Island A Cappella concert heralds new chapter for Abegweit Chimes

Darlene Shea
Published on April 21, 2014

By Maddie Keenlyside/JOURNAL PIONEER  

It’s a new era for the Island chorus formerly known as the Abegweit Chimes.
With the hiring of new director Margot Rejskind, the Island women’s chorus has re-christened itself the “Island A Cappella”.

Rejskind, who also teaches music at UPEI, joined the chorus last summer when former long-time director Myrt McArdle retired.

McArdle still sings with the chorus, however.

The choir will be hosting a public concert on Thursday, April 24, at 7:30 p.m. at the Steel Recital Hall, UPEI. Admission will be by donation.

Assistant director, Elaine Braidwood, said part of the name change has to do with an increase in popularity of a cappella singing, but also the group felt it was time for a change with the passing of the torch to the new director.

The chorus will continue to sing in the signature barbershop style established by the Abegweit Chimes.

While Rejskind has considerable talent and a doctorate in music, the new director had never worked in barbershop before, Braidwood said.

“It’s been a learning curve for Margot, and also for ourselves, with Margot learning more about our style of singing.”

Under Rejskind’s leadership, the chorus has added new music to the repertoire and placed an emphasis on improving individual and group singing skills.

With arrangements ranging from rock ‘n roll to gospel, and from Broadway show-stoppers to modern classics, the new repertoire is diverse.

The chorus will also be joined by local quartet Take Note, featuring two of the chorus’ singers, and two other vocalists.

Formed in 1999, the Take Note performs and offers a singing telegram service for Valentine’s Day, birthdays, and anniversaries.

“It’s been a great year. There’s an expression: a change is a good as a rest,” Braidwood said.