The Canadian Celtic Choirwww.celticchoir.ca/
Now in its 23rd season, the Canadian Celtic Choir is a London-based SATB choir of more than fifty voices that was founded in 1996 to sing and promote Celtic choral music and culture in Southwestern Ontario. The CCC has built a solid reputation as one of the most in demand choirs in this area. Since 2010 we have been led by conductor William “Bill” Zadorsky and accompanied by Jean Willadsen on piano. Our vocal coach, alternate conductor and emcee is Paul Grambo.
The Canadian Celtic Choir won the Best Classical Vocal Group category of the London Music Awards in both 2008, 2009, and 2010. In 2010 the CCC was inducted into the London Music Awards Hall of Fame. In 2012 we were nominated for the Most Popular Classical Choir at the 2012 Forest City London Music Awards and won the award in 2015. Also, we received the Mayor’s Award from the City of London for our cultural contributions.
The CCC’s repertoire features songs primarily from Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, and the Canadian Maritimes ranging from the traditional to the more contemporary. Recently we have commissioned exclusive arrangements of fifteen songs by London’s own Jeff Christmas including iconic compositions such as “Pier 21” by John Wort Hannam, “Christmas in the Trenches” by John McCutcheon, and “Sonny’s Dream” by the late Ron Hynes.
The CCC has performed at the Canada Summer Games, Windsor Celtic Festival, Goderich Celtic Roots Festival, Owen Sound Celtic Festival, Fergus Highland Games, Home County Music & Art Festival (London, ON), Canterbury Folk Festival (Ingersoll), Fieldcote Summer Music Series (Ancaster), Lighthouse Theatre (Port Dover), Wolf Performance Hall (London, ON), and several times with Orchestra London Canada (now known as London Symphonia). We have performed with the Men of The Deeps, The Irish Descendants, John McDermott, Lighthouse, Denise Pelley, Jeans ‘n’ Classics, and John Tesh.
In March 2008, the choir travelled to Maui, Hawaii for our first international tour. In July 2014, the choir toured Scotland and England for 10 days singing in historic venues such as Stirling Castle, St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, the Robert Burns Museum in Ayr, and at the Church of the Holy Trinity, Stratford-upon-Avon where Shakespeare is buried. In June of 2017 the choir toured the Canadian Maritimes with stops in Moncton, Norton, Charlottetown, Cornwall, Baddeck and Halifax (where we sang the National Anthem for the Citizenship Ceremonies at Pier 21 on Canada Day). Our next tour is planned for 2020 when we will visit Ireland.
Matthew Byrne is a traditional singer, storyteller, and guitar player with a repertoire shaped by his musical upbringing. He supports his tradition with powerful vocals, polished guitar work, and a presence that fills the room. With parents who were both singers and song collectors, and a strong family focus on sharing songs, Byrne has inherited a unique repertoire as well as a fascination with unearthing and reimagining traditional songs. “I’m not a folklorist or ethnomusicologist, at least not officially. And I’m not a purist. I’ve poured over the nuances of the pub standards as much as the obscure murder balladry. What attracts me to a traditional song is the right combination of melody and language, both of which have always fascinated me.” But Byrne is also student of history who’s love of traditional music goes well beyond the words and music. For him, songs are ways of understanding people before him…their lives, work, language, and worldview. “I see songs as sources of the past – windows into my own family history. Traditional music has always been the most important tool for me to understand where I come from and who I am. My live performance is meant to bring audiences on a journey through the lineage of my repertoire and share what these songs have revealed to me.”
Matthew is currently supporting his newest release, Horizon Lines – a collection of traditional material from both sides of the Atlantic that continues Byrne’s journey through his own unique musical lineage. This album won Traditional Recording of the Year at the 2018 Canadian Folk Music Awards. Having received this distinction for a second time, Matthew Byrne continues to establish himself as one of today’s most authentic and vital traditional voices.
“…the finest interpreter of traditional songs not only in his native province, but all of Canada” – Tony Montague, fRoots Magazine (UK)