20/04/2024

Acadia Singers - Singing IN Flanders Fields (Wolfville)

On Saturday, April 20, the Acadia University Singers will perform their concert program “Singing ‘In Flanders Fields’: Canadian Reflections on War and Remembrance” in Wolfville.

This concert will launch the Singers’ upcoming project, The Singing In Flanders Fields Tour, which commemorates the 109th anniversary of Lt. Col. John McCrae’s famous poem.  From April 24 to May 3, 2024, the choir will travel from London, UK, to Arras, France, and finally to Ypres, Belgium, where they will perform at Vimy Ridge, participate in the Menin Gate Last Post Ceremony, offer two concerts, and sing – literally! – in Flanders Fields.

As part of this experience, the students are also participating in Acadia University’s Adopt-a-Soldier Program - a project launched by Acadia archivist Wendy Robicheau to research and revitalize the life stories of Acadia student soldiers from World War I.  Retracing the journey many of those students made over a century ago, the Singers will visit and sing at the gravesites of some of Acadia’s soldiers buried in France and Belgium.

Reflecting their upcoming tour, the Singers’ concert combines choral works by Canadian composers to narrate a soldier’s journey: from home, to battle, to plea for peace.  This program will intersperse music on the themes of war and Remembrance with several different solo and choral versions of “In Flanders Fields,” including a recent adaptation by award-winning singer-songwriter, Freya Milliken.

This project comes as the result of Dr. Michelle Boyd’s research on choral adaptations of “In Flanders Fields,” which examines how music helps audiences to interpret, appreciate, and draw meaning from McCrae’s impactful poem.  Directed by Dr. Boyd, the Acadia University Singers are a treble-voice chamber choir.  They will be joined by mezzo-soprano Prof. Paula Rockwell, who will be featured as a soloist on the program. This concert begins at 7:00pm in Denton Hall Auditorium, Acadia University.  Admission is by freewill donation at the door.