The arts give back to the community and health care

 (L) Jim Barbour of SMHF, Jeanette and David Steeves, Joan Vaughan of SMHF

Jeanette and Graham Steeves presented proceeds from the Bach, Beatles & Broadway Gala concert to the Saugeen Memorial Hospital Foundation on Tuesday, February 18th.

The concert, organized and produced by the Steeves held at Port Elgin United Church in the fall of last year, featured some 16 performers in addition to the A Cappella Chamber Choir, performing a wide variety of musical selections from many genres for the capacity audience.

“I have known many of these performers since they were young children,” said Jeanette Steeves, who actually taught many of them.  “Many of them went on to acquire musical degrees and perform in public and it’s wonderful to see them all come together.”

Over 42 years, Steeves has brought the gift of music not only to the community but to the world.  The Chantry Singers that she 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.

Then, the A Cappella Chamber Choir 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 students that went on to win gold medals in International Music Festival Competitions in Montreal and London, England.

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

Her husband, Graham went on to say that they had to thank the many businesses in town that supported the event.  “It was simply amazing how many didn’t even hesitate to donate when they knew it was for our hospital.  Also, most of the performers turned their honorariums back for the Hospital.  Amazing.”