Spring 2022: Home Again

Home Again poster

Home Again
Penthelia Singers
Sunday, May 29, 2022 at 3 p.m.

Rosedale Presbyterian Church

Program Order

Alleluia, Stephanie Martin*
One Voice, Ruth Moody* arr. Marcelline Moody
I Sing Because I’m Happy, Charles H. Gabriel, arr. By Kenneth Paden
    adapted by Rollo Dilworth
Tebe Poem, A Kastalsky
Ikan Kekek, arr. Tracy Wong
    Soloist: Astra Teo
Be Like the Bird, Abbie Betinis words by Victor Hugo
Yamo – A Syrian Tribute to All Mothers, words by Duraid Lahham, Music
    unknown, arr. Shireen Abu Khader
Turlutte acadienne montréalaise, Marie-Claire Saindon*
Da Pacem, Jeff Enns*  
Bring Me Little Water, Silvy, Huddie W. Ledbetter (Lead Belly), arr. Moira Smiley
One More Colour, Jane Siberry*, arr. By Suba Sankaran*
Lie Down, The Good Lovelies, transcribed by Suba Sankaran
Home Again, Carole King, arr. By J. Adelman Gershon

*Canadian Composer

Artistic Director/Conductor:
Alice Malach

Guest Musicians:
Sara Spigott, piano
Paul McCulloch, guitar, bass, percussion


Soprano 1
Pilvi Carman
Rebecca Carpenter
Kristina Hunt
Heli Leesment

Alto 1
Glynnis Burt
Caroline Fredericks
Abby Pierce
Soprano 2
Carling Pang
Patricia Perkins
Astra Teo

Alto 2
Karen Sun
Katy Whitfield

Virtual Choir Participants: 
Vania Lai Smyth
Monika Medri-Kummerer

Alumni Guests: 
Lauren Acton
Nicole Allin
Julie Brown
Deborah Isaac
Susan Light
Emily Malach
Claire Nguyen
Emily Taylor

Artistic Director’s Message

Welcome to Home Again, Penthelia Singers’ first live concert in more than two years! We are so pleased to finally be back at Rosedale Presbyterian Church sharing our music with you.

During the 2020-2021 season, Penthelia Singers continued to rehearse virtually each week. We tried to make the best of a very challenging, ever-changing situation, and continued to keep our singing community alive. The online platform actually made rehearsals more accessible for some, with singers joining from as far away as Nova Scotia and Northern Ontario.

The choir also enjoyed a series of virtual workshops to explore choral music of diverse cultures with guest artists. The composer Tracy Wong was our first special guest in the fall of 2020. You’ll hear her arrangement of the Malay children’s song, Ikan Kekek, today. The Russian orthodox hymn, Tebe Poem, was introduced in the winter of 2021 by choral pedagogue Zimfira Poloz. In the spring of 2021, the choir had the pleasure of working with composer Shireen Abu-Khader on her arrangement of Yamo – A Syrian Tribute to All Mothers. As recent as this past week, Shireen zoomed with the choir to coach the Arabic text. You can find translations of these texts below.

The program that we share with you today is a potpourri of music explored over the past two seasons both online and then more recently in person. You will notice that many of the selections are a cappella, or without instruments, purposefully chosen should our concert need to be outdoors due to public health restrictions. We are grateful that conditions allow us to gather in the church with a live audience and guest musicians today.

Our first rehearsal back at the church this past fall was emotional. Once back together, we realized how much we missed being together and what had been lost during our time apart. Voices in isolation do not a choir make.

Thank you so much for joining us this afternoon to celebrate the joy of singing and being together, and the resilience of our community.

Enjoy the concert!



Tebe Poem
We sing to you
We praise you
We thank you
O Lord.
We pray to you, our God
We pray to you, our God
We pray to you, our God
Our God

Ikan Kekek
Ponyfish mak iloi-iloi
Croaker fish mak ilai-ilai
My dear is very beautiful
But her laugh is loud (and not graceful)

Ponyfish mak iloi-iloi
Croaker fish mak ilai-ilai
If you (little one) want to be wise
Come learn (study hard), don’t be lazy

The sea is calm
The boat floats toward the bluff
The heart recalls, the mouth smiles
Kindness is (always) upheld/encouraged

Yamo – A Syrian Tribute to Mothers
You bore me in your womb for nine months
Endured so much pain to bring me to life
I gave you a hard time while you raised me
Alas, all that effort has proven futile

Yamo Yamo, supreme mother of all
compassionates, Yamo

How many times have you gotten cold to keep me warm?
How many times have you abstained from food to feed me?
How many pairs of socks have you patched for me?
And all that good has not reflected in me

No matter what I do, I can never pay you back
It is only God’s grace that befits you
Hold me in your heart and forgive me
May God grant you longevity and keep you safe