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'Everything we hoped': Renowned choir celebrates 50 years of music

Algoma Festival Choir joined choral groups from Korah Collegiate and Tarentorus Public School for empowering performance at Machine Shop to recognize historic occasion

It was a performance for the local choir history books. 

The Algoma Festival Choir celebrated their 50th anniversary on Friday by joining in song with choral groups from Korah Collegiate and Tarentorus Public School at the Machine Shop.

Entitled “Sing! Sing! Sing!” nearly 100 singers across the trio of choirs combined for a number of empowering songs, including We Rise Again and ABBA’s Thank You For The Music.

"It was everything we hoped," said choir member Helen Pereira. "The audience loved hearing and seeing young people — their songs, their voices, their optimism. It was a fabulous concert. The future looks good."

With a storied history in Sault Ste. Marie, the Algoma Festival Choir was born from the Algoma Fall Festival and became established in 1974. The group performed with the festival for two years before becoming completely independent.

Fifty years on, choir president Karen Kettles said Friday's special performance is all about looking ahead to a bright future of young singers. 

"We look to the youth and tell them that singing doesn’t have to stop when you leave high school," she said. "There are community choirs you can join, and here we are. It’s about moving it forward.”

During the evening, attendees learned that Karen Nisbet was commissioned by the Festival Board to do a painting of Stephen Mallinger, the long-time choir director who is celebrating a 30-year milestone of his own. 

"It was an honour to do this," she said. 

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Alex Flood

About the Author: Alex Flood

Alex is a recent graduate from the College of Sports Media where he discovered his passion for reporting and broadcasting
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