Blog Post

The “Dads” Choir

By Jackie Hawley Founding Artistic Director, Cantiamo Choirs of Ottawa

Cantiamo is going into its 19th season! Girls from our first few years are now young women, some with little upcoming Cantiamo choristers of their own!

Many of our girls join us at a young age and are with Cantiamo for possibly 10 to 12 years! Of course, I become very attached to them over this time and when they graduate, it is a poignant goodbye! I am always so glad when “my girls” keep in touch after they have left the choir.

I received a heart-warming email from former chorister, Amy and she generously allowed me to share it with you!

Rob and I were working out some wedding details with my parents and I didn’t have any idea what I wanted the music to be for the father-daughter dance. My Dad (who as you may know is quite a stoic!) right away suggested “Carrickfergus”.

I think singing this with the Dads’ Choir is one of the best memories I have with my dad during what was a challenging period in our lives.  He would only rehearse when we were the only two at home, and I think it meant more to both of us than we realized at the time.  So, Carrickfergus it is! 

Thanks for this and so much more. (Amy)

Amy’s story brings back wonderful memories from many years ago when we invited our “dads” to be guest choristers to sing a piece with their daughters in our concert. The girls were tasked with teaching their father’s their parts. (I thought this would be a nice way for dads and daughters to connect and spend time together during what can be a challenging time of life in that relationship!) The dads would come and join our regular rehearsals for the last 20 minutes to prepare to perform in the concert.

We had a lot of talented dads and even a couple of brothers and uncles that joined in! Not only did these gentlemen sing with the girls, they even learned a piece and sang as their own men’s choir! Needless to say, there was not a dry eye in the house at that concert! The following year we enjoyed this beautiful experience with the “moms”!

Thank you Amy for sharing your story and for bringing back such special memories to all of us who were part of that experience!

Photography credit to “Elska Productions”