The end of an era by a 'grande dame'
by Sandy Lindsay

November 8, 2016



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In the front row behind Jeanette Steeves are the 12 original members of A Cappella

Jeanette Steeves says her final goodbye to the singers before their performance

It was the end of an era as founder of A Cappella, Chantry Singers and other groups, Jeanette Steeves, brought a 'Gift of Music' to the hundreds of people who crowded in to the Port Elgin United Church to hear the last concert under her direction.

Out with the old guard and in with the new ...

Jeanette Steeves (R) leaving & Meghan DeJager coming in

... a standing ovation for Jeanette Steeves 

Steeves received a standing ovation by the hundreds of people, music connoisseurs and alumni who attended her final concert.

Over 42 years, Steeves has brought the gift of music not only to the community but to the world. 

The Chantry Singers, who began as the Port Elgin Centennial Singers, have traveled the world to perform in countries such as England and the group of some 65 singers have been chosen to represent the province of Ontario at the 150th birthday celebrations next year.

 A Cappella that began with 12 singers, who are still with the group today, has also grown to more than 40.

While she founded adult groups, Steeves also has had an intense interest in young voices. In 1985, she founded the Children's Festival Chorus of some 50 elementary and secondary sutdnets that went on to twin gold medal in Internationa; Music Festival Competitions in Montreal and London, England.

She also then founded the Allegro Youth Chorus that continues to grow in membership. 


Ethan Salmon

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In addition, she was a founding director at the Kincardine and Southampton Summer Music programs and was also the choral director of the National Music Camp of Canada.


The Gift of Music

Steeves has also received many accolades and awards throughout her leadership career as a musical force.

Among her awards are:

  • Ontario Choral Federation Award for Distinguished Service
  • Rotary International Paul Harris Fellowship (2)
  • original inductee to Saugeen Shores Hall of Fame
  • Lake Huron Award for Musical Excellence
  • Community Service Award Port Elgin (1987)
  • Township of Bruce Children's Festival Chorus Leadership Award
  • Commitment to Youth Award(s) - Port Elgin & Southampton
  • Saugeen Shores Heritage Conservation Award

While Steeves is retiring as Director, she said that she is leaving the groups in good hands with directors, Meghan DeJager (a former singer with the group) and Anne Little.

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Monday, November 14, 2016