PEI

Barbershop quartet to seasonally serenade ferry passengers this month

Northumberland Ferries has invited P.E.I.'s Harmonix Quartet to perform Christmas favourites on MV Confederation for two Saturdays' worth of midday crossings between the Island and Nova Scotia.

Have Yourself a Ferry Little Christmas on the ride to or from P.E.I.

Four women dressed in matching burgundy tops and white and burgundy floral skirts pose for a smiling photo.
The women's barbershop quartet Harmonix has been performing since 2019. (Harmonix/Facebook)

People who like a little carolling in their lives at this time of year can find that on the Northumberland Strait this month.

Northumberland Ferries has invited P.E.I.'s Harmonix Quartet to perform a cappella Christmas favourites on MV Confederation for two Saturdays' worth of midday crossings between the Island and Nova Scotia.

The first is today, Dec. 2, and the second will be Dec. 16, as long as the weather co-operates. The singers will be on the 11:30 a.m. AT crossing from Wood Islands and the 1 p.m. AT crossing from Caribou each of those days.

The women's barbershop quartet also sang on the boat last December. 

"It really came from our Music on Deck program being such a popular program with our passengers, and wanting to celebrate the closing of the season of the ferry," said Jessica Gillis, the Director of Marketing and Customer Experience for Northumberland Ferries.

"And of course music is such a big part of the East Coast, and Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island." 

Kelly Mullaly, who sings baritone with Harmonix, said she can't wait to return to the waters on the weekend, after last year's experience with Harmonix, along with fellow carollers TAMbre Quartet.  

Four women in black clothing and matching red sparkly scarves sing in front of a row of portholes.
A photo from the Harmonix Facebook page shows the quartet performing on a Northumberland Ferries crossing in December 2022. (Harmonix/Facebook)

"It was really fun. It was a different singing experience for us as opposed to being in a traditional theatre with a stage. But we love that, we love singing out in the community," she told CBC's Mainstreet

"We had a small stage area up in the lounge in the ferry, and we felt, you know, like we were sitting in somebody's living room almost singing for them."   

She said the lounge would gradually fill up during the crossings as passengers were drawn by the music. 

"A lot of times people think it may be a recording. And then when they actually come up... and they see that it's live singers, big smiles come on their faces — and kids especially get a big kick out of it."

The group has some Hanukkah songs and a Cree lullaby in its repertoire, as well as a chanted piece called The Peace Prayer Mandela. Otherwise, it will be Christmas standards for the most part. 

With files from Jackie Sharkey

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