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It was thrilling to sing for such an appreciative audience at our last concert, and we can’t wait to do it again. Join us on Monday, December 18 at Emmanuel United Church in Peterborough for the choir’s annual performance of Handel’s Messiah. The vocal soloists and instrumentalists are brimming with talent as are the (spoiler alert!) young guest singers making an appearance. Get your tickets on our tickets page or through one of the outlets mentioned below. Meanwhile, meet this year’s vocal soloists:

Lesley Bouza, Soprano
Lesley studied saxophone at the University of Guelph then went on to study voice at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama before returning to Canada to become an active Toronto-based musician. Her eclectic musical skill-set includes jazz, pop, musical theatre and classical. Career highlights include Lesley Sings Joni, a Joni Mitchell tribute concert at the 2018 Elora Festival, Steve Reich at 80 with Soundstreams, Dido and Aeneas at Carnegie Hall with Les Violons du Roy and a tour of Taiwan as a member of the Swingle Singers. Lesley is also an accredited music therapist.

Lillian Brooks, Mezzo Soprano
Lillian made her professional debut in 2015 singing Mozart’s Requiem with Chorus Niagara, under the baton of Robert Cooper. Her love of oratorio and concert works has continued to grow, as she has performed as a soloist in repertoire such as Handel’s Messiah and Dixit Dominus, Bach’s St John Passion and St Matthew Passion, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Durufle’s Requiem, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, and the Canadian premieres of both Last Light Above the World by Alan Bevan and The Cross of Christ by Romulo Delgado. Equally at home on the operatic stage, her past roles include Bradamante in Alcina, Annio in La clemenza di Tito, Third Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Flora in La Traviata, and Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro.

Joshua Wales, Tenor
Joshua holds a degree in voice performance from McGill University, with further training at the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute and Orford Arts Centre. Recent highlights include several seasons in the Canadian Opera Company chorus and Against the Grain Theatre’s staged production of Handel’s Messiah. On the oratorio stage, he was the tenor soloist in Mozart’s Requiem (Grand River Chorus), Handel’s Athalia (Victoria Conservatory), Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (Corktown Orchestra), and Messiah (Grand River Chorus, Arcady Baroque Ensemble.) Past opera credits include the title role in Charpentier’s Orphee, Anthony in Sweeney Todd, and Spirit of the Masque in Britten’s Gloriana. Joshua has an MD from McMaster University and is a palliative care physician in Toronto.

Graham Robinson, Bass
Graham Robinson is a sought-after interpreter of song, oratorio, and opera. Recent performances include Handel’s Messiah and J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion with the Cellar Singers, Corydon in Purcell’s The Fairy Queen with Confluence Concerts, and the Evangelist Quartet in Pärt’s Passio with The Elora Singers. Graham holds an undergraduate degree in music from the University of Victoria and a master’s degree in Vocal Pedagogy from the University of Toronto. Through Tafelmusik’s Summer Baroque Institute, Graham can be found singing regularly with Tafelmusik Baroque Chamber Choir, The Elora Singers, the Elmer Iseler Singers, and Soundstreams Choir 21, with whom he has participated in Juno winning and nominated recordings. Graham is a founding member of both the Aspirare Vocal Collective and Toronto’s Trinity Bach Project.

Full soloist biographies can be found on the concert page.

Concert Sponsor

The Peterborough Singers are conducted by Artistic Director Syd Birrell and will be accompanied by Ian Sadler at the pipe organ; trumpeters Paul Otway and Douglas Sutherland; timpanist Stan Ewing and The Peterborough Children’s Chorus directed by Julie Deck and Anna Eidt.

When: Monday, December 18, 7 p.m.
Where: Emmanuel United Church, 534 George St N, Peterborough, ON
Tickets: $40 general admission; $10 students. Available through the tickets page and the following:

Pammett’s Flower Shop
Ashburnham Foot & Ankle Centre
Happenstance Books & Yarns (Lakefield)

This concert is presented in memory of Peterborough Singers’ founding member and long-time chorister Walter Downes. You’ll find a tribute to Walter on our website: Walter Downes: A Life in Music.

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