Fonds MG 15.47 - Cape Breton Chorale

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Cape Breton Chorale

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  • Textual record
  • Sound recording
  • Moving images

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MG 15.47

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  • 1973-1998 (Creation)

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Physical description

1.1 m of textual records ; 86 photographs and slides ; 20 scrapbooks ; 8 video cassettes ; 39 audio reels ; 7 audio cassettes

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Name of creator

(1973 - present)

Administrative history

The Cape Breton Chorale was founded in 1973 by Sister Rita Clare, C.N.D. . With a complement of approximately 50 voices, the mixed adult group has played an important role in the cultural life of Cape Breton, performing at a variety of venues large and small both locally and abroad.

The Chorale represented Canada at the International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales in 1993. Four years later, in 1997, the Cape Breton Chorale forged links with a number of communities in Scotland, bringing the music of "New Scotland" to appreciative audiences in various cathedrals and castles from Edinburgh to the Isle of Iona. Again in July 2004, the Chorale ventured overseas for a musical tour of the Republic of Ireland. Canadian radio and television audiences have been able to enjoy the music of the Cape Breton Chorale through a number of appearances on various programs, including the CBC Choral Competitions where the Chorale competed as Atlantic finalist.

The Chorale has shared the stage with musical stars like Celine Dion and Rita MacNeil, and has performed before numerous visiting dignitaries, including Queen Elizabeth II. The group have hosted and sung with visiting choirs from Canada and Europe, participated in workshops with distinguished Canadian choral conductors, and has joined with other Nova Scotia choirs to perform major works.

The Cape Breton Chorale has released five recordings, "Christmas with the Cape Breton Chorale" (1990), "Songs of Atlantic Canada" (1991), "Remembering the Forties" (1995), "Songs of Land and Sea" (1997) and "Rejoice and Sing!" Christmas with the Cape Breton Chorale (2006). Two of its selections were chosen for the compilation "A Noteworthy Christmas: Great Canadian Choirs Sing Holiday Favorites" and the Chorale is included in "Song for the Mira", a compilation of the works of Allister MacGillivray, as well as recordings from Celtic Colours performances.

The Cape Breton Chorale is currently under the direction of Rosemary McGhee.

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Scope and content

Fonds consists of records documenting the performances, tours, community activities and governance of the Cape Breton Chorale. Fonds includes sound recordings from original performances, radio broadcasts, and taped interviews with choir members. Textual documents include financial reports, correspondence, programs, newspaper clippings, interview transcripts, awards, membership information and histories about the Chorale. Colour photographs and 35mm slides are found in the records along with a comprehensive collection of scrapbook albums documenting the activities of the group from its inception until 2010. A small collection of VHS video tapes are also available featuring the televised program "Now the Bells Ring with Rita MacNeil" as well as other performances.

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