MEN OF THE DEEPS RE-CREATE 50 YEAR-OLD TOUR SCHEDULE
GLACE BAY, SYDNEY, NEW WATERFORD ON THE LIST!
In November of the year 1966, a group of singing Coal Miners from Cape Breton Nova Scotia decided to introduce themselves to island audiences via a musical tour. The Men of the Deeps’ pioneer journey began on the very first day of November at the historic Savoy Theatre in Glace Bay, where they performed for a packed house of eager townsfolk. The very next evening, they travelled to downtown Sydney for a performance at the Vogue Theatre on Charlotte Street and on the third night, they made their way to the Paramount Theatre – which is now referred to as the Urban Centre – on Plummer Avenue in New Waterford.
Assistant Director and Business Manager to the group, Stephen Muise, said the choir spent this past year reminiscing about and celebrating their fifty-year history together; which meant a lot of story re-tellings and researching for the various events planned. “The guys who have been here since the beginning remember those first concerts with smiles. It was a big deal for them, to travel around singing to different mining communities. They were green to the experience. Now, they’ve got fifty years of stage time under their belts.”
The choir is once again preparing to embark on a musical journey, this time to celebrate their half-century milestone with some familiar Maritime towns. To begin the tour, the group will perform in their second home, the soon-to-be 50 year old Miner’s Museum, on the evening of November 1, 2016. The concert will then move to downtown Sydney to the beautiful Highland Arts Theatre on Bentinck Street and Breton Education Centre’s (B.E.C.) Audio Visual Room in New Waterford will host night three. “The exact buildings they played in may not be there anymore, but the people are still there,” adds Muise. Additional tour dates will take the men to perform in Truro, Antigonish, Wolfville, Bridgewater, Moncton and Prince Edward Island.
CLASS IS IN SESSION: A number of high schools are booked to be performance venues for the choir on the upcoming tour, so at those particular schools, concert bands and student choirs are currently busy rehearsing customized Men of the Deeps song arrangements, so that they can share the stage with the miners. This provides an opportunity for the schools to utilize the concerts as fundraisers for local band programs and the addition of instruments and voices will enhance the concert experience for all involved. One of the schools participating in the partnership will be Breton Education Centre in New Waterford. B.E.C. Band teacher Richard Burke says he’s elated for the students who get to take part. “It’s healthy pressure for our young musicians; a lesson in commitment. Who better to mentor them in
commitment than the Men of the Deeps? And some of our students are grandchildren to members of the Men of the Deeps, so the reasons are many as to why this is such a perfect fit.” said Burke.
The choir is hopeful the community will embrace the tour and come celebrate the end of their anniversary year with songs and stories. There’s no slowing down in sight for the jolly miners. Upon finishing the Maritime tour, the group will begin preparing for their usual circuit of Christmas shows and are pleased to be taking part once again in the annualChristmas Comedy Happy Ha Ha Holidaze show, coming up in December at the Savoy Theatre.