Le Chœur des enfants de Montréal celebratory concert

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This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

On June 12, CEM (Chœur des enfants de Montréal) will celebrate its 20th anniversary at Maison symphonique in Place des Arts. What was supposed to be a major celebration after two years of a pandemic has turned into a tribute for Iwan Edwards, the choir’s founder and director emeritus who died suddenly on March 4. He was supposed to be the honoured guest during this memorable afternoon. “We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Maestro Edwards. We’ll take this opportunity to pay tribute to him, dedicate a special piece to him, and show our appreciation for his creating a choir that provides a high-level musical education for youth. We would have loved for him to be with us, but he left us too soon,” Léa Moisan-Perrier, CEM conductor, said emotionally. An accessible musical education is a key value for CEM, leading it to forge a partnership with Share the Warmth, a non-profit organization in Montreal’s Pointe-Saint-Charles neighbourhood. Share the Warmth has implemented a program similar to El Sistema that encourages youth in underprivileged communities to show their potential through music. Le CEM chante ses 20 ans [CEM: Celebrating 20 years in song] will be the first concert that will see Share the Warmth choristers share the stage with CEM in front of a live audience. Owing to health measures, the concert in December 2021 was held behind closed doors. “This partnership aims to build social diversity; the CEM choirs are divided into two rehearsal venues, but they sing together at the concert,” said Moisan-Perrier.

CEM has a beginner, preparatory, junior, senior, and concert choir. Share the Warmth places more emphasis on children in primary school. Through a scholarship program, the partnership between CEM and Share the Warmth will enable youth to complete the program, join the senior and concert choirs, and continue their musical training.

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The June 12 concert will feature works from all backgrounds. “I enjoy organizing programs carefully. I chose pieces that represent us for this concert. Though CEM is a traditionally classical choir, it presents a wide variety of repertoire. I chose festive pieces and pieces with appealing subject matter for children, such as friendship and imagination,” said Moisan-Perrier. The concert will include works by composers such as Witold Lutosławski, Fauré, Dvořák, and Debussy, as well as Canadian composers such as Srul Irving Glick, Imant Raminsh, and Jeanne Laforest. Choristers will sing most pieces in the original language, including Polish, Japanese, and Swedish.

A chamber orchestra of 15 musicians will join the CEM’s 130 choristers for this celebration concert.

Le CEM chante ses 20 ans, June 12, 2022, 3 p.m., at Maison symphonique, Place des Arts.


Translation by Dwain Richardson

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)


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