Growing the Voices: Festival 500 - Come All Ye

Come form a choir with those who love to sing.
Beautiful music and a vacation of hiking, dining, sightseeing and cultural learning!

A 5-day choral retreat in one of the most gorgeous rehearsal spaces in the world.
Led by Conductor/Clinician Douglas Dunsmore, Ph.D.

Singles, Couples, and Groups all welcome!

Come All Ye

‘Come All Ye’ to one of the most spectacular corners of the earth to join in a singing opportunity and cultural experience like no other.

In a stunning Newfoundland coastal setting, participants will come together from many places to form their own unique singing ensemble. Over 5 days, the group will be led by renowned Choral Conductor Dr. Douglas Dunsmore, well-known for his skilled and engaging style. The participants will build a beautiful and diverse program of well-known repertoire (from folk songs to light classical and everything in between) while also making new friends and growing their singing skills. Musical scores will be sent to participants well in advance. The week will culminate with a public concert at Bonavista’s famous Garrick Theatre. ‘Come All Ye’ is a community choral experience developed by Festival 500 Founder, Dr. Susan Knight. It was created for people with a shared love of singing and a desire to experience the dramatic vistas and legendary culture of rural Newfoundland.

Imagine Yourself Here

Inspiration is everywhere in this sheltered cove, where participants will dine on fresh local cuisine and sleep soundly at a top-ranked rural inn – Fishers’ Loft. Tucked away in the stunning harbour of Port Rexton, Newfoundland and Labrador, this breathtaking setting is the perfect backdrop for this authentic singing experience. The rehearsal schedule is designed for participants to have time to relax and explore the area, with gorgeous hiking trails, dramatic scenery and nearby 3-4 century old towns and fishing villages. The traditionally-designed buildings of the Inn feature bright and airy rooms in the heritage style of Newfoundland. For those travelling companions who are not intending to join the choral project, there is an option of an upbeat and engaging casual music experience.

This workshop program is a rare chance to access practical, expert instruction in a choral ensemble while enjoying the trip of a lifetime. Come sing your heart out at the perfect rural retreat.

Tucked away on a quiet lane, Fishers' Loft is a 4.5 star award-winning inn. From the local art that adorns the walls to the locally crafted beds, this quaint cottage-style inn has been called "little piece of heaven".

The fine-dining menu is shaped by the availability of fresh ingredients from the kitchen garden, greenhouse and local suppliers. Fishers' Loft Conference Centre (where daily rehearsals will take place) is a state-of-the-art executive facility with beautifully appointed rooms, dining room and reception area. It's built into a ridge with panoramic views of historic Trinity and Trinity Bay, where you might see whales or icebergs, depending on the season.

For More Information

Please review the following links for more information about our event, the beautiful town and surrounding venues:

Come All Ye Conductor, Dr. Douglas Dunsmore.
(Article from the MUN Gazette)

Growing the Voices Founder, Dr. Susan Knight. (LinkedIn)

Fishers’ Loft Reviews

Port Rexton Reviews

Garrick Theatre (Bonavista location for final concert)

Follow our event on Facebook for updates!

Program designed by GTV Founder Dr. Susan Knight.
Presented by Growing the Voices: Festival 500.

Fishers Loft Logo Maxxim Vacations Logo Trip Advisor Logo

Photo of Dr. Douglas Dunsmore

Dr. Douglas Dunsmore

Dr. Douglas Dunsmore, retired Director of Choral Activities, MUN School of Music has worked with singers locally, throughout Canada and beyond for more than forty years. A choral conductor of considerable experience, he is also a founding artistic director of the widely acclaimed choral festival, Festival 500: Sharing the Voices. Frequently sought out as workshop conductor/clinician/adjudicator, music educator and mentor, he has also contributed significant service to such national organizations as the President of the Association of Canadian Choral Communities and Coordinator for various iterations of the National Youth Choir.

Recently, he has served as Director of MUN’s Bruneau Centre for Excellence in Choral Music and continues to help initiate and facilitate innovative projects throughout the province through his current duties as conductor of the Philharmonic Choir of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, Director of Choral Music at Gower United Church and Director of the Anchorman Barbershop Chorus in St. John's Newfoundland.

Photo of Susan Knight

Dr. Susan Knight

As a socio-cultural entrepreneur, Susan Knight is a champion of the human value of people singing together. A choral conductor and music educator of international repute, her principal current focus is advocating the power of singing as an engine for individual human health/enrichment and collectively for the creation of empathic community. Dr. Knight is active as a consultant, researcher, producer, keynote speaker and arts advocate. She is the Founder/Artistic Director Emerita of SHALLAWAY Youth Choir (1992) and of Festival 500 (1994-2013), an international festival fostering people from all cultures singing together. In 2013, she founded Growing the Voices - a re-visioned Festival 500, with a mission to increase access and opportunity for people singing together in all its forms. Dr. Knight has produced a canon of choral work focusing on ecology and community, commissioning composers from local through global, which works are published, recorded and/or broadcast. As a Visiting Researcher at UCL Institute of Education, her principal focus is on adult singing recovery/discovery. Dr. Knight holds Bachelor degrees in Music/Music Education (Memorial University), Master of Arts in Music Education (St. Thomas University, Minnesota) and a Ph.D. from the University of London. Active in governance, she serves/has served on CMEA, ACCC, Chorus America, IFCM, Advisory Council for the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador, Opera on the Avalon, Artistic Fraud Theatre Company, Irish Business Partnerships, Canada Council for the Arts and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. Dr. Knight holds an honorary LLD (Memorial University, 2005) and was invested in the Orders of Canada (2004), and of Newfoundland and Labrador (2005). In 2012, she was appointed Chancellor of Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.