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New Glasgow singer earns spot on youth choir heading to shows in Ontario, Quebec

Laycie Sutherland is one of four singers from Nova Scotia heading to Ontario and Quebec this month to perform as part of the National Youth Choir.
Laycie Sutherland is one of four singers from Nova Scotia heading to Ontario and Quebec this month to perform as part of the National Youth Choir.

NEW GLASGOW – What Laycie Sutherland likes about singing is the rush she gets when she steps out on stage.

She’ll experience that rush many times this month as the 21-year-old New Glasgow soprano singer joins performers from across the country for shows in Ontario and Quebec as part of the National Youth Choir.

She sent an audition video in February for the choir, which is intended to serve as professional development for emerging choral singers. It was her second time putting her name and skills forward.

“I was trying not to get my hopes up too much, but at the same time, I was very hopeful because I already went through it once,” she said during a recent phone interview, noting that she thought that would make her audition stronger.

Singers between ages 18 and 25 located all over the country audition to form the choir, part of Choral Canada, every two years. This year, Choral Canada and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada partnered for a special edition of the choir in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary.

Sutherland is one of four singers chosen from Nova Scotia, and found out the news in March.

“I’m very excited to represent my province.”

She has been part of the Nova Scotia Youth Choir for five years and the soprano section leader for three years. Sutherland also sings with the Acadia University Choir and is going into her fourth year at the school, studying vocal performance and working toward a Bachelor of Music with plans to pursue a master’s degree when she’s finished.

Sutherland has been performing in the New Glasgow Music Festival since she was five years old, taking voice lessons for 12 years with Stephanie (Higgs) Blanchard.

She remembers her mother taking her to singing competitions when she was younger, and that's when she “knew what (she) wanted to do for the rest of (her) life.”

She’s looking forward to the shows, though she notes she’s a bit nervous because she’s never travelled by airplane.

Rehearsals start on July 14 at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., with performances in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and other cities beginning July 20.

“I’m very excited to meet the other musicians from around the province,” she said, noting that one of other young N.S. singers goes to the same university.

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