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.”


Drawing from Greek mythology, Xara Choral Theatre Ensemble’s newest show, Constellations, re-imagines the mystery of how the stars aligned. This show blurs the boundaries of choral music and theatre by combining song, vocal improvisation, text, movement, and lighting to paint the sound of the heavens as experienced by navigators, travellers, and the stars themselves.

Featuring a dynamic lighting design by Matthew Downey that evokes the northern sky, the performance blends contemporary choral music by Scandinavian composers including Karin Rehnqvist and Pekka Kostiainen, as well as arrangements of songs by Finnish vocal ensemble Rajaton, and pop artists Lorde and Imogen Heap.

Constellations will be performed at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax. Buy your tickets here, or call 902-300-9840 to reserve.