Armdale Chorus | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Armdale Chorus

Armdale Chorus. Female choir of about 25 members.

Armdale Chorus

Armdale Chorus. Female choir of about 25 members. It began as a rhythm band, formed during the 1930s by Mary Dee - later Mary Dee Girroir, b Halifax, NS, 28 Sep 1915, d there 19 May 1981; B MUS (Mount Saint Vincent) 1935 - at Mount Saint Vincent College, Halifax, the membership consisting of children living in her home village of Armdale. The band evolved into a music club and then into a junior glee club which gave its first concert in 1938. It performed as the Armdale Chorus throughout the Maritimes during the 1940s and was incorporated as the Armdale Choir in 1953, though it continued to be known popularly as the Armdale Chorus. It was heard nationally over CBC radio 1947-58, and some of the broadcasts were sent via short wave to Europe and South America and were rebroadcast over the BBC. During the late 1950s it was seen on CBC TV in a performance of Britten's Ceremony of Carols and in the six-week series 'Journey into Melody'.

The choir's repertoire, accompanied and unaccompanied, included music of Palestrina and Bach, religious, popular, art, and folk songs, and songs from musicals, mostly in arrangements by Mary Dee Girroir, who also composed pieces for the choir. The group made two LPs for London: The Armdale Chorus (NA-3502) and Noel (NA-3507), both recorded ca 1962-3. The choir remained active until 1980.