A beautiful sound and glorious voices for the weekend

Looking for some musical inspiration this weekend? CBC has three options for you to get your fix.
Montreal pop band Stars teams up with the NACO on Saturday night. (Stars)

Stars on Stage

"Playing with an orchestra is a dream come true," said Amy Millan, who along with Torquil Campbell fronts Stars, the Montreal based indie pop band known for beautiful, wistful tunes that explore the complexity of relationships.

Stars will share the stage with the NAC Orchestra on Saturday night, and it's not a stretch, the band members all come from classical backgrounds, and their music, dubbed 'baroque pop' is full of orchestral flourishes.

"To be able to fully realize the sound and work with 90 amazing musicians it's going to be super awesome," said Campbell.

  • Where: Southam Hall, National Arts Centre, 1 Elgin St.
  • When: Saturday at 8 p.m.
  • Cost: Tickets start at 44.75. Note: same day rush tickets for $15 are available for those aged 13-29. They can be purchased here.

Christmas past and present

"We were the original flash mob, we hopped on buses and sang, we sang in malls," recalled Pierre Massie about the origins of the Stairwell Carollers. 

The choir was formed more than 40 years ago by music students at at the University of Ottawa who joined in impromptu singalongs in the campus stairwells.
Founding director Pierre Massie in rehearsal with the Stairwell Carollers. (Sandra Abma CBC)

Now the Stairwell Carollers, led by Massie, is an award-winning choral ensemble performing both traditional sacred music and brand new compositions.  On Saturday they'll summon the magic of the season with songs of Christmas past and new work by choir member David Rain.

  • Where: Southminster United Church, 15 Aylmer Ave.
  • When: 7:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $15 dollars in advance. $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. To purchase tickets in advance go here. Proceeds raised go to local charities.

Angelic voices

It's sure to be a heavenly trip. A choir made up of 80 boys and girls as young as five are the guides on a musical trip around the globe.

The Cantiamo Choirs of Ottawa presents A World of Carols on Sunday Afternoon. 

Choir director Jackie Hawley says the choir program is designed to instill a love of singing in the youngsters and also involve them in creating new music.

"I think it's a great chance for the kids to work with a composer, to go from nothing to an idea to a beautiful piece of music." 

  • Where: Woodroffe United Church, 207 Woodroffe Ave.
  • When: 3 p.m.
  • Cost: Adults $20. Seniors and students are $15 and children under free.
Cantiamo Choirs presents A World of Carols on Sunday at 3 p.m. (Cantiamo Choirs)


Sandra Abma


Sandra Abma is a veteran CBC arts journalist. If you have an event or idea you want to share, please do at