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Crossing Borders: Shifting the Lens

Wednesday, December 8, 2021, 8pm AT/ 7pm ET

(48-hour replay available, purchase tickets and watch anytime until Friday @ 8pmAT)



Crossing Borders Shifting the Lens Program Dec 8, 2021


Fabián Arciniegas, tenor
Claire Harris, piano
Maureen Batt, soprano
Tara Scott, piano
Grej, vocals and electronics
And the Halifax Camerata Singers*


Featuring a program of premières by Amy Brandon*, Elisha Denburg, Chia Yin Wu, Mario Gómez-Vignes, and music from Maureen and Grej’s most recent album, Lighthouse


Tickets on sale here: Side Door Access

FB event here: Facebook


In Crossing Borders: Shifting the Lens, we want to explore the richness found in the layers of blurred timelines, where our art and our voices connect us across dimensions. Works on this program shift the perspective of our current world while honouring people and poetry from the past.


*Please note that Amy Brandon’s piece with Maureen and the Halifax Camerata Singers has been postponed to 2022 due to illness. Anyone purchasing a ticket to this concert will have access to the performance — please choose the option to share your email when purchasing a ticket and/or use the contact page to email for access to this 2022 première.




Fabián Arciniegas (he/him)

Fabián Arciniegas is a versatile Colombian-Canadian singer-actor (tenor). Deeply committed as an opera, oratorio and chamber singer, he discovered a passion for new composers and has successfully toured in Canada and internationally as part of the series Crossing Borders with soprano Maureen Batt and pianist Claire Harris, featuring living Latin American and North American composers.

After having premièred the song cycle Orbit by Saman Shahi in 2015, Fabián was invited by the composer to perform and record the songs again for his debut album released in September 2020. He has also premièred works from Latin American composers Mario Gómez-Vignes and Leo Herrera.

In past seasons he has performed as part of the chorus with the Canadian Opera Company in Verdi’s Aida (cancelled due to COVID 19), Otello and Wagner’s Götterdämmerung and was Le Remendado for Julie Nesrallah’s production Carmen on Tap! He has performed under the baton of conductors such as Johannes Debus, Kevin Mallon, Derek Bate, Sandra Horst, Miah Im, Andres Posada, Miguel Caballero, Alberto Guzmán and Dmitri Manolov. www.fabianarcinegas.com

Maureen Batt (she/her)

Maureen Batt’s career is centred on promoting Canadian classical contemporary repertoire by collaborating with composers to commission, première, and re-perform their works. Her discography includes Lighthouse; Aunt Helen;Mirror, Mirror; Breathing in the Shadows; and Lady of the Lake.

Celebrated for her “rich, warm sound and masterful acting” (Opera Canada), Maureen has created many Canadian opera roles, including Helen (Aunt Helen), Dorothy Parker (Etiquette), Bride (Cake), and Top Priority Air Customer Service representative and security guard (December) by Monica Pearce; Anna (Regina) and Keri Ferrell (Hipster Grifter) by Elisha Denburg; Cindy (Heather: Cindy + Mindy =BFFS 4EVER) and Hannah (Hannah & Paige and the Zombie Pirates)by Christopher Thornborrow; Lorelie Henderson (Stockholm Syndrome) by Fiona Ryan; and Sister Mary Francis (Time of Trouble) by Elizabeth Raum.

She is the co-artistic director of Essential Opera, an opera company founded in 2010 with Erin Bardua. In 2015, Maureen founded Crossing Borders, a contemporary classical recital series which has toured programs of art song, opera arias, musical theatre, and electronics to the United States, Canada, and Colombia. Maureen has a Master of Music from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Music from Dalhousie University, and a Bachelor of Arts from St. Thomas University.

Amy Brandon (she/her)*

Composer and guitarist Amy Brandon’s pieces have been described as “…gut wrenching and horrific” (Critipeg), and “otherworldly, a clashing of bleakness with beauty” (Minor Seventh). Her performances, installations and acoustic works have been presented at the Gaudeamus Festival (Screen Dive), National Sawdust (NYC), Trinity College (Dublin), the mise-en Festival, and the Winnipeg New Music Festival. She has received Canadian and international composition awards and honourable mentions including the Leo Brouwer Guitar Composition Competition (Grand Prize 2019) and a JACK Studio Artist commission. In addition to performance and composition, she is completing an interdisciplinary PhD examining augmented reality, motor control and guitar performance at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. www.amybrandon.ca

Elisha Denburg (he/him)

Elisha Denburg’s music focuses on vocal and chamber works, and is commissioned, premiered, recorded, and toured across Canada and in the US. He collaborates with artists such as Angela Schwarzkopf, junctQín keyboard collective, TorQ Percussion Quartet, New Music Edmonton,  Halifax Camerata Singers, Sneak Peek Orchestra, Thin Edge New Music Collective, Blythwood Winds, Ensemble Paramirabo, Esprit Orchestra, The Bicycle Opera Project, the Array Ensemble, and Essential Opera. His music can be heard on CBC Radio 2’s “The Signal” with Laurie Brown, “Shift” with Tom Allen, and “Tempo” with Julie Nesrallah. His three-movement work Sonatina for Vibraphone & Harp is featured on the JUNO-winning album detach by Angela Schwarzkopf.

Elisha lives in Toronto, and was a founding member and co-Artistic Director of the Toy Piano Composers, a collective founded in 2008 by Monica Pearce and Chris Thornborrow, dedicated to the presentation of engaging new music with a playful approach. www.elishadenburg.com

Mario Gómez-Vignes (he/him)

Mario Gómez-Vignes, Chilean composer and teacher, who has lived in Colombia since 1960.

He holds a degree in Music from Universidad del Valle (Colombia). In the field of composition, he considers himself self-taught. For fifty years he has worked as a professor in the university chair (Universities of Antioquia, Pontificia Bolivariana, Del Valle, Del Cauca, EAFIT, ICESI, Autonomous University of Bucaramanga).

His compositions – in different genres – have been released both in Colombia and abroad (Austria, Germany, Italy, USA, Costa Rica, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Mexico).

He is the author of a well-documented biography of the Colombian composer Antonio María Valencia (1902-1952), in two large volumes that deserved Honorable Mention at the Robert Stevenson Musicology Prize, Washington D.C. 1993

The Departmental Institute of Fine Arts (Cali), conferred the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa in Music, in 1997.

GREJ (he/him)

Composer/ Multi-instrumentalist/ Producer

Toronto-based percussionist and Dora-nominated composer Gregory Harrison is emerging as one of Canada’s finest talents in contemporary music. His extensive resume spans artists and groups including Jeremy Dutcher, Cirque du Soleil, Video Games Live, R. Murray Schafer, and Fred Penner. He has performed extensively internationally at notable venues such as Massey Hall, NPR Tiny Desk Concerts, the JUNO’s, and The Kennedy Center. Described as a “percussion & electronics wizard” (Bob Boilen – NPR Music), Harrison’s performative and compositional style merge his classical music background with his passion for electronic music.

In recent years, Harrison’s commissions have been coveted by Kaeja d’Dance, ProArte Danza, Toronto Dance Theatre, Human Body Expression, Architek Percussion, Fifth Wind Quintet, CCDT, Dr. Morris Palter (University of Arizona), Popular Demand Pictures Inc., NB Tourism, and Division 85 Films. Harrison is also co-founder of his groups Mear and Taktus marimba duo.  Grejmusic.com

Halifax Camerata Singers*

The Halifax Camerata Singers is Atlantic Canada’s premier chamber choir. Founded in 1986 by Artistic Director Jeff Joudrey, the Nova Scotia ensemble has distinguished itself by performing exciting choral repertoire that covers all periods and styles, with a special focus on Canadian music. The choir collaborates frequently with chamber ensembles, Symphony Nova Scotia and other musicians, and since 2001 has been the core choir of the Symphony Nova Scotia Chorus. Awards and honors include Choral Canada’s Healey Willan Grand Prize; Music Nova Scotia’s Classical Recording of the Year (2016), and several nominations for East Coast Music Awards. The choir’s recordings include A Time for All Things (2015), Solace: Songs of Remembrance (2009), Songs of the Stable: Christmas Music from Canada (2006), Songs of Home (1997), and Celtic Mass for the Sea (1993). Halifaxcamerata.org

Claire Harris (she/her)

Claire is a collaborative pianist, vocal coach and music director, specialising in opera and art song, with new music being a particular interest. Originally from New Zealand, Claire studied at the New Zealand School of Music before moving to London, England to attend the Royal College of Music, graduating with a Masters of Performance (collaborative piano) in 2015. She then worked with many UK-based companies including English Touring Opera, Waterperry Opera Festival and the Rossini Young Artists’ Festival as well as La Roche d’Hys summer opera program in Burgundy, France.

In 2018, Claire moved to Toronto to join Opera by Request as Associate Music Director. With this company, she has been Music Director for productions of Don Pasquale, The Medium (in collaboration with White Mills Theatre Company), Don Giovanni, Hansel and Gretel, Madame Butterfly and Cosi Fan Tutte. Claire has recently begun composing for the piano and Crossing Borders: Shifting The Lens features her first work, a set of piano miniatures.

Jeff Joudrey (he/him)*

Artistic Director Jeff Joudrey founded the Halifax Camerata Singers in 1986, and under his leadership the choir has developed an enviable reputation for performance excellence, innovative programming, and support for Canadian composers. Jeff is Director of Music at Trinity-St. Stephen’s United Church, Amherst, and Chorus Master of the Symphony Nova Scotia Chorus. He is a past president of Choral Canada and a former president of the Nova Scotia Choral Federation. In addition to serving on juries for the JUNO and East Coast Music Awards, the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council, and Choral Canada, he is in demand nationwide as a choral clinician, teacher, adjudicator, and guest conductor. Jeff was the recipient of Sing Canada Harmony’s 2017 Dr. Paul E. Tamblyn Music Educator Award, and in 2018 was honoured to conduct the National Youth Choir of Canada on its tour of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Tara Scott (she/her)

TARA SCOTT is one of Atlantic Canada’s most renowned collaborative pianists. Her love of teaching and performing has led her to pursue staff accompanist positions at Western, Dalhousie, Acadia, and Mount Allison Universities. She has performed extensively with singers, instrumentalists and choirs across Canada. Tara has worked as Music Director for Maritime Concert Opera, Eastern Front Theatre, Essential Opera, Acadia’s Singing Theatre and has performed with Opera Nova Scotia, Opera New Brunswick and Halifax Theatre for Young People. Originally from Grand Bay-Westfield NB, Tara maintains a busy private piano studio in Dartmouth, NS, and is on faculty at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts.

Chia Yin Wu (she/her)

Chia Yin Wu is a Taiwanese-Canadian composer whose musical journey is rooted in the Reformed tradition of Presbyterian hymnody. She studied piano and voice at National Taiwan Academy of Arts, composition at McGill University, and theology at Knox College, University of Toronto. She is a winner of the BMO Merit Award by Boston Metro Opera, 2014, and a winner of the composition competition by La Société de Concerts de Montréal (now Temps Fort), 2017. Her music is performed in Canada, Taiwan and Malaysia. Chiayinwumusic.com