Eastman Choral Association

The Eastman Choral Association is 30 years strong! A non-profit organization founded in 1988 to enhance and promote the growth of choral activities in Manitoba’s Eastman Region, it is one of six regional affiliates of the Manitoba Choral Association committed to preserving and promoting Manitoba's strong choral tradition. 
EMCA is an energetic and busy organization, presenting five key programs annually. The fall season brings the regional School Choral Workshop, consisting of four choirs and accommodating more than 400 singers from all corners of the Eastman region. The Eastman Youth Choir is also a vibrant bunch, rehearsing through two fast-paced weekends in the fall, followed by a never-to-be-forgotten regional tour. The annual Peace Concert, the Easter Sunrise Service and Sunday evening Vespers services provide opportunities for community members who love to sing with and for each other. Additional to the natural incentive to participate is the appeal of working with exceptional choral conductors from this province and beyond. 
EMCA was pleased to welcome a new choir in its 2018/19 season. The Exaudi Chamber Choir is directed by David Sawatzky, Associate Professor of Music at Providence University College. For information on how to join this choir, please contact eastmansings@gmail.com.
EMCA will hold its annual general meeting on Saturday, June 22, 2 pm at the Jake Epp Public Library, Steinbach.

Board of Directors

President: Meredith Hutchinson
Vice President: David Sawatzky
Past President: Shannon Sawatzky
Secretary: Kim Bestvater Sidorchuk
Treasurer: Kathy Bergen
MCA Representative: Michael Dueck
Social Media: Candace Hamm
Eastman Youth Choir: Shannon Sawatzky, Leanne Warkentin
Choral Society: David Sawatzky
School Workshop: Kim Gordon, Meredith Hutchinson
Vespers Contact: Jen Wiebe Penner

Members at large: Nathaniel De Avila (Eastman Male Choir rep.), Albert Bergen, Gabriella Gallo (School/Community rep.), Jenna Patterson, Lindsay Patram (Accent rep.), Chris Plett, Gina Reimer, Susan Simcoe

A VIbrant new season: 2018-19


November 11: The ECS annual Sing For Peace concert was well attended and wonderfully received. The event took place at Steinbach Mennonite Church, and all four choirs report a terrific experience. These included The Eastman Choral Society, Eastman Male Choir, the newly-minted Exaudi Chamber Choir and the Grade 4 Choir from Mitchell. A collection was held, with proceeds going to the local Steinbach Community Outreach.

Exaudi Chamber Choir at  Sing for Peace , conducted by David Sawatzky.

Exaudi Chamber Choir at Sing for Peace, conducted by David Sawatzky.

The ECS annual  Sunrise Service took place on April 21, 7:00 am at Grace Mennonite Church, Nathaniel de Avila conducting. The choir was joined by the Winnipeg Brass, Kim Sidorchuk on piano, and Lin Wiebe at the organ. Always a wonderful event, anyone interested in joining can let it be known at eastmansings@gmail.com.

EMCA Presents:

EMCA embarked on the first venture of their Presentation Series on Dec. 9 at the Mennonite Heritage, bringing in Canzona, Manitoba’s professional Baroque choir, directed by
Kathleen Allan. Their performance of J.S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio was accompanied by the Pacific Baroque Orchestra on period instruments. Soloists were Tracy Dahl, soprano; Vicki St. Pierre, alto; Dann Coakwell; Tyler Duncan, bass. Hear the choir and orchestra in the majestic opening chorus here.

On Saturday, April 6, EMCA presented Concert #2, a superb performance of Handel's Messiah, with David Sawatzky conducting. It took place at Grace Mennonite Church, Steinbach, MB.
The Eastman Choral Society was joined by the Providence University Singers, an orchestra, and soloists Jessica Kos-Wicher, soprano; Laurelle Czaplinski, mezzo; Justin Odwak, tenor, and David Klassen, baritone. Stay tuned for more great and exciting events!

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Vespers Choir

The Vespers Choir is comprised of singers from the Eastman region who accept the invitation to participate in six Sunday evening services per year, held at the Mennonite Heritage Village, Steinbach at 7 pm. Each inspirational  service is held under the direction of a different conductor. The choir also provides music for the annual Sunday Saengerfest during Pioneer Days on the August long weekend. Conductors this season were David Sawatzky (Sept. 30), Michael Dueck (Nov. 4), Lin Wiebe (Dec. 2), Nathaniel De Avila (Feb. 3), David Klassen (March 3), and Eric Marshall (April 7).

Accent- Meredith Hutchinson, conductor

Accent is a women’s ensemble, ages 18+, based in Steinbach, Manitoba. They strive for a strong, unified sound, while remaining dedicated to the enjoyment derived from singing together. Their wish is to be accessible to the ears of their audiences, local and beyond, and to provide them with entertaining and polished performances, filled with a variety of musical genres. Their pianist is Annalee Schellenberg. Accent is proud to be a partner with the Steinbach Arts Centre. Their annual winter concert takes place in December. Accent wrapped up their season with their Spring Series Concert June 9 with an eclectic program performed in the new outdoor Summer Pavilion on the Mennonite Heritage Village Museum grounds.

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Eastman Youth Choir

Eastman Youth Choir 2018

Eastman Youth Choir 2018

The Eastman Youth Choir is headed for its 30th year, and looks forward to singing with conductor Cynthia Peyson Wahl and pianist Kim Sidorchuk. Visit their website for application information, as well as to peruse all the fabulous fun they’ve had in past years. 

EMYC in concert

EMYC in concert

EMYC at the Legislative Bldg, Winnipeg

EMYC at the Legislative Bldg, Winnipeg

Eastman Male Choir - Nathaniel De Avila, conductor

The Eastman Male Choir, in its third decade of existence, is comprised of men from all walks of life. They sing in numerous area church services, for care homes, and are known for attracting huge and appreciative audiences in fundraising concerts, most recently in two events with the Winkler Community Male Choir in support of the work of Eden Health Care Services. These were held on April 28 at Winkler Mennonite Church and on May 5 at Steinbach Mennonite Church. On May 30, the men sang an Ascension Day service at McIver Mennonite Church, Winnipeg, and on June 9 they performed for the residents of Concordia Village, also in Winnipeg.
Then, on June 5th, this choir hosted Didgori, a phenomenal men’s choral ensemble from the Republic of Georgia who specialize in traditional Georgian folk-singing and chant. Former Steinbach resident and Georgian ethnomusicologist Matthew Knight helped facilitate this visit to Manitoba, which is a first for the ensemble (and over 30 years since they last toured Canada). The gorgeous acoustics of the Mennonite Heritage Village Museum auditorium were used to full effect with the incredible power and resonance that came from these six singers!

Eastman Male Choir

Eastman Male Choir

That time when Elvis was in the building!

That time when Elvis was in the building!

Annual School Workshop 2018

The annual Eastman School Workshop took place on Friday, October 12, 2018, at the Emmanuel Evangelical Free Church in Steinbach. 300 enthusiastic singers rehearsed through the day, then performed for a full house at 6:00 pm. New to this year’s workshop was the addition of a mass choir piece, in which all singers participated. What a moment! The evening was topped off by a rousing performance by the Eastman Youth Choir. This year's clinicians were:
Grade 5 - Katie Schroeder, with pianist Mary Lou Manke
Grade 6 - Albert Bergen, with pianist Jane Duerksen
Grades 7/8 - Gabriella Gallo, with pianist Colleen Koop
Grades 9-12 - Rob Monson, with pianist Kim Bestvater-Sidorchuk

Mass Choir in “We Will Come Back Home”.