Cydney Morris of Port Elgin has been studying voice since an early age and is now reaping the rewards.
When her family moved to Port Elgin, she was only eight and, at the age of 9, auditioned for well-known vocal teacher, Jeanette Steeves. “She surprised me by asking me to sing our National Anthem, O’Canada,” says Morris. From that time on however, she would study with Steeves for the next seven years.
Morris sang with the youth choral group, the Allegro Youth Choir, and then as she grew older, moved on to sing with Steeves’ adult groups the A Capella Choir and the Chantry Singers, with whom she performs today and also volunteers to mentor young singers in the Youth Choir.
Under Steeves instruction, Morris has her Conservatory of Canada Grade 8 in Voice and she also has her Royal Conservatory of Music Grade 7 in Piano and is working toward the next level in both.
Recently, Morris was one of only two recipients to receive the Earle Terry Scholarship in Voice that was established in 1995 by the Earle Terry Singers Alumni.
Earle Terry founded the Earle Terry Singers (1948-75), a female choir which broadcast regularly on CBC radio and he was the founder and conductor (1953-68) of the London Conservatory Choir, which sang with the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra during its visits to London in the late 1950s and 1960s.
At a special presentation in London (ON) Morris was presented with the $1,200 scholarship that will go toward her continued musical training. “I was invited to the Earle Terry Scholarship Alumni dinner,” says Morris, “where I met his son and was asked to perform.” She was also joined by her special guests Jeanette Steeves and husband Graham.
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“She has a fine Mezzo-soprano voice and a very well-defined work ethic,” says Jeanette Steeves. “She is an enjoyable young woman to teach and I am sure that music will always play an important part in her life regardless of what she chooses to do.”
An honours student, Morris says that her goal has always been to go into medicine in some form, whether as a pediatrician or in pathology. “I have been looking at entering McMaster University or Queen’s. I also went to Laurier in Waterloo and took a Master Class in voice with Leslie Fagan and Kimberly Barber so that’s also an option. I’ve always studied classical music but am also broadening my interest in pop and jazz,” she adds.
At 16, Morris has the world in front of her and, as Steeves says, “I know that music will always be in her life.”