Having no less a luminary than multiple GRAMMY-Award winning superstar producer David Foster publicly declare “she’s going places” during a star-studded concert in which she shared the stage with Lionel Richie and Natalie Cole, Eleanor McCain has dazzled audiences for more than a decade with a voice the Halifax Chronicle-Herald declared “lovely…full and expressive.”

Hailing from Florenceville, New Brunswick, this triple ECMA-nominated classical crossover specialist has recorded six albums, toured with noted JUNO-nominated jazz singer Matt Dusk, and accompanied symphonies across Canada. She’s also had the honor of collaborating with artists such as Natalie MacMaster, Liona Boyd, John McDermott, Chantal Kreviazuk, the Elmer Iseler Singers, and Carlos Nunez.

McCain’s music has been critically acclaimed from the love songs of Runaway to classical crossover favourite Intimate; ECMA-nominated children’s recording Bundle Of Joy; ECMA-nominated Green Hills Of Home, an album of Celtic balladry to her ECMA-nominated double CD of Christmas music entitled Holiday.

I was mesmerized with what I had experienced and from that day on singing captured my heart. I knew it was what I wanted to do with my life.

McCain’s love affair with music began when she was a very young girl growing up in the rural village of Florenceville. Inspired by her mother’s piano playing at home, McCain started singing as soon as she could talk. At the age of 9, the spark to take singing more seriously hit her when she saw a performance of the musical Annie on Broadway. “Since I wasn’t exposed to a wide variety of concerts given the limitations of my small village, seeing all of the young girls my age perform in Annie was transformational for me. I sat on the edge of my seat during the entire show,” remembers McCain. “Once I returned to my aunt’s house in Greenwich, Connecticut after the show, I found myself in the backyard with my sister and cousin singing the songs from the musical for the rest of the day. I was mesmerized with what I had experienced and from that day on singing captured my heart. I knew it was what I wanted to do with my life.”

Influenced by her mother’s training in classical music, McCain began classical vocal training during her formative years. McCain traveled with her mother every week to Fredericton, NB (150 km away from her hometown) for voice lessons from middle school through high school. She performed solos in school, at community events and church, competed in music festivals, and performed in local musical productions. Choral music was also a central part of her musical training during her youth from local school choirs to the renowned New Brunswick Hillsborough Girls’ Choir and ultimately with the National Youth Choir of Canada. Eventually, McCain enrolled in Mount Allison University where she majored in vocal performance and received her Bachelor of Music degree.

While it gave her much needed discipline and taught her the craft, McCain says that she wanted to explore genres outside of classical music once she completed her music degree. This motivation eventually honed her current classical crossover style. “I realized I was drawn more to the emotion of a song rather than a specific genre,” she admits. “And my intent is that whatever music I put out there for listeners evokes some kind of emotion for them or within them. The emotion of the song expressed through music and lyrics is most important to me rather than the genre itself.”

I realized I was drawn more to the emotion of a song rather than the specific genre.

Eventually, McCain’s classical crossover style evolved into her performing in symphony pops concerts for her Holiday and Runaway albums. These orchestral experiences are what inspired McCain to develop the concept for her latest album, True North: The Canadian Songbook.

Eventually, McCain’s classical crossover style evolved into her performing in symphony pops concerts for her Holiday and Runaway albums. These orchestral experiences are what inspired McCain to develop the concept for her latest album, True North: The Canadian Songbook.

Set for release in May 2017, True North: The Canadian Songbook, is a celebration of Canadian pop and folk songs set to orchestra honouring Canada’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation. Emmy Award winning composer Don Breithaupt produces this double album of 32 iconic songs reimagined by 14 arrangers from coast to coast and recorded with 10 of the country’s foremost orchestras, including the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Orchestre symphonique de Québec, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, Symphony New Brunswick, Symphony Nova Scotia, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Victoria Symphony, and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. In addition, the performances of 28 Canadian guest artists are also featured.

Along with the album, True North: The Canadian Songbook will be released as a double CD set along with a bilingual coffee table book capturing many of Canada’s most iconic landscapes by 22 of the country’s most prominent photographers, co-curated by renowned portrait photographer V. Tony Hauser. The book includes behind-the scenes images by Greg Locke as well as other photographers, song lyrics, commentary from songwriters and portraits by V. Tony Hauser in select Canadian landscapes featuring original Canadian fashion designs.

Based in Toronto, Eleanor McCain is an active philanthropist. The launch of True North: The Canadian Songbook will include a fundraising effort to support five $20,000 Commemorative BandAid Grants honoring the 20th Anniversary of MusiCounts, Canada’s music education charity. Most importantly, she is a dedicated mother to her 15 year old daughter, Laura.

 

 

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