Bytown Voices spring concert features songs of home

Photo: Bytown Voices, a multi-generational choir, performing at their Christmas 2023 concert conducted by Joan Fearnley.

Photo: Howard Sandler


By Mary Forster


The Bytown Voices choir invites you to attend their spring concert entitled Home: Songs of Belonging, Land and Connection. Please join us at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 28 at Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Lisgar Street.

The choir performs under the direction of Joan Fearnley with accompanist Carla Klassen. Fearnley has directed the choir for eight years and brings with her many years of leadership including time with both the women’s and children’s choirs of the Notre Dame Basilica in Lowertown along with a noted career as a soprano soloist.

Among the featured songs will be Canadian classics like “Un Canadien errant” and Gilles Vigneault’s “Mon pays.” Songs celebrating the rivers of Canada and Georgian Bay will be performed along with a very special premiere of the song “Home to Africville” composed by local musician and teacher Lyndsey E. Bolden to remember the sadly displaced and vibrant black community of Halifax. A bluegrass band will accompany a suite of songs entitled “Dear Appalachia,” while another beautiful trio of songs celebrates Emily Carr and the divinity she found in the pulse of nature. This celebration of nature and relationship can also be found in “She is the Woman who Sang me the Birds” with music by Indigenous composer Beverly McKiver and words by poet Wendy Duschenes.

Bytown Voices is a “no-audition-necessary” choir of mixed voices – soprano, alto, tenor and bass. Children aged 9 and up are eligible for membership too, making the BV a true community choir. We encourage parents to join with their children. And we are especially interested in tenor and bass voices – we need your participation! No previous choir experience is necessary, and members benefit from many online learning supports in a nurturing environment. The Bytown Voices choir practises at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday nights at St. Basil’s Church on Maitland just north of the Queensway. Registration for this fall will begin in August. Check our website,, in late summer for more information on repertoire and starting dates.

Tickets for the concert will go on sale March 15 at our website, Adult admission is $20, children 12 and under are FREE. Free parking is available on the street and for $2 at the nearby City Hall lot, entrance on Laurier Avenue.


Mary Forster has sung with the Bytown Voices for four years. She strongly encourages anyone who loves music and singing to try them out. It’s a fine choir with a supportive ethic.

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