At an international gathering of choirs in St John’s, NL on Tuesday evening, July 9, Xara Choral Theatre Ensemble was announced as the winning women’s choir in the National Competition for Canadian Amateur Choirs. Just entering their 6th anniversary season this year, Xara beat out nine-time winner Elektra Women’s Choir from Vancouver, BC.

“We are astonished and overjoyed,” says Xara conductor, Christina Murray, “Achieving this win after only 5 years is huge for us.”

The competition was judged by an internationally renowned panel of five and is co-presented by the Association of Canadian Choral Communities, the Canada Council for the Arts, and CBC/Radio-Canada. Xara is only the second Nova Scotian choir to win in the history of the competition, and the first women’s choir from Nova Scotia to take the top prize in any category.

“For us this is a double win because Xara does so much more than just sing,” says Claire Leger, the group’s co-artistic director. “Our music is combined with movement, lighting, and other visual elements to tell stories to our audiences. This makes the challenge of perfect singing even greater. The training regime for Xara is intense and our performers are immensely dedicated.”


It is a train journey that will change their lives forever. Many have heard about the tragedy and heroism that emerged from Europe’s WWI trenches, but what about those who were left behind, here in Nova Scotia?

This 30-minute piece of choral theatre uses music, movement, and lighting to tell the stories of several young Nova Scotian women who travel by train to be reunited with the soldiers they love. Based on real stories of wartime separation, this beautiful piece was created to mark the centenary of WWI.

Xara will offer a preview performance of Waiting on the Eastern Line on Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 4:00 PM (St. Matthew’s United Church, Halifax) before the world premiere of the piece is performed at PODIUM 2014. Buy your tickets here for the preview show, or call 902-300-9840 to reserve. Also on tour in June at Musquodoboit Valley Bicentennial Theatre on June 8, the Astor Theatre in Liverpool on June 13, and King’s Theatre in Annapolis Royal on June 28.