The internationally-acclaimed Cape Breton Chorale has been thrilling audiences at home in Canada and around the world since its formation in 1973 with its unique style of classical, modem, religious and secular music. Under the direction of Sister Rita Clare, CND, the 50-plus voice mixed adult group has played an important role in the cultural life of Cape Breton, performing at a variety of venues large and small throughout the island, mainland Nova Scotia, and further afield.
The Chorale has given more than 250 performances at home and abroad, touring England and representing Canada at the International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales in 1993. Four years later, in 1997, the Cape Breton Chorale forged links with a number of communities in Scotland, bringing the music of "New Scotland" to appreciative audiences in various cathedrals and castles from Edinburgh to the Isle of Iona. Again in July 2004, the Chorale ventured overseas for a musical tour of the Republic of Ireland bringing the choral music of Nova Scotia to many receptive audiences. All proceeds from these concerts were returned to the local communities.
Canadian radio and television audiences have been able to enjoy the music of the Cape Breton Chorale through a number of appearances on various programs, including the CBC Choral Competitions where the Chorale competed as Atlantic finalist.
The Chorale has shared the stage with musical stars including Celine Dion and Rita MacNeil, and has performed before numerous visiting dignitaries, including Queen Elizabeth II. It has hosted and sung with visiting choirs from Canada and Europe, participated in workshops with distinguished Canadian choral conductors, and has joined with other Nova Scotia choirs to perform major works. 2010 marks the Chorale's eighth consecutive appearance at the renowned Celtic Colours International Festival.
The Cape Breton Chorale has released five recordings, "Christmas with the Cape Breton Chorale" (1990), "Songs of Atlantic Canada" (1991), "Remembering the Forties" (1995), "Songs of Land and Sea" (1997) and "Rejoice and Sing!" Christmas with the Cape Breton Chorale (2006). Two of its selections were chosen for the compilation "A Noteworthy Christmas: Great Canadian Choirs Sing Holiday Favorites" and the Chorale is included in "Song for the Mira", a compilation of the works of Allister MacGillivray, as well as recordings from Celtic Colours performances.
In almost four decades, the Cape Breton Chorale has demonstrated, through its versatility and repertoire, its well-deserved reputation for excellence.