Back home in Cobourg, Ont., Torrie began piano lessons at age four, and choral singing at age seven. But it wasn’t a love of music or singing that got her interested, but rather the prospect of travelling to England.
“I heard they had a trip planned to England, and it was the trip that made me want to join,” she laughs.
Despite hating piano lessons and thinking she’d quit choir, Torrie persisted, finding instead she really loved singing classical music with her choir. She went on to direct a junior choir, become a choral scholar and then eventually head chorister.
Since arriving at Acadia, Torrie has become known across Wolfville within three communities that have a habit of blending.
She is an active student on campus, singing with the Manning Memorial Chapel Choir and hosting a monthly Shape Note singing in the Acadia Art Gallery.
Torrie is a choral scholar at St. John’s Anglican Church, and sings at several open mics across the town, including both T.A.N. Coffee’s Open Mike and Donna
A look at upcoming arts and d entertainment events in the Annapolis Valley:
Fundy Cinema film screenings
Fundy Cinema screens A Fantastic Woman March 21 at 7 p.m.
Marina, a beautiful, enigmatic, transgender woman, struggles with both her own grief and societal prejudice after the death of her middle-aged lover to gain respect in Chilean director Sebastián Lelio’s timely and compassionate Oscar-winning drama.
Then, on March 22, Fundy Cinema and Seawinds Horse Archers screen The Horse Archer at 7 p.m. This film is an inspiring and beautifully photographed documentary about Lajos Kassai, a modern-day warrior and philosopher who has dedicated his life to Ellen Torrie is a fourth-year music therapy major at Acadia University. While her first love is classical and choral singing, she has grown to love songwriting, and will one day aim to combine both styles into a new, unique style. Ellen Torrie describes her songwriting sound as folk-pop, with a voice obviously influenced by classical training. “I have a fairly high soprano range, which stands out in folk music — most female singers sing lower,” she says.
and the Monday Open Mic with Mike Milne at Paddy’s Brewpub in Wolfville.
Her final vocal recital was held March 18 at the university’s Denton Hall.
On top of the performances, Torrie has regular university classes, voice and instrumental lessons and has to make time to preserving p the ancient Hungarian tradition and culture of horseback archery at his school in The Valley of Horses. A question and answer period and demonstration will follow.
Molly’s Game will be shown March 25, with screenings at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. When Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain) is arrested and indicted by the FBI for running the world’s most exclusive high stakes poker game, she takes on her case with the help of her lawyer, Charlie Jaffey (Idris Elba), in Aaron Sorkin’s exhilarating directorial debut based on a true story.
All screenings are held at the Al Whittle Theatre, 450 Main St., Wolfville. Tickets are $9 for each show and are available 30 minutes before screening.
She says working hard and staying busy is a quintessential part of being a musician who intends on pursuing the craft at a professional level.
“It’s such a competitive field. You have to hone your craft, and that’s where practice and time management come in,” she says.
Go online: fundycinema. ca or facebook.com/Fundy-Cinema-1692183731024542
Shoulder to Shoulder Concert
The group Shoulder to Shoulder started out more than 23 years ago spreading the message of equality, diversity and racial harmony. The group has shared their experiences with many people through tours of the school system with performances in various locations in Nova Scotia. They will be attending Horton High School, 75 Greenwich Road South, for a free performance March 21 to celebrate the 2018 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Doors Open at 6:30 p.m., with the show running from 7-8:30 p.m.
Catch Ian Janes in Concert
Sea-Esta is presenting a concert with Ian Janes, a singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer living in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
Janes, originally from Hantsport, is currently promoting his Yes Man album. In March 2017, CMT’s hit show Nashville closed its Season 5 ‘mid-season finale’ with Janes’ song Can’t Remember Never Loving You.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., show runs from 7-9:30 p.m. at Sea-Esta, 454 Pereau Rd., Canning (Delhaven). Tickets for the March 24 concert cost $25 and can be reserved by emailing email@example.com or calling 902-692-1662.
Acadia Chorus Spring Concert
On March 24, join the Acadia
Chorister moves toward songwriting
Over the years, Torrie also developed a passion for songwriting, with her earliest attempts at drafting lyrics at 12 or 13 resulting in what she has since dubbed questionable rhymes.
Soon after, she created her own YouTube channel and started uploading her songs. She even set the recording camera at an angle to make it look like she was accompanying herself on the guitar, though she couldn’t yet play the instrument.
“It was kind of a scam,” she laughs, “but that’s how much I wanted it.”
Her songwriting grew as she made her way through high school, and during the highs and lows of being an adolescent, she says writing helped her navigate the turbulent period.
And now, as she’s found her sound as both a classical singer and songwriting musician, she sees herself as a performer with a split personality.
“It’s funny, because I love them both, but they’re so differ-
University Chorus, led by Michael Caines, for their annual spring concert. This year’s concert is entitled Ave Maria and features music spanning many centuries from the Renaissance to the present time.
Works include Motets by Palestrina, Bennet and Morley, A Missa Breve by Charles Gounod, new music by Alfred V Fedak and Daniel Elder, culminating with Charles Gounod’s famous setting of JS Bach’s Prelude in C to Ave Maria.
Joining the chorus will be university organist John Scott with a guest appearance by School of Music staff accompanist Mary Castello. Vocal students in the ent. Classical performance is you against all the other singers, while jamming creates a community,” she says.
“Music is so communal on the East Coast compared to where I grew up, where it’s more of a dichotomy between performer and listener. When I moved here, songwriting became more of a tool in connecting with people.”
Combining two passions into one sound
As she sets her sights on combining her two passions, Torrie looks to her biggest influence for inspiration — Joni Mitchell.
Her soft soprano voice and musical evolution both serve as food for thought for Torrie, who admires the legendary folk musician for more than just her music.
“Joni evolved and did it all — folk, jazz, always her own thing. The way she tells stories is mesmerizing, and you feel that classical influence in her voice. She’s so unique, as a person and artist,” she says.
First, Torrie wants to focus on that classical voice she feels so at home with, despite the fact that her dream will come with some steep competition, with many vocalists competing for few jobs.
But as she pursues classical voice performance after graduating from Acadia, Torrie will aim to keep writing songs and creating a particular sound in the back of her mind.
She looks to groups like Goldfrapp, which also comes from classical backgrounds, as proof that a unique sound not only works but can resonate.
She’s eager to pen music that can bring her split musical personalities together — folk-pop songwriting and classical singing.
“My sound will incorporate all the aspects of music that I love and will turn into something that’s distinctly mine. I don’t know what that’s going to look like, but I’m really excited to find out,” she says. School of Music will be featured. Doors to University Hall open at 6:30 p.m., with the show running from 7-8:15 p.m. Cost: $10 at the door; free for students and youth.
On March 25, from 3-5 p.m., the Acadia University Symphonic Band and Acadia Youth Band will present music by Camphouse, Chance, Dejanais, Mackey, Maslanka and Wagner. Conducted by Tristan De Borba, Ardith Haley and Paul Hutten. Admission is by freewill donation. Concert will be held at Festival Theatre, 504 Main St., in Wolfville.
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