CBC Montreal's 2017 Christmas Sing-In hits the right note
Annual holiday charity event raises $7,360 in donations for West Island Community Shares
A packed house of 1,500 people was on-hand as the sound of carols filled the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul for the 38th annual CBC Montreal Christmas Sing-In.
The total amount of donations made at the free event came in at $7,360.
All donations collected will go toward the CBC Montreal Charity Drive, this year benefiting West Island Community Shares, a group that distributes funding to 41 different non-profit groups in the West Island.
The concert featured the Choir of the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul, the Sing-In brass and percussion ensemble, organist Jonathan Oldengarm and conductor Jean-Sébastien Vallée.
The event began at 3 p.m. and lasted until 5 p.m.
"I wanted to go back to my favourites. Things I was listening to when I was a kid. Something that feels a bit warmer, something that feels a bit more emotional," Vallée said.
People came from far and wide to attend the event — longtime CBC radio listener Heather Watts came all the way from Nova Scotia to attend the concert for the first time.
Watts, 81, said she's been listening to the Sing-In on the radio since almost the beginning — in 1980.
Watts, who was born in Montreal, said she staged a small family reunion, meeting up with her daughter and two granddaughters while she's visiting her hometown.
The Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul has special significance for her, since her grandfather first came to Canada from Scotland in order to serve as the minister at its current location.
"I always thought of it as my grandfather's church," Watts said. "He was there 20 years."
Her parents were also members of the congregation and were married in the church.
A new experience
Charlie Pellegrin lined up early to get front-row seats at the packed church for her family.
"I love Christmas music and I really love the idea of everyone singing together," said Pellegrin.
While the music enthusiast has been to many concerts, she said it was her first time at the CBC Christmas Sing-In.
"I love choirs a lot so this is kind of the biggest choir I will have ever heard," she said.
You can stream it
You can stream the 2017 CBC Christmas Sing-In on CBC Music beginning Thursday, Dec. 14.
The Sing-In was also broadcast live on CBC Montreal's Facebook page and recorded for broadcast across Canada and around the world.