The bio on Cris Derksen’s website says it well: The “Juno-nominated and classically trained cellist and composer braids the traditional and contemporary, weaving her classical background and her Indigenous ancestry together with new school electronics to create genre-defying music.”
Winnipeg's Royal Canoe have released a politically-charged music video for a song off its latest album, Waver.
“The new video for ‘77-76’ is about history repeating itself,” the band states on its Facebook page.
On April 3, 2009, southern Manitoba-based folk group the Other Brothers released Points of View. Recorded in the studio at Mennonite Church Manitoba, the album earned critical acclaim—CBC dubbed them “the Simon and Garfunkel of the Prairies”—and a small but loyal following.
With her powerful, resonant voice, Ysaÿe Barnwell, composer, vocalist, speaker and former member of the African-American female a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock, began to sing “Amazing Grace,” stretching out the length of each phrase. Members of the audience started to hum along. Soon she invited everyone to sing in full voice.
Visual art for the Voices Together hymnal has been chosen by the Mennonite Worship and Song Committee. The 12 visual art pieces selected will appear in the forthcoming hymnal—including the pew, worship leader, digital app and projection editions.
‘One of the best things about the group is the community and friendships,’ Incantatem co-founder Allison Alexander says. (Photo by Kyle Rudge)
Formed in January 2016, Incantatem performs music from movies, TV shows and video games. (Photo by James Cheng)
Don’t expect to hear anything by Bach, Brahms or Beethoven if you attend a performance by Winnipeg’s Incantatem. The a cappella choir’s repertoire has a unique focus: music from movies, TV shows and video games.
Anna Bigland-Pritchard, left, with her Seanster and the Monsters bandmates, pictured from left to right: Tim Braun, Sean Hogan, Marcel Desilets and Scott Young. (Photo by Mike Latschislaw)
Anna Bigland-Pritchard, right, with her Seanster and the Monsters bandmates, pictured from left to right: Tim Braun, Scott Young, Sean Hogan and Marcel Desilets. (Photo by Mike Latschislaw)
Anna Bigland-Pritchard never anticipated becoming a monster, but today she wouldn’t be anything else.
The 26-year-old Winnipegger is a member of children’s musical act Seanster and the Monsters. The group, which describes itself as “stuck somewhere between They Might Be Giants and Fred Penner,” released its sophomore album, Stripes with Platypus, earlier this month.
Oil lamps light the sanctuary of the little church as guests arrive to experience ‘Christmas by lamplight.’ (Photo by Donna Schulz)
Guests arriving for ‘Christmas by lamplight’ at the Mennonite Heritage Museum’s church building in Rosthern, Sask. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
Guests enjoy singing carols, listening to stories, drinking hot chocolate and eating peppernuts at the Mennonite Heritage Museum’s ‘Christmas by Lamplight.’ (Photo by Donna Schulz)
Old-fashioned oil lamps graced each windowsill in the tiny sanctuary, their steady flames bathing the room in warm light as people filed into the pews. The people came to experience “Christmas by lamplight.”
Choir conductors Ben Pauls and his son Matthew share enthusiasm, talent and a passion for choral music. This fall, they had the unexpected opportunity to share the stage at a fundraising concert for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.
What will the Mennonite church in North America look like in the next 30 years? No one has a crystal ball, but one group of forward-thinking people is helping us imagine how we might be doing congregational worship in the next generation.
At the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year, students, staff and faculty at Conrad Grebel University College took a deep breath and sang together, first in unison, and then in several different parts to build a new melody. The piece called “We All Sing” was written by Karen Sunabacka, a Grebel prof, and commissioned for the College’s 2018-19 integration initiative.
Experimental rock sextet Royal Canoe will release its new album at the end of January. (Photo by Sam Katz)
Begonia’s new single ‘The Light’ showcases singer Alexa Dirks’s powerful, soulful voice. (Photo by Leeor Wild)
Looking for new music? Check out these singles from three exciting Canadian acts:
Owen McCausland (tenor), left, tells the story of the Dog from Algiers who saves his master’s life on the battlefield to Larissa Koniuk (soprano), Alexandra Beley (mezzo-soprano), and Keith Lam (baritone), in the new Llandovery Castle Opera, whose music was composed by Stephanie Martin. (Photo courtesy of Will Ford, Llandovery Castle Opera)
The plaque commemorating Mary Agnes McKenzie at Calvin Presbyterian Church in Toronto sent Stephanie Martin on her three-year journey to produce the opera Llandovery Castle. Years later, the church installed a stained-glass window above the plaque of Mary and Martha each serving Jesus in their own ways. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
Stephanie Martin had often led practises with the Pax Christi Chorale at Calvin Presbyterian Church in Toronto. But during one practice in 2015 she was drawn to a plaque on the north wall of the sanctuary honouring nurse Mary Agnes ‘Nan’ MacKenzie, “who after three years of service lost her life by the torpedoing of the hospital ship Llandovery Castle, June 27, 1918.”
Etch Your Own Stone is the follow-up to Sparky and the Plugs’ 2016 eponymous debut album. (Photo by Judith Schulz)
Jill Wiens, left, Curtis Wiens, Zac Schellenberg and Clay Buhler are Sparky and the Plugs. (Photo by Aleta Schellenberg)
The members of Sparky and the Plugs grew up in Mennonite Church Canada congregations. They have been friends since they were teenagers. (Photo by Judith Schulz)
How will people remember you when you die?
That’s the question at the heart of “Stone Cutter,” one of the key tracks on Etch Your Own Stone, the new album from Saskatoon bluegrass quartet Sparky and the Plugs.
In the song, written by banjo player Curtis Wiens, the singer contemplates how he will spend his time on Earth.
At a time when many churches and their choirs are dwindling, music teacher Kim Friesen Wiens created something amazing in Edmonton with the potential to help reverse both trends.
Kaitlyn Janzen (centre) leads the chorus in “O Bless The Lord.” The disciples and chorus used their own names for their characters in RJC’s production. (Photo by Rosthern Junior College)
Every year, as part of homecoming and graduation weekend at Rosthern Junior College, the students present a large-scale musical. This year they performed Godspell by John-Michael Tebelak and Stephen Schwartz.
If good things come to those who wait, exciting times are ahead for Kenzie Jane.
The Winnipeg-based singer-songwriter recently released her debut EP, Love Me From Scratch, more than three years after she first started recording it.
Jess Reimer recalls the first time a friend told her about Jeremy Hamm, the man who would become her musical partner and husband.
“I remember being excited there was a guy who wasn’t a senior citizen who was into bluegrass like me,” she says.
An accomplished singer, guitarist and fiddler, Sadie Gustafson-Zook is currently pursuing a master’s degree in jazz voice. (Photo by Olivia Copsey)
Born in Portland, Ore., and raised in Goshen, Ind., singer-songwriter Sadie Gustafson-Zook is currently pursuing a master’s degree in jazz voice at Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Mass.
Young musicians practice during the Ontario Mennonite Music Camp. From left to right are Anna Tyas-Petrik, Hallelujah Tezera, Aidan Morton-Ninomiya, Isabelle Netherton, and Jayden Liu. (Photo courtesy of OMMC)
When the idea of the Ontario Mennonite Music Camp (OMMC) was pitched to me at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate, I was immediately excited. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but when I got there, I knew it would be awesome.
Marie Penner from Toronto United Mennonite Church had a dream of a camp that would develop the musical talents of young Mennonites in Ontario.
Johnny Wideman of Theatre of the Beat shares his peacebuilding wisdom with campers at Conrad Grebel University College's Peace Camp. Peace Camp is a day camp and peace educational program for youth aged 11 to 14 in Waterloo Region. Campers learn that peace is possible as they share stories and learn from people in the community and meet people from various cultural backgrounds, faiths, and orientations. (Peace Camp photo)
Have you ever been in a place, space or community where you have been encouraged to try something new? Have you been challenged to take risks and leap out of your comfort zone? Have you tasted the confidence that comes with mastering new skills?