Who was that young man that strode into the music portable at Courtenay Elementary 20 years ago? He sat down at the upright piano while the 30 people in the room held their breath, and waited. Then gorgeous sounds filled the space and the new accompanist for the Celebration Singers was born.
As a young music student at McGill University, Sean Mooney’s best friend and co-conspirator became the piano as he often practiced 16 hours a day. The program’s exacting professors not only graded him well, but they also promptly encouraged him to apply to the performance stream of McGill’s music program.
Today, those of us who have the pleasure of hearing Mooney play, and who collaborate with him on performances, benefit greatly from his decision to follow that path.
Over the last 23 years, the Celebration Singers has grown to be the largest performing choir in the Valley, now sporting 80-plus members. Choir members come and go, retire and return, and musical directors have changed five times. However, Mooney continues to be our devoted artistic collaborator, holding the choir in his capable, caring hands while sharing his gracious warmth and talent.
The choir’s current musical director Jenn Forsland shares her admiration for Mooney.
“My appreciation for Sean is immeasurable. He is a gifted musician, capable of switching between styles and genres with skill and fluidity. He is particularly intuitive and deeply empathetic, easily endearing himself to those who have the privilege of working with him,” she explained.
“He takes pride in uplifting his students and adds sincerity, warmth and humour to his musical collaborations. Sharing music with someone as capable and playful as Sean is a musician’s dream come true and I have never had the privilege of working with another accompanist as fine as he. He is deeply cherished as a musical treasure in our community and it is a well-deserved mantle.”
On behalf of the Celebration Singers, thank you Sean for your huge contribution to our success and our enjoyment every Monday night. We are so very grateful to you.
To hear Mooney and the Celebration Singers perform please join us for our exciting all Canadian concert May 12 at the Sid Williams Theatre. For more information, visit .celebrationsingers.ca.
Tickets for “Our Canada” are $14 for youth and $20 for adults (all fees inc) at the Sid box office, by phone at (250) 338 – 2430 and online.