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Schola Magdalena ‘In Praise of Holier Women’

Schola-MagdalenaSchola Magdalena will sing “In Praise of Holier Women” at St. John’s Anglican Church in Waupoos next weekend. The fund-raising performance by the six-voice Toronto choir will support Alternatives for Women in Prince Edward County.

Specializing in chant and medieval music, in this concert, the choral group will honour several women revered both within and outside of the christian church.

Some are well known, such as Florence Nightingale, who organized British field hospitals during the Crimean War. Others will include St. Cecilia, who lived in the second century, best known as the patron saint of musicians; St. Bridget of Sweden and Julian of Norwich, medieval contemporaries, who each wrote masterpieces on mystical theology; St. Marguerite Bourgeyos (1620-1700), the earliest Canadian female saint. She is recognized as an important figure in Canadian history, even considered to be one of the founders of the city of Montreal. Also, St. Hildegard of Bingen who was an abbess, mystic, theologian, physician, artist and composer. Emperors, princes and popes of the 12th century all sought her counsel on religious and political matters.

The concert is to include music of composers that span 900 years, including Guillaume Machaut, two of the women honoured, Hildegard and Bridget, a hymn sequence remembering Bourgeyos by an anonymous composer from Québec’s Ursuline monastery, and two settings of Julian’s texts by the choir’s conductor Stephanie Martin.

Schola Magdalena is the ensemble-in-residence at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Toronto. The choir’s performances throughout Ontario and Quebec and their recordings have won high praise from audiences.

This concert, put on by the parish of St. John’s in Waupoos and supported by the Anglican Ontario Diocese, supports Alternatives for Women, a Prince Edward County community-based agency that provides counselling and shelter while working to end violence and abuse of women.

The Saturday, June 18 concert is set for 7pm at St. John’s in Waupoos. Tickets should be purchased in advance as the church has just 70-seats. They can be obtained at Books and Company, 289 Picton Main Street or reserved by phone 613 476 3037.


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