Allison (sort of) Retires!

After 11 years as collaborative pianist with Amabile Youth Singers and Prima: Amabile Women’s Choir, Allison Eagles is stepping back to concentrate her energies as a Mom, and to spend more time on her other musical pursuits. She joined the Amabile family as accompanist in 2004.
(From Westside Tabernacle)
That list of musical pursuits is long, too. Allison holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Mount Allison University and a Masters degree in Collaborative Piano from the Don Wright faculty of Music at University of Western Ontario. In addition to coaching and performing at UWO, Allison teaches voice, piano and theory to students of all ages at her private studio. She is also an accompanist, chamber musician and adjudicator in high demand in the London musical community and throughout Ontario. Allison is also a valued chorister with the Canadian Chamber Choir.

Best wishes to Allison, Jason, Adrienne, Kira and Vivian – Amabile will miss you… a lot!

Congratulations again to our Composer-in-Residence!

Amabile Choirs’ “Composer-in-Residence” Matthew Emery just scored another feather in his writing cap!
Matthew supervising rehearsal of Sing Your Song
All of the works that he has composed for Amabile Choirs this season will now be published by the largest choral publisher in North America, Hal Leonard Publishing, meaning that they are now available to be performed by choirs around the world! Hal Leonard Online is home to the world’s largest music print publisher. For over 60 years, they’ve been publishing and distributing publications for virtually every type of instrument and ensemble.

Matthew’s compositions will soon be available alongside the sheet music for “Frozen”!!

Word is that the choirs are working out the logistics to record the newest Amabile CD featuring all of the Amabile Choirs performing Matthew’s compositions exclusively!

You may be able to help fund the CD and receive the first downloads of the CD, digital copies and an exclusive keepsake book of behind-the-scenes photos of the Making of the CD – tentatively titled, “Sing Your Song”. More about that as plans are confirmed.

Bonnie Shewan Burroughs

After a frenetic ride, Bonnie IS retiring!

The announcement made earlier this week by Artistic Director Dr. Carol Beynon to a stunned Primus: The Amabile Men’s Choir. Bonnie contemplated retirement a year ago, but was convinced to stay on to celebrate the Amabile Boys’ and Men’s 25th anniversary – much of that with Bonnie alongside them.

During the past 23 years, Bonnie Shewan Burroughs has become an integral and much loved accompanist: performing, touring and recording with the Amabile Boys Choirs at a wild pace, as their visibility on the world stage has exploded. This past season, Bonnie has been playing for the Young Men’s Ensemble and Primus: Amabile Men’s Choir.

After graduating in Piano Performance from UWO, with Dr. Damjana Bratuz, she studied and attended mater classes in Salzburg, Vienna, Siena and London, England. She has performed chamber music with leading instrumentalists, including her daughter Sarah Jeffrey (Toronto Symphony Orchestra), and son Paul Jeffrey (Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra) – most recently for the Millennium Summer series in Winnipeg.

Her final three performances with Amabile were poignant however: Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto, with 80 senior Amabile Choir members and guests in the choir loft above, surrounded by the members of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, across from Sarah and with Paul in the audience. Toronto Star called their performance of the Stephen Schwartz masterpiece Testimony “Deeply impressive stuff.”

Bonnie performed in the prestigious Aeolian Concert Series at Wolf performance hall with members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, in addition to performances with instrumentalists from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic and Orchestra London. She has performed frequently as a chamber musician and accompanist with leading instrumentalists. She may be heard on programmes recorded by CBC, CJRT, and also on the CD. Bonnie has taught piano in Toronto at Branksome Hall and Havergal College, as well as private schools in England.

With the Ardeleana Trio, she also premiered many newly commissioned works and recorded “Spinners of Starlight”, a CD of contemporary trios.

While this marks a bittersweet milestone for us, we celebrate all that Bonnie has contributed to each and every one of us personally and to our choirs. We have all grown up together in this musical organization and her role as collaborative pianist has been an integral part of our growth and development. She is a consummate professional and an intuitive accompanist – knowing exactly what was needed when.

While we are sad to see her go, we celebrate her accomplishments and the entire Amabile family wishes her well as she and husband Patrick slow their world down… just a bit!

Congrats to Prima & Primus!

They knocked it out of the park in Toronto!

Wizard and I reveiw

Toronto Star Theatre Critic Richard Ouzounian liked what he heard in Toronto yesterday (Tues June 16/2015) at Roy Thompson Hall. The two senior choirs in the Amabile Choirs family, took along some guests and headed down the 401, as the invited guests of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, for three shows.

His review of  the first performance of “The Wizard and I – The Music of Stephen Schwartz” says in part: “There was an added bonus, however, from the Amabile Choirs of London, who not only sang with a mixture of true musicianship and passionate feeling but provided the single most moving moment of the program with “Testimony,” Schwartz’s setting of the actual words of young men and women who had been bullied over the years. Deeply impressive stuff.”

Read the entire review here.

Bravo Amabile!