“30th Anniversary of Amabile” Festival Draw Winners

Congratulations to Sharon Naish, winner of that amazing Black and Red “Wrapped In Song” quilt! Longtime Amabile supporter (and Banting music educator) Sandi Mennill created this one-of-a-kind quilt. She names each quilt that she carefully crafts and this gorgeous black, red and white masterpiece is called, “Wrapped In Song.” Sunday afternoon at the “30th Anniversary of Amabile” Festival, the winning ticket was drawn. Sharon: Congratulations!!

Congratulations also to our Business Card draw winner. Jacob Van Dyk will receive a pair of tickets to the Amabile Spring Concert of his choice.

There are three coming up:

Just Sing Your Song
Amabile Boys & Men’s Choirs
Saturday, May 23, 2015, 7:00 pm
First-St. Andrew’s United Church, London

Amabile Da Capo Choir & Junior Amabile Singers
Saturday, May 30, 2015, 7:30 pm
New St. James Presbyterian Church, London

The Gift of Song: 30th Anniversary Reunion Concert
with guest artist: Sonja Gustafson
Amabile Youth Singers & Prima: Amabile Women’s Choir
Sunday, May 31, 2015, 2:30 pm
First-St. Andrew’s United Church, London

Alumni Invitation for Virtual Choir

Dear Amabile Alumni,

We are reaching out to all our Amabile alumni this winter to invite you to a grand celebration of our choirs’ 30th anniversary season.

The AYS began with John and Brenda in the fall of 1985, shortly thereafter came the JAS, and then in the fall of 1990, the first boys choir rehearsed for its first season with Bevan and Carol. So this year marks 30 years of singing for Amabile. And yes, we have some seasoned singers who have been with us for many of those years.

In this our 30th season, we have 300 singers in 8 choirs – 4 female and 4 male – and your legacy continues. When Bevan left the boys & men’s choirs, Ken Fleet joined our artistic team, and today we have 5 conductors working with the guys’ side. Ken is now conductor emeritus and Mark Payne returned to Amabile this year after a 15 year absence to take up a role of co-conductor. As you know, we lost John last spring, and Brenda carries on with Liska Jetchick assisting. Wendy and Jackie added the Da Capo training choir to the JAS roster…and we’re looking at even more additions in the future. Tours around the world, recordings, guest appearances — the new and continuing singers continue to strive for excellence.

We need you – your presence and/or your voice and photo – for our annual gala festival with all of our choirs, our alumni friends, our virtual choir, the Musicians of Orchestra London, guest soloists from our alumni ranks, and guest conductor Ivars Taurins at Centennial Hall on SUNDAY, MARCH 1st.

You have three tasks –

1. Submit your recording for the virtual choir project by February 15th. Here’s the link explaining how to do it: http://wp.me/p37Yde-xf

2. Join our rehearsal on Saturday, Feb 28 to sing the following:
Cantique de Jean Racine (Faure)
Jack was Every Inch a Sailor
Hush! Somebody’s Calling my Name
I Was Glad (Parry)
…And then perform in our concert on Sunday at 3:00 pm with the current and alumni Amabile choirs.

3. Please share this note with the Amabile Alumni you’ve kept in touch with – we need a lot of singers to make our Virtual Choir amazing.

We look forward to having you join us that weekend. Once part of our organization, always a member of our family. Please RSVP TO dcanton@rogers.com

Carol Beynon, Brenda Zadorsky, Wendy Landon, Jackie Norman and our entire artistic team.

PS – and, please mark our Anniversary concerts in your calendars:
Saturday, May 23rd 7pm at FSA for the Boys & Men’s 25th anniversary celebration concert which will be a tribute to Ken Fleet. Entitled Just Sing Your Song, we will be performing his favourites as we pay tribute to a man who contributed so much to Canadian choral music.
Sunday May 31st – 2:30pm at FSA for AYS and Prima with special guest Alumna Sonja Gustafson.
More info to come about both concerts plus the JAS May 30th concert “Journeys” at New St. James at 7:30.

This is what Amabile stands for!

We believe this was created by Amabile co-founder John Barron. This is what Amabile stands for (boys and men included):

Amazing singers!

Milestones – Many CBC wins, tours and international victories, AYS first CD recording (1989), formation of the JAYS (1989), the ABCs (1990), the Chamber Choir (1991), 25th Anniversary (2010)!!

Alumnae who were brilliant in so many concerts! Without y’all we would never have Accomplished what we did!

Brenda – an enviable collaboration. We complimented each other in so many ways!

Inspiring and astonishing performances that could melt stone!

Learning to pronounce and understand a host of Languages. Life long friendships through a common Love of music and singing.

Experience of a lifetime!

Choral singing which is not only first Class but world Class!

Helsinki- the final concert of my conducting career with AYS. The sounds were Heavenly in the old picturesque church.

Organization –  the conductors who work together so well and the parents who generously support their vision.

I    nternational tours where we learned, not only about other cultures, but also to appreciate and love our country all the more!

Restoring the faith of many people in the youth of today.

Stephen Hatfield

Amabile Virtual Choir

We have so much to celebrate in Amabile and a huge part is the legacy that you, our former singers and alumni, play in the significant recognition that the Amabile Choirs enjoy today, locally, nationally and internationally.

Whether you are able to attend the concert on March 1st in person or not, we want you to play a major role in this gala anniversary celebration concert as part of our Virtual Choir. With current and past members, our goal is to have 1000 singers involved in this project – no small feat. So, many thanks for being a part of the 30th Anniversary of Amabile” Festival! an annual event that we know you recall from past years.

Unless there’s a problem, we’ll use ALL of the videos forwarded to us. We’ll be selective about the audio we use – regardless, you’ll be mixed into the 40 voices on the audio recording you will find below, along with 300 current Amabile alumni voices on stage plus the assembled alumni who will be there in person at the March 1st concert. We NEED your video, but if you’d rather us not use your audio, send an email to chris@amabile.com and we won’t.

The video is really important to us however. And if you feel time has gone by and you cannot manage the song, please just send us a headshot ‘selfie’ of you – perhaps wearing one of your old Amabile red or black or white shirts.

We need your selfie or video completed and uploaded by February 15th to ensure we get everything put together in time (and test it all) before Festival.

Here’s the audio mp3 accompaniment track – (don’t plug in your headphones until after the tone ends):


Both the SAB and SSA sheetmusic is right here: Blessing SAB (Bart) [secured]    Blessing SSA (Bart) [secured]

1. Things you’ll need:

You’ll want something to playback the audio accompaniment track you’ll be singing to – you can click on the audio on the Amabile website link to play it, or you can download it to your tablet, phone or on your laptop. You’ll also want ear phones, ear buds or a headset.

To get the best video recording possible, use a digital camera, a GoPro, laptop, tablet or phone to record your killer performance. Obviously you’ll need something that has both a microphone plus a camera or webcam. If you use a phone or tablet, set it on landscape orientation (usually on its side).

Please use the bigger and/or better of the two devices to do the recording, so we get the best visual of YOU!

To Record, you’ll need a video recording setting or app. You can flip the phone or tablet camera onto “video” setting, or on a laptop, use MovieMaker for PC users (it’s part of the Microsoft Essentials package, that’s free with Windows 7 and 8. You can download it safely from Microsoft, for free here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-ca/windows-live/movie-maker

If you’re using iPhone iPad or a MAC, our best advice is to use iMovie. Here’s a quick tutorial in using it:

One thing to note, right at the beginning when he is creating a new project it’s important that you click on Aspect Ratio and Select 1080P 16:9 (or 720) from the drop down menu – as opposed to in the video you’ll notice he leaves it on Widescreen 16:9 which will not allow for HD output.

2. Location:
Find a quiet location, where you won’t be interrupted for 10 or 15 minutes.
Ensure that your face is well lit – we want the Centennial Hall audience to be able to see you!
Get the recording device close enough to you, so there is little or no ambient room noise.
Use the zoom on the recording device, so you’re recording your head and shoulders only – you may have to play with it a bit to get a good head shot, or have a friend help you.

3. Procedure:
Get the sheet music out if you need it, your headset ready, and your two programs ready to playback and record.
Don’t plug your headphones in yet…

Start the recording device

Start the playback device with the volume up so we can hear the tone that is at the beginning (we need to hear the tone so we can use it to sync all of the recordings together more easily.)

Let the tone go and once it ends, THEN you can plug in your headphones.

You can record as many versions as you like, using the procedures above.

4. Saving your video:
Phones and Tablets save the files automatically.

MACs also save the file automatically.

If You’re using MovieMaker: Once you are happy with the recording, by clicking on the “project” tab, you can ensure the aspect ratio is “widescreen 16:9”. When you save it, it automatically saves it as a .wmv file. Then when you click on “save movie”, you have the option of saving it for “high definition display” as 1080p, which saves the files as a .wp4 file.

If you have the option of re-naming the file name with your name, that’d be great too.

5. To Send the file to us:
Click here to get into the dropbox: https://dbinbox.com/amabilechoirs  – Easiest way to get the file in there, is to Drag & Drop it into the blue “Drag Files Here” box, or you can click “Choose Files” in the top right-hand corner. Find your movie file as you would any file search, click “open”, it’ll load…and you’re done.

Please also send an email to chris@amabile.com to let us know the file is coming, with the years you were in Amabile so we know who it came from and can add an appropriate caption with your name and years underneath.

Any problems, questions, if you need help or more instruction, email chris@amabile.com or call me: 519-872-2993


Chris Harding
Promotions & Funds Development Officer

Orchestra London Musicians


Wednesday, January 14, 2015, 7:30 p.m.,
at Metropolitan United Church, 468 Wellington Street at Dufferin Ave., London, ON

Orch Ldn photo - 2

Amabile Choirs are very proud of our association with the amazing musicians of Orchestra London, and very saddened at the recent events that have them fighting for their very existence. We’re delighted that while the corporate entity sorts out its issues, the musicians continue to make outstanding music… and we’re thrilled at the following “Community Connection Concert!”

Conductor Uri Mayer and clarinetist Graham Lord will join the full orchestra in a performance of Glinka’s overture to Ruslan and Lyudmila, Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A major, and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

The musicians of Orchestra London are committed to honouring tickets, purchased by members of our community, for performances cancelled by the previous administration. Additional tickets will be available for purchase – $20 general admission and $10 student admission – at the door.

The final words here, come from the musicians themselves: “We believe that every concert we perform is an opportunity to connect with our audience, and with the community in which we live. We can’t wait to see you all!”