Victor and Margaret Togni’s son Peter-Anthony is an organist and composer who hosted “Choral Concert” on CBC Radio 2.
The Choir was co-founded in January 1958 by Victor Togni, who was organist at St Columbkille Cathedral, and Harold G. “Tug” Wilson, director of the Pembroke Parks and Recreation Association, in time for Pembroke’s Centennial celebrations. The premiere performance, featuring over 50 choristers, was held at Pembroke Collegiate Institute on April 23, and was very well received by an audience of about 600. Elva Remus was the first accompanist.
Victor moved to Ottawa to take a church organist position, but he took with him a special souvenir of Pembroke – choir member Margaret Lyons, whom he married that September.
That summer, Dr James Gayfer, the director of the 1st Canadian Guards Band at Camp Petawawa, took over as director for the next 3 years. His first concert in July 1958 had over 1000 listeners.
The first PCC Committee met in March of 1959 in the Pembroke Observer Office with 5 members in attendance. For its first performance of a major work, the Choir assisted the Deep River Choral Society in Haydn’s Creation in May, then Handel’s Messiah the following April, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah in 1961. Iva Mai Smith was the rehearsal accompanist.
When Dr. Gayfer was posted to B.C., the baton was passed to John Jarrett, the choir director at Holy Trinity Church. Sgt. George Adams followed as director, and the 32-voice Choir performed in a television program entitled “Favourite Carols” and Gilbert & Sullivan’s Trial by Jury in May of 1963. Elva (Remus) Merredew was the accompanist once again.
Lt. R. Milne took over in the Fall, but few concerts were performed until Spring 1972, with Norman Baldwin conducting and Lynn Eamer on Piano. It was actually a night school activity, and mainly featured women’s voices.
Upon Dr. Gayfer’s return to Pembroke in 1975 to head the music department at Champlain High School, he conducted the choir through Pembroke’s Sesquicentennial until June 1980 when he retired to Lindsay, Ontario. He was a prolific composer of choral and band music, and “his” choir premiered many of his compositions. The Choir participated in a Service of Carols and Lessons at Holy Trinity Anglican Church on December 2, 1979, accompanied by organists Adrian Smit and Loreen Scales.
Caryl Clark took over as director, and with Robert Price accompanying the rehearsals, the Choir assisted in the operetta H.M.S. Pinafore in February 1981 and The Mikado in February 1982. A cheque for $1000 was presented to the Bernadette McCann House during the Spring 1981 show. The Choir participated in an Ecumenical Service of Nine Lessons and Carols on December 19 1981 at First Presbyterian Church, Pembroke. Darlene TerMarsch became the regular accompanist in 1982.
In March 1983, the Choir presented the highly praised Gloria by Vivaldi with the Valott Quartet, then performed it at the Eganville Spring Festival of Music in May. The Choir participated in the 120th anniversary service at Greenwood Church on October 16, singing “Almighty and Everlasting God” – Gibbons, a capella.
Kevin Nieman started a 26-year career as choral director in the Spring of 1984. Ontario’s Bicentennial Celebration was enriched by the PCC through its May concert at Festival Hall, with a mass choir of over 110 voices. Guests included Zion Lutheran Men’s Choir, Deep River Choral Group, Eganville Community Choir and Kazimier Samujlo on trumpet.
Christmas 1984 was celebrated at Calvin United Church with 50 voices singing John W. Peterson’s cantata King of Kings. A very successful Choral Workshop was held in April 1985 with Denise Narcisse-Mair teaching 180 area choristers. The May 1985 concert featured Michael Moore on trumpet and soprano soloist Debra Dent Hopmans.
By December 1985, the Choir had grown to 75 voices. They presented Handel’s “Messiah”, accompanied by a 22-piece orchestra mostly from the DRSO, to a full house 2 nights running at Festival Hall. In the Saturday performance, the Tenor soloist was unable to continue due to a cold. The director, Kevin Nieman, stepped in and saved the show! One performance was videotaped and shown on local Cable 12.
The Nepean Community Choir joined the PCC in May 1986 for a concert in each community, under choral directors Kevin Nieman and Bernice Oak. That fall, the Choir performed Bach’s Magnificat in Latin, and Cantate no. 142 in German, again with an orchestra of local players.
The Sights and Sounds of our Canadian Provinces were enjoyed at the May 1987 concert at Festival Hall, featuring Michael Britton on trombone. In the Fall, the Choir performed Haydn’s Creation at the newly built Pembroke Pentecostal Church.
Local music teacher and Gerald LaRonde took over as interim director for the Spring 1988 concert, which featured Free-Bass Accordionist Laurie Rosewarne and accompanist Cheryl Schreader.
For Christmas 1988, the Choir celebrated with Messiah at the PPT, with Rosemarie Gilbert as the Choir’s new regular accompanist, and soloists and orchestra. Rehearsals were held at Wesley Community Church. The Easter concert was Brahms’ Requiem again at the PPT, with the addition of Janice Hawthorne as second pianist. The next venue was Zion Lutheran, where the 1986 Celebration of Christmas featured The Youth Singers directed by Gerald LaRonde. The Spring 1987 concert was a light-hearted Tribute to Gilbert & Sullivan, held at Festival Hall.
Elva Merredew, who performed in the Choir’s first concert in 1958, was interim director for the 1990 Celebration of Christmas, while Kevin Nieman explored Down Under. He returned to direct “An Evening on Broadway” which featured choir soloists. In preparation for the Christmas 1991 concert, “Carols with Brass”, the Choir toured 3 seniors’ homes.
On Good Friday 1992, the Choir presented Bach’s Passion at St John’s Lutheran. The Christmas program was “Great Choruses and Carols” with Jack D’Arthenay on organ and Cheryl Braaten as guest flautist.
Handel’s “Messiah” was performed for the fourth time at Christmas 1993; there was a shortened matinee as well as the full production featuring soloists Debra Dent, Dean Kustra, Mervin Fick, and Nigel Smith’s memorable bass.
While Kevin was studying for his A. Mus. at Western, Stella Callighen from Deep River directed the Choir in a concert of Springtime music and Canadian folk songs in April 1994. Kevin returned for Carols With Brass II, which included the still-unpublished A Celebration of Wisdom by the Choir’s second director, Dr. James Gayfer.
Spring 1995 saw the Choir’s first performance of the Mozart Requiem, with guest soloists Stella Callighen, Muriel Smith, Bill Graham, and bass Alex Fleuriau-Chateau. Another big first was Handel’s Judas Maccabeus in the Spring of 1995, with Rachel Lewis, Michael Schrey, Bill Graham, and Nigel Smith as soloists.
In June 1996, the Choir was honoured by the Ontario Choral Federation for 25 years of continuous operation. The following year, we hosted InterChoir ’97 at Fellowes High School, with members of 18 choirs participating. The Choir expanded its Christmas repertoire for the 1997 concert, “International Carols”, featuring the Ottawa Valley Brass Quintet.
On Good Friday 1998, the Choir presented the Fauré Requiem and Bach’s Jesu, Priceless Treasure at First Presbyterian Church, accompanied by a chamber orchestra and James Mayhew on organ. That Christmas, we performed Handel’s Messiah in 2 provinces: at St Alphonsus Church in Chapeau, and at Our Lady of Lourdes in Pembroke. Joshua Hopkins, a promising young local baritone, was featured.
The Choir explored new rhythms and sounds for the Spring 1999 concert featuring Norman Luboff’s African Mass and other African songs, with pianist James Mayhew and percussionist Darlene TerMarsch Millar. Darlene had just returned as the Choir’s rehearsal accompanist after the Gilberts had coincidentally left to do missions work on the “Dark Continent”. Choir members wore colourful sashes for this concert.
The InterChoir Workshop held Oct 15-16, 1999 was hosted by our Choir, which was directed by Kevin. The Grand Finale Concert combined choirs performed at Fellowes High School in Pembroke on Oct 16, 1999, under the direction of Gerald Neufeld.
A chamber orchestra and Darlene TerMarsch accompanied us when Kevin and the Choir presented “The Creation” by Joseph Haydn on Nov. 28, 1999 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. The soloists were soprano Leslie Sara Michaels, tenor Bjorn Kuhn, and bass Olivier LaQuerre.
For a complete change of pace, we presented the music of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado in the Spring of 2000, with choir soloists in costume – both at the concert (Calvin United Church, March 5, 2000) and at the Mall! The soloists were Sharon Cotnam, Larry Scales, Joyce Moore, Mark Ferrier, Ron Lloyd, Peter Cowan, Patricia Charette, Marjorie Alburger and Frank Egan.
During this decade, the Choir participated many times in the Kiwanis Festival, and sang in Summer Sounds at the Marina. To celebrate the Millennium, the Choir was invited to participate in the Canada Day festivities at the newly renovated waterfront. The Choir joined other choirs at the Pembroke Armoury in a processional parade to the Waterfront Amphitheatre.
We began the 2000-2001 season with G.F. Handel’s Messiah, which we performed at Festival Hall on Saturday Nov. 25 and Sunday, Nov. 26, 2000 under the direction of Kevin Nieman. We were accompanied by Darlene TerMarsch, a chamber orchestra and soloists: soprano Christine Murphy, mezzo soprano Zoe Tarshis (who later married Josh Hopkins), tenor Sarkis Barsemian and bass Olivier LaQuerre.
As a new experience, choir members, Kevin and Darlene (on keyboard) donned their Santa hats and reindeer antlers to sing at centre ice for Caroling on Ice on Sunday, Dec 10, 2000 at the Petawawa Civic Centre!
Our choir president, Maurice Armstrong passed away on Dec. 28, 2000, and about 20 members of the choir sang Psalm 23 at his funeral on Dec 31, 2000 at St. Alphonsus Church, Chapeau, Quebec.
While Kevin took a break in the spring of 2001, Gerald LaRonde directed us for our “Best of the West” concert, which we performed at Festival Hall on April 29, 2001 with accompanists Jimmy Mayhew on piano, Rev. Wil Walker on harmonica and Sylvia VanderSluis on guitar.
On July 1, 2001, choir members were thrilled to celebrate with director Kevin Nieman as he married Catherine Duhamel.
On Dec 2, 2001, we presented “Christmas Exultation” at Calvin United Church. Kevin directed the Choir, accompanied by Rosemarie Gilbert on the piano and Doreen Korcok on the organ. The concert also featured Kevin’s Christ Lutheran Handbell Choir. Some choir members also performed for the Petawawa Civic Centre’s Carols on Ice in Dec. 2001.
On April 21, 2002 we gave two performances of Mozart’s Requiem; at 2:30 pm in Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Deep River and at 8:00 pm in Wesley United Church in Pembroke! We were directed by Kevin and accompanied by a chamber orchestra and Rosemarie Gilbert at the organ. The soloists were all local talent: soprano Stella Callighen, alto Debra Bosworth, tenor Sean Keels and bass John Root.
The fall of 2002 saw the choir undertake a new challenge and thrill – a Choral work created just for us by local composer, Trevor Grahl. We performed his “Alleluia” along with others in our “Christmas Alleluia” concert on Dec. 1, 2002 at St. Columbkille’s Cathedral. We were directed by Kevin and accompanied by Rosemarie Gilbert, as well as Rev. Laurie McKnight Walker (flute), Kit Coleman (string bass), Jimmy Mayhew (piano) and Gordon Tapp (trumpet).
Our spring 2003 concert was entitled “Music of the Royals”. It was a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and was performed at Calvin United Church on April 13, 2003. We were directed by Kevin and accompanied by Jimmy Mayhew on the piano and Jill Renault on the organ.
New technology was involved in our Dec 7, 2003 concert at Wesley United Church: the audience enjoyed video footage of choir members’ Christmas memories and photos while the Choir presented “Our Christmas Gift to You”! The concert was directed by Kevin, accompanied by Darlene (TerMarsch) Millar and featured a few duets by Kevin and Patricia Charette. The audience was invited to join us in the church hall afterwards for refreshments – a new tradition begun!
We performed Brahms’s Requiem, in English, in our “Music for Good Friday” concert on April 9, 2004 at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Pembroke. We were joined by soloists Stella Callighen and Sean Keels and a full orchestra. Kevin was our director and Rosemarie Gilbert was our rehearsal accompanist.
On Dec 5, 2004, we presented “A Christmas Gloria” with the Christ Lutheran Church Handbell Choir at Calvin United Church, Pembroke. The concert featured Vivaldi’s Gloria with soloists Susan Findley, Stephanie Schizkoske, Julie Pick and an Alto quartet (Jill Renault, Sylvia VanderSluis, Evelyn VanStarkenburg and Diane Wolfgram). The Choir was directed by Kevin and accompanied by Darlene (TerMarsch) Millar (piano), Doreen Korcok (organ), and Kirsten Waymann (violin) and Alison Arthur (violin).
We offered “Broadway Melodies 2005” at Festival Hall on April 17, 2005. The Choir was directed by Kevin and accompanied by Darlene (TerMarsch) Millar. The Choir broke from the traditional concert dress of white blouses for the ladies to have them decked out in colourful blouses. The audience participated in a special treat – a “Sound of Music” sing-along.
We hosted our first Sing-Along Messiah on Sat. Dec 3, 2005 at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Pembroke. On Sun. Dec 4, the Choir gave its 7th performance of Messiah at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Pembroke under Kevin’s direction and with an orchestra. The concert featured soloists: tenors Bentley Horne and Sean Keels, bass Phillip Schaus, sopranos Stephanie Schizkoske and Susan Findley, and the alto quartet.
Kevin took us back to Africa for our May 7, 2006 “African Safari” performance at Festival Hall, which featured Norman Luboff’s African Mass. We were accompanied by Darlene (TerMarsch) Millar and Jimmy Mayhew.
The fall of 2006 was especially busy for the Choir, as we participated in the Pembroke Kiwanis Club’s “The Last Night of the Proms” as well as our Christmas concert. The Proms, which celebrated the 80th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II, was held on Sat. Oct 21, 2006 in Festival Hall. The Choir was directed by Kevin, and accompanied by Darlene (TerMarsch) Millar and the Maple Leaf Band.
“Your All-Request Christmas Favourites” concert was presented on Dec 3, 2006 at Wesley United Church. Choir members were excited by the opportunity to submit their requests and we were directed by Kevin and accompanied by Darlene Millar and Jill Renault.
In the spring of 2007, we returned to a major work, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, which the Choir had last performed in 1961! We performed Elijah in the Pembroke Pentecostal Tabernacle under Kevin’s direction on Good Friday, April 6, 2007 with an orchestra and Darlene TerMarsch accompanying us. Baritone Michael Meraw sang the part of Elijah and other soloists were Stephanie Schizkoske, Linda Clark, Jill Wright, William Graham, Bentley Horne and Maria Merredew. The concert also featured an Octet choir and the alto quartet.
In the fall of 2007, we also prepared for two performances. On Sunday, Nov 11, 2007, we presented “Salute to Remembrance Day with Us” at Calvin United Church. The concert featured Faure’s Requiem, In Flanders Fields and a violin solo by Kirsten Waymann (directed by Kevin, accompanied by Darlene TerMarsch). Soloists were soprano Rena Detlefsen and baritone Kevin Nieman.
“A Classic Christmas Celebration” was presented by the Choir in Wesley United Church on Dec 9, 2007. The concert was directed by Kevin, accompanied by Darlene TerMarsch and featured performances by Patricia Charette, Sean Keels, Linda Clark, Maureen Havey, Anna Grace Wilson and the Alto Six (Pam McNeil, Jill Renault, Michelle Smith, Sylvia VanderSluis, Evelyn VanStarkenburg and Diane Wolfgram).
In 2008, the choir reached its 50th Anniversary. We celebrated over the next two years, because the while the choir was commissioned in January 1958 for Pembroke’s Centennial celebrations, the Pembroke Community Choir Committee first met in March 1959!
The celebration began with Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus, which was performed with an orchestra on May 24, 2008 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. It was directed by Kevin, accompanied by Darlene TerMarsch and featured soloists Jeremy Carver-James and David Lafleur.
Our Concert Chair Extraordinaire, Bentley Horne, was honoured by the community with a 2008 Volunteer Service Award for his years of dedicated service to the Choir. The award was presented to Bentley by Renfrew County MPP John Yakabuski during a ceremony on June 4, 2008. Bentley’s wife Nancy, Choir Director Kevin Nieman and Choir President Janet Pearson were there to cheer him on.
We practiced in the fall of 2008 for our “50th Anniversary Concert” which was planned for Dec 7, 2008. Unfortunately, the concert had to be cancelled at the last minute due to the sudden illness of our director Kevin Nieman. Choir members and ticket purchasers alike were very disappointed but everyone was greatly relieved that Kevin recovered and was able to direct us for the 2009 Spring session.
Continuing with our 50th anniversary celebrations, the Choir performed G.F. Handel’s Messiah on Good Friday, April 10, 2009. It was the Choir’s 8th performance of Messiah and was directed by Kevin, accompanied by Darlene TerMarsch and an orchestra and featured soloists (Stephanie Schizkoske, Sean Keels, Kevin Nieman, and Robert Lauder) and the alto quartet.
On Saturday, May 23, 2009, 150 current and past Choir members gathered together at the Petawawa Legion Hall for the 50th Anniversary Banquet. The Committee, chaired by Bill and Paulette Bromilow, hosted a wonderful evening with an excellent dinner, celebratory cake, memorabilia, entertainment and loads of fun!
Another special event in which the Choir participated was the lighting of the Olympic Torch at the Pembroke Waterfront. The Olympic Torch came through Pembroke on Dec 13, 2009 as part of its cross-Canada tour before the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games. The Choir was ‘auditioned’ via our website concert samplings. We sang the official torch song “There’s a Light/Cette Flamme” at the Waterfront under the direction of Gerald LaRonde. We wore our red scarves and white fleece hats with the PCC logo for the first time.
On Dec 6, 2009, we were finally able to present our 50th Anniversary Christmas Concert at Wesley United Church. The concert was accompanied by Darlene TerMarsch (piano), Jill Renault (organ), Gordon Tapp (trumpet) and Dale Hopkins (percussion) and featured soloists Stephanie Schizkoske and Dan Kletke and an ensemble which included Linda Clark, Stephanie Schizkoske Jill Renault, Sylvia VanderSluis, Maureen Havey and Anna Grace Wilson. It was Kevin Nieman’s last concert with us as our director after 26 years of energetic, enthusiastic leadership! At the conclusion of the concert, Kevin was honoured by the President, Janet Pearson, and was presented with a plaque for over 25 years of introducing us to the joys of choral singing.
Deep River high school music teacher, Juanita Kennedy, took over the reins as our Choir director in January, 2010. With her own brand of warmth, humour and energy, Juanita took on the challenge of working with a choir that was used to Kevin’s way of doing things! Juanita introduced us to new and different forms of choral music and, while it was hard at first, we learned to love it! Wearing our country’s colours of white and red (scarves), we presented “Canadian Rhapsody” on May 2, 2010 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, with Darlene TerMarsch accompanying us. The concert featured soloist Stephanie Schizkoske and Lloyd Koch and various instruments.
On Dec 5, 2010, Juanita directed the Choir’s presentation of “A Christmas Garland” at Calvin United Church. We were accompanied by Darlene TerMarsch, guitarist Anthony Ridi and percussionist Owen Stanton-Kennedy.
Senior Nuns’ Chorus
In the spring of 2011, some choir members had the privilege of joining Fellowes High School students in the school’s production of the beloved “Sound of Music”. Performing as ‘senior’ nuns were Barb Austen, Margit Dehnicke-Templeton, Lynne Epps, Julie Pick, Jill Renault, Margaret Thuemen, Sylvia VanderSluis, Hazel Ward-Moreau, and Anna Grace Wilson.
The Choir invited everyone to “Come to the Water”, our April 10, 2011 concert at Festival Hall. The Choir was directed by Juanita Kennedy and accompanied by Darlene TerMarsch. The concert featured soloist Stephanie Schizkoske, an ensemble (Patricia Charette, Anna Grace Wilson, Jill Renault, Diane Wolfgram, Bentley Horne, Chris Thuemen and Ralph Wilson), a solo by cellist Marion Arthur and various instruments.
On Saturday, Nov 26, 2011, Gerald LaRonde and 16 choir members braved the cold to sing Christmas Carols at the Pembroke Cenotaph before the Christmas Parade of Lights started. As the Parade got to that location, the choir jumped into the parade to walk and sing along the parade route to Festival Hall. Choir members sported our red scarves and jaunty white fleece hats.
Gerald LaRonde undertook the job of directing the choir for the Dec 4, 2011 concert entitled “The Glory of Christmas”. The concert at Wesley United church featured Vivaldi’s Gloria, soloists Darlene TerMarsch, Amy Frew, Linda Clark and Evelyn VanStarkenburg, a small orchestra and Robert Patterson on the drums.
The Pembroke Symphony Orchestra invited the Choir to join with them in their 20th Anniversary Concert for the Spring of 2012. Gerald LaRonde was our rehearsal director and Jamie Loback, (Pembroke native and director of the Ottawa Catholic School Board Chamber Choir and Director of Music at St. Joseph’s Parish, Ottawa) was the guest conductor for the Choir and symphony’s performance of F.J. Haydn’s Libretto Missa in Angustiis, also known as the Lord Nelson Mass. The “Spring Fling” concert took place on April 15, 2012 at Festival Hall. The mass featured soloists Kathleen Radke, Whitney O’Hearn, Jeff Boyd and Christopher Mallory.
On Nov 24, 2012, about 16 choir members entertained Pembroke Parade of Lights watchers with carol singing at the Pembroke Cenotaph. The group joined the parade, pushing a cart containing a CD player, and singing songs in keeping with the Caribbean Christmas parade theme. Despite technical difficulties with a too-cold CD player, they kept on marching and singing! Our 2012 “Christmas on Broadway” concert was held on Sunday, Dec. 2 at Calvin United Church. The concert featured a “White Christmas” collection of Irving Berlin songs.
In the spring of 2013, Gerald LaRonde directed the choir in Karl Jenkins’ exciting work “The Armed Man – a Mass for Peace”. The concert featured soloist Stephanie Schizkoske, 20 orchestra members, accompanist Darlene TerMarsch and special guest, Muezzin Abdollah Vakily from Cornwall, ON. The fall of 2013 included a few exciting firsts for the Pembroke Community Choir. Choir members manned a booth to raise our profile in the community at the Fall Showcase which was held at the Petawawa Civic Centre from Sep 13-15. Approximately 35 choir members created a Flash Mob at the Germania Club’s Christkindlmarkt on Nov 30. It was tons of fun and very well received! A group of 6 choir members enhanced the Petawawa Library Christmas Open House on Dec 7, by singing carols in the library foyer.
Our “Classical Christmas” concert on Dec 1, 2013 at Wesley United Church featured works by Vivaldi, Rutter, Handel, Bach and even his cousin P.D.Q.! During the reception after the concert, choir president Marie Zettler presented Bentley Horne with a framed plaque and Life Membership in appreciation for his 25+ years of service to the choir as a member of the tenor section, Concert Chair, and President; and for his beautiful work designing and printing concert materials, and recording performances. Thank you Bentley!
In the spring of 2014, we had a lot of fun preparing for our “Gospel Jubilee” concert which we presented at Our Lady of Lourdes Church on Sunday, April 13. We were privileged to share our favourite numbers from this concert with the residents of Miramichi Lodge and Marianhill on Sunday June 1 and again on Saturday, June 7 at Grace Lutheran Church in Eganville as part of the two-concert “Festival of Choirs”. This event was hosted by the Ottawa Valley Music Festival and also featured the Deep River Choral Society and the Mackenzie Secondary School Choir of Deep River. Following performances at the Christkindlmarkt and Parade of Lights, our fall 2014 concert was “A Traditional Christmas”.
Bentley Horne created a YouTube channel for excerpts of our recent concerts, including Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man. It was noticed by Distinguished Concerts of New York, who invited us to perform the North American premiere of Jenkins’ beautiful work “The Peacemakers” at Carnegie Hall, as part of an international mass choir. Twenty of our members made the trip in January 2015, and were the only Canadian participants. To follow up on our New York debut, we ordered shirts with “New York” in glitter and in April performed “Pembroke to Broadway”. This was our first concert in all-black. We gave preview shows at Marianhill and Miramichi Lodge, as well as a flash mob at the Pembroke Mall. In the fall, we entertained the Parade crowds, then performed music of Advent.
We saluted the Academy Awards in the Spring of 2016 with “Oscar through the years!” which featured award-winning songs from 1933 to 2013 and a Disney extravaganza. Residents at Marianhill and Miramichi got a sneak preview. The December 2016 concert featured Christmas Choruses from major works, as well as Vaughn Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols with guest soloist (and former director for 25 years) Kevin Nieman. We also entered a float in the Parade of Lights for the first time. The parade theme was a Charlie Brown Christmas; we sang excerpts from the movie and won the Mayor’s Award!