current 45 member chorus for five songs in the second half of the concert including a greatly appreciated encore.

The celebration also brought together four of the chorus’ five musical directors including their current director Kurt Ala-Kantti and Lynne Stacey who’s credited for saving the chorus when it went into semi-dormancy after only four months.

“The first musical director left after only four months and Dave Lewis, who was responsible for cultural affairs at the time, asked me if I would replace her and I had to think about it for awhile before I said yes,” says Stacey who is still a member of the Community Singers.

“I remember the first rehearsal I went to was on a Wednesday night at seven o’clock and I was an hour and a half late, but when I walked in all the women got and started applauding so how could I say no.”

One of the first things Stacey did was change the rehearsals to Tuesday nights. The second thing she did was open the membership up to men. She also introduced the idea that anyone from the community who shares their love of music was invited to join the chorus at any time.

Besides Stacey, the other musical directors in attendance on Sunday were Bertrand Doucet who served as director for 10 years from 1992 to 2002 and Laura Dziubaniuk who led the chorus from January 2003 until December 2005 when Ala-Kantti took over.

Of the 45 member chorus, only two members have been with the group since day one – Iris Redmond and Pamela MacLean – while most of the other singers have been around for 10 years or more.

The Cumberland community Singers rehearsal every Tuesday evening from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Resurrection Lutheran Church on Gaultois Avenue in Orléans.

The Cumberland Community Singers celebrated their 15th anniversary on Sunday with a concert in the Orleans Theatre at the former Cumberland Town Hall. Fred Sherwin/Photo

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)



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