The Eastman Choral Association is 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.
Board of Directors
President: Meredith Hutchinson
Vice President: David Sawatzky
Past President: Shannon Sawatzky
Secretary: Kim Bestvater Sidorchuk
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, Albert Bergen, Gabriella Gallo, Jenna Patterson, Lindsay Patram, Chris Plett, Susan Simcoe
Looking forward to 2018
Eastman Youth Choir
EMYC is enthused to welcome Rob Monson as conductor for 2018. Rehearsal camps take place Sept. 14-16 and Sept. 28-30. Tour dates are Oct. 11-14. Visit their website for information on how to apply, dates to mark on your calendar, as well as to peruse all the fabulous fun they’ve had in past years.
The Vespers Choir is comprised of singers from the Eastman region who accept the invitation to participate in five Sunday evening services per year, held at the Mennonite Heritage Village, Steinbach. Each service is held under the direction of a different conductor. They also provide music for the annual Sunday Saengerfest during Pioneer Days on the August long weekend. The past year featured conductors Jorge Hidalgo, Rudy Schellenberg, Leona Hildebrand, Lin Wiebe, Michael Dueck, and Carrie Schellenberg Wilson.
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.
Annual School Workshop
The annual School Workshop will take place on Friday, October 12. Details TBA.
In other news
As usual, there is much choral activity in our region that operates under the aegis of other organizations, our schools, our churches and our vibrant arts council, that are worthy of noting here.
- The Hanover Holiday Singers (students from New Bothwell School) were featured alongside the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra as they made their annual visit to Steinbach during their Holiday Pops tour on December 5, 2017.
- The SRSS Chamber Choir, conducted by Kristel Peters, recently returned from a showcase concert at the Rocky Mountain Music Festival in Banff.
- The Eastman Male Choir, in its third decade of existence, is newly under the leadership of Nathaniel De Avila. The choir is comprised of 50 men from all walks of life, and they sing in various church services, for care homes, and are known for attracting huge and appreciative audiences in fundraising concerts. Warning: If you’re attending an Eastman Male Choir concert, come early!