Hymn Sing alumni gather in Winnipeg to reunite in song

Hymn Sing alumni gather in Winnipeg to reunite in song

Remember the long-running CBC show Hymn Sing?

Choristers from the program will reunite in Winnipeg for what could be an emotional singalong, 53 years after its first broadcast.

More than 60 former choristers — many more than the 16 who usually performed on the TV show — will sing in a reunion concert this weekend, with even more set to be in the audience.

Choristers sing in a 1970 episode of Hymn Sing. (CBC)

Hymn Sing, which was taped in Winnipeg, was one of the longest-running national Canadian musical TV shows. The show, which was exactly what its title implies — a group of singers performing primarily hymns and spiritual music — was on the CBC from 1965 to 1996.

The reunion was spearheaded by former chorister John Nelson, who described being part of Hymn Sing as a “highlight of my life.”

“It impacted the lives of not only the members of Hymn Sing, but it impacted the lives of many in our audience,” he said. To this day, he runs into people who remember all the lyrics to songs from the program.

CBC Hymn Sing from 1970 4:28

Nelson started working on the reunion about a year ago after rummaging through some old files.

Because the program was cancelled abruptly in the 1990s, participants in the program never got an opportunity for closure, he said.

With former choristers now spread across the globe, bringing them together for the weekend has been a “mammoth undertaking,” Nelson said.

With no contact information on file, it was a huge task just to find where Hymn Sing alumni had landed.

John Nelson says he expects the reunion concert will be emotional. (Submitted by the Hymn Sing reunion committee)

“It’s really quite thrilling for all of us to have been able to pull this off,” he said.

When the 60 choristers take the stage, there might be a few tears, he said.

“I don’t think the emotion of the event will hit us until we file onto the platform, turn around and see a very appreciative audience,” he said.

The Hymn Sing alumni reunion concert is being held at Bethel Mennonite Church on Sunday at 3 p.m.

Published at Mon, 20 Aug 2018 10:46:51 -0400