Night & Day — A debut can only be experienced once. For the singers in the recently formed Tri-Nation Choir, the first time singing on American soil is expected to be special.
Formed of Canadian, American and Tuscarora vocalists under the eye of Youngstown’s Claudia Andres, the group is hoping its first time is just as rewarding for the audience as it will be for them.
“It’s amazing how this has all come together over the past few months,” Andres said. “I view the 1812 bicentennial as a celebration of peace between nations despite previous, violent conflicts. What better way to represent our friendship than to have artists from all three nations combine their talents in a program that represents the time, the music and the emotions experienced during times of conflict.”
The group kicks off its first performance stateside, titled Nations in Harmony, at 4 p.m. Sunday in the great hall of the First Presbyterian Church, 505 Cayuga St., Lewiston. It is free and open to the public.
The 90-minute concert will feature 30 members of the Avanti Chamber Singers from St. Catharines, Ont., 25 members from the Youngstown First Presbyterian Choir, and 15 Tuscarora Hymn Singers.
Taking the lead in pushing the group forward has been the Historical Association of Lewiston, which not only supported the group’s founding but also commissioned the composition of a new song by Joseph Martin. The piece, titled “The Hunters,” will make its debut along with the choir performing it.
Other songs being performed will include “Peace,” by composer Marty Wimmer, a WNED announcer from Buffalo, as well as “Peaceful Niagara,” by director Harrison Loewen. The Tri-Nation group will also sing songs arranged by Canadian composers Gail Poulsen and Penny Blake, while instrumentalists from the United States and Canada will also be featured.
“The bicentennial has given us a tremendous opportunity to showcase our regional talent and emphasize the common ties that exist among the nations today,” Leandra Collesano, president of the Historical Association of Lewiston, said.
“Everyone (involved) is very excited about this concert,” added Lee Simonson, volunteer director of Lewiston’s 1812 bicentennial. “Imagine the best choristers, the best directors, the best composers all coming together for this momentous occasion to commemorate 200 years of peace ... forged from the crucible of fire and war. It doesn’t get any better than this.”