The Eastman Male Choir directed by Shannon Sawatzky and accompanied by Lori Reimer performed a joint concert on Sunday evening at Grace Mennonite Church with Winnipeg’s Men of Song directed by Ed Hildebrand and accompanied by Millie Hildebrand. 

All proceeds from the offering went to Special Olympics.  

Ed Hildebrand explains how the two choirs came together to collaborate. 

“My wife Millie and I were here at last June's Eastman Male Choir concert, and there was a guest choir of kids, and I thought, why don't we invite ourselves to be the next guest choir? So we did that, and Shannon thought it was a terrific idea, and the rest is history.” 

He says bringing two choirs together makes for a very powerful performance. 

“The very nature of a choir means you can sing, but you don't have to sing like a soloist. If you're a small choir, you know how you sound, but if you're at double sized choir suddenly by combining two choirs, as one of the audience members said, ‘one and one makes a lot more than two’, so in this case one and one made who knows how many, but it was wonderful.” 

Cathy Wiebe with Eastman Special Olympics says it was an incredible experience. 

“I have not been to an all men concert in years. My dad used to sing and it brought back so many fantastic memories for me. They started singing some of the songs my dad used to sing, and it was just like, ‘holy moly this was good!’” 

Wiebe says she doesn’t have an exact total yet, but she believes it’s over $1500. 

“So that's amazing for a choir to raise in their offering and I'm very impressed and extremely happy to receive it.” 

The funds will be going toward new uniforms for their athletes. 

“I am so excited, we haven't had new uniforms in a long time, so this is going to really help us out. That's our focus this year, is to get everybody back into team uniforms so they can feel like they're part of a team.” 


With files from Michelle Sawatzky and Kenton Dyck