Eastman Choral Association
The Eastman Choral Association is 31 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 is proud to lift up their newest groups, Exaudi Chamber Choir directed by David Sawatzky, and the re-launched Steinbach Youth Chorus directed by Gabriella Gallo.
For information on choirs, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
Eastman Youth Choir: Shannon Sawatzky, Makayla Patenaude
Eastman Community Choir: Nathan Dyck, Loren Koehler, Lin Wiebe
School Workshop: Kim Gordon, Meredith Hutchinson
Vespers Contact: Emmy Friesen
Members at large: Albert Bergen, Nathaniel De Avila (Eastman Male Choir rep.), Michael Dueck, Gabriella Gallo (School/Community rep.)
Eastman Youth Choir
The Eastman Youth Choir is headed for its 30th year, and looks forward to singing with conductor Brittany Mielnichuk and pianist Kim Sidorchuk. Visit their website for information, as well as to peruse all the fabulous fun they’ve had in past years.
EXAUDI CHAMBER CHOIR
Exaudi Chamber Choir is a 16-voice ensemble founded in 2018 by Dr. David Sawatzky for the EMCA Peace Concert. The choir was formed out of a desire to create compelling musical experiences for singers and audiences and to further the visibility and influence of quality choral music in rural Manitoba. In 2019-20, the choir will be embarking on its first full season of performances planned for both Steinbach and Winnipeg, and is thrilled to begin their season by performing the sounds of the European Romantic era, with works by Mendelssohn, Brahms, Reger and others. The music of this period is rich with harmonic inventiveness and emotional intensity.
The choir’s first concert, The Romantics, took place at the Mennonite Heritage Village in Steinbach on October 5th.
See Exaudi’s full concert season here and signup for their bimonthly newsletter to stay informed of important updates.
Eastman community choir
Peace Concert - November 10, 2019 at Steinbach Mennonite Church
Easter Sunrise Service - April 12, 2020 at Grace Mennonite Church, 7:00am
These annual events are highly anticipated by community singers and their audiences. Last season’s November Peace Concert included four local choirs, with a mass performance led by David Sawatzky. The Sunrise Service on Easter Sunday was conducted by Nathaniel de Avila joined by the Winnipeg Brass, Kim Sidorchuk on piano, and Lin Wiebe at the organ.
The choir is open to all; information and updates are posted regularly on EMCA’s Facebook page. Interested singers can also email email@example.com.
Last year EMCA embarked on the first venture of their Presentation Series, 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.
Then, last April, 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 in the new season!
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. The dates are set for the new season: October 6 (with conductor Lin Wiebe), November 3, December 1, February 2, March 1 and April 5.
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 concerts take place at the Mennonite Heritage Village Museum in January and June. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annual School Workshop 2019
The annual Eastman School Workshop will take place on Friday, October 18, 2019, at the Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Steinbach. Approximately 300 enthusiastic singers rehearse through the day, then perform for full houses in two concerts that include the Eastman Youth Choir.
The Grade 5&6 workshop choirs perform at 4:30, led by conductors Albert Bergen (Grade 5) Sara Clefstad (Grade 6).
The Grade 7-12 choirs perform at 6:30, directed by Johanna Hildebrand (Grade 7/8) and Rob Monson (Grade 9-12).
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!