Choral music program

New director named at Confederation Centre of the Arts

Nick MacDonald, new director of choral music at Confederation Centre of the Arts (above); Confederation Singers perform Handel’s Messiah, 2022

The choral music program at Confederation Centre of the Arts (CCOA) in Charlottetown is under the new leadership of conductor, educator and performer Nick MacDonald. 

Born in Boston and raised in New Hampshire, he completed his Bachelor of Music in Music Education at the University of Southern Maine. He continued his private vocal studies with tenor Mark Sprinkle of the Blue Heron Renaissance Choir and has participated in numerous workshops and master classes with choral leaders such as Rollo Dilworth, Hilary Apfelstadt, John William Trotter, Caron Daley and Craig Jessop. MacDonald has worked as a choral director and music teacher in public and private schools, churches and community choruses, and as a private instructor in voice and guitar. Before relocating to PEI in 2017, he served as Choral Director at the Waynflete School and Music Director of the Tri-City Community Chorus.

Since moving to PEI, he has offered voice and movement workshops as part of CCOA’s arts education program, as well as classes and performances for young children through Family Place and the Summerside Arts Festival. He has also performed as a bass-baritone with Luminos Ensemble and Under the Spire Music Festival’s Spire Choir.

“Nick has had a rich career in choral music, and we are thrilled to have him join our team,” says Francesca Perez, CCOA’s director of arts education and heritage. “He is known for offering inclusive spaces and I know all choir members will feel welcome to learn, grow and share their authentic voice under his leadership.” 

CCOA’s choral music program is comprised of two choirs: Confederation Centre Youth Chorus, for Island youth aged 8–18, and Confederation Singers, a choir for adults. 

Choral music has a long history at CCOA and can trace its origins back to the Centre’s official opening in 1964, when the Centennial Choir took the stage at the Royal Variety Performance. In addition to a series of annual performances in PEI, the Centre’s choirs have toured extensively across Canada, the US, and Europe. Highlights include performing at Expo 67, partaking in the dedication for the newly restored Canadian National Monument in Vimy, France, and two concerts at the Vatican. 

“It is an honour to continue the historic legacy of the Centre’s choral music program,” says MacDonald. “I am passionate about exploring the power of group singing to inspire joy, creativity, and connection in all people, and I am excited to start making music.” 

Registration for the new choral music season is now open. For details, visit confederationcentre.com.