The Annapolis Valley Honour Choir
The mandate of the Annapolis Valley Honour Choir (AVHC) is to deliver a complete choral education that nurtures healthy, developing voices and musical excellence leading to a community of thoughtful young musicians and engaged citizens sharing a lifetime love of singing. It exists to enrich the artistic lives of its members, their families, and their communities. The 2018-19 year marked the choir’s 30th Anniversary. There are currently 120 auditioned choristers from Grades 5-12 in two choirs from across the Annapolis Valley.
Singers receive a well-rounded choral education focused on healthy vocal development and musicianship skills. This education includes a full musical-literacy (theory and aural skills) program, as well as a partnership with the Acadia University School of Music where Acadia students work with our singers.
As the choir provides a powerful means for young choral musicians to express themselves, repertoire is chosen with great consideration, especially for text and message. Programming includes music by classical and contemporary composers, across a variety of genres, styles and time periods, music by local artists, Nova Scotians, Canadians and from cultures around the world.
The AVHC promotes healthy emotional and social development by providing opportunities for leadership, community involvement, and volunteerism. This includes a Chorister Apprenticeship Program that provides mentoring experience to selected members of our Senior Choir. Working with the Junior Choir each week, the apprentices are an integral part of the musical and caregiving team and serve as positive role models for the younger choristers.
The choirs present at least two full-length concerts each season and perform at community events throughout the region. Choir outreach has raised money for, and understanding about, a variety of community projects. For example, last year the choir hosted “Shall We Dream”, a weekend of workshops and concerts on music as a means of cultural understanding, facilitated by guest artists from Toronto. In 2015, the choirs presented a concert with “VOX: A Choir for Social Change” to raise money for the “Don’t Be Afraid” campaign against homophobia - a program that provides assistance and education to LGTBQ youth within the Valley community.
The choir also takes part in the Annapolis Valley Music Festival and other festivals in Nova Scotia. They have won their classes at both the local and provincial level and have been sent to represent Nova Scotia at the National Music Festival on numerous occasions – most recently in 2018.
The AVHC’s mandate gives high priority to developing a worldly musical education and valuable life experiences. Accordingly, the choirs travel every two to three years, both within Canada and abroad. In 2019 the Senior Choir will be touring to Portugal and Spain. In 2016 the Senior Choir participated in a cultural exchange to Cuba and in 2015, the Junior Choir completed a government-funded Experiences Canada Exchange with Coastal Sound Children’s Choir, travelling to Vancouver BC. Destinations of previous trips have included Budapest, Vienna, and Venice (2013), Paris and Prague (2008), Barcelona (2003), Germany and Austria (1998), and Great Britain (1993).