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Halifax Camerata Singers partner with mental health group for Winter Showcase


The Halifax Camerata Singers Winter Showcase is collaborating with the Canadian Mental Health Association to split the proceeds of this year’s Winter Showcase.

Artistic director Joel Tranquilla says he’s thrilled to build a relationship with the Canadian Mental Health Association.

“We’ve had a few opportunities already this season, in my first season with Camerata, to get to know members of their team and to be engaging with some of the programming they offer here with the Halifax-Dartmouth branch,” says Tranquilla.

Next season, the Camerata Singers plan to build a whole program, with the help of the Canadian Mental Health Association, around the theme of mental health.

While preparing for this winter showcase, Tranquilla says some interesting themes emerged, like team work, the importance of the arts, and considering the involvement with the Canadian Mental Health Association, some members of the choir were thinking about the relationship between mental health and music.

“I think we’re also recognizing sort of the good medicine that music can be and that the arts are,” he says.

The Halifax Camerata Singers Winter Showcase was scheduled for Saturday evening at the Grace United Church in Dartmouth. However, the show was postponed due to the weather, according to a social media post from the group. They will announce the new performance time when they know, the post says.

The showcase also features the premiere of music from Douglas Vipond, a Maritime composer, according to Tranquilla.

It’s also a chance for people to see the group perform in new ways than people have before, he says.

Kate Spencer, one of the singers in the group, says they wanted to make the show as accessible for everyone as possible. That’s why tickets are sold at the door and they are pay by donation.

Spencer says working on the showcase was a really beautiful process because people could bring what they wanted to the table and work with Tranquilla to fit it all into the showcase.

“It’s such an exploration and celebration of creativity and the joy of making music together, and it’s been really organic,” says Spencer.

Spencer has a solo performance in the show.

“It’s been so exciting to see the way that, because people have been able to choose their own pieces, we’ve had solos. We’ve had duets. We’re really getting to see how different voices come together,” she says.

“The way that all the pieces have been working together has been really great.”

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