Highlands Opera Studio completed its 17th year in the County by donating a Heintzman upright grand piano to St. George’s Anglican church for community use all year round.

Co-artistic directors, Valerie Kuinka and Richard Margison said, “we are so very grateful to Fr. David Barker, organist William (Bill) Gliddon, churchwardens Louise Sisson and Curtis Eastmure, and the members of the parish for welcoming us into the church, and for everything they do to support us during the five-weeks of the summer opera intensive.”

They said they wanted to give back and hope the piano will encourage and support the joy of singing and music throughout the year.

Fr. Barker added, “we are always delighted to have the Highlands Opera Studio fill the building each July and August with the sound of music. The gift of this piano comes at an opportune time for us. We have begun new work among seniors in our community, creating opportunities for people to explore their own creativity in new and fun ways.

“Music will be an important part of that outreach, and this piano allows us to extend our music into other rooms in the church building. It is exciting to think of the possibilities.”

The majority of HOS activities, including nine to 10 paid concerts and free community events, take place at the church every summer. Along with the concerts and educational events open to the public, internal activities include top industry professional development for a select group of young professional singers chosen annually through competitive national and international auditions.

The 15-20 highly accomplished artists travel from across Canada and beyond to work at the church with industry leaders on-site and online seven hours a day, six days of the week, while in residence in Haliburton for five weeks.

Year-round HOS activities include the Highlands Opera Club and online paywhat-you-can singing lessons (all styles of singing). HOS is operated by Highlands Opera Theatre, a registered charity dedicated to music education through operatic training and community engagement.