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The Acadia New Music Society promotes contemporary concert music in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia. Co-Directed by Derek Charke and Mark Hopkins, the primary outlet for this is an annual New Music Festival called Shattering the Silence.

For more information, please contact:

Derek Charke (902) 585-1270
Mark Hopkins (902) 585-1244

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The Acadia New Music Society (ANMS) exists to promote new concert music to the public, bringing great new music to 21st Century listeners. ANMS promotes and performs music concerts, programming a wide range of varieties and genres, with special emphasis on NS performers and composers. The main vehicle created in support of these concerts by the ANMS is their ‘Shattering the Silence’ new music music festival. In addition to giving voice to music by established composers, this festival celebrates the creation and performance of concert music by composers across the region. During the festival we normally produce six concerts, and present a substantial educational component consisting of workshops and lecture presentations. The role of our organization within our community, and the impact of the festival on the music milieu and audience is unique. We feel that our mandate and festival is critical in connecting established professional musicians with emerging voices, the great composers and performers of the future.


Type of Incorporation:
Non-Profit Society incorporated September 29, 2008
Directors: Derek Charke & Mark Hopkins
Officers: Pauline Dong, Jeff Hennessy, Sally Hopkins
Employees: None
Geographic Location: Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia (based in Wolfville/Kentville)


‘Shattering the Silence’ has been presented seven times since 2006, presenting a total of approximately forty-two new music concerts, and one national CBC Radio 2 broadcast.

Principal guest artists have included: Allan Gordon Bell, composer, SubText, and Fifth Wind Woodwind Quintet (2014); Michael Colgrass, composer and Quasar Saxophone Quartet (2013); Hildegard Westerkamp, composer and Steven Naylor, composer (2011); Zorana Sadiq, mezzo-soprano(2010); Russell Hartenberger, percussionist (2009); Rodney Sharman, composer (2008); Chenoa Anderson, flutist and Eugene Cormier, guitarist (2007).

We have commissioned many regional and Canadian composers including: Bob Bauer, Jerome Blais, Derek Charke, Jeff Hennessy, Scott Macmillan, Sandy Moore, Michael Parker, Peter Togni, John Plant, Anthony Genge, Jim O’Leary, and Steven Naylor. Featured musicians have included Mark Adam, Norman Adams, Simon Docking, Jennifer King, Barbara Pritchard, Christianne Rushton, and many others.

Guest ensembles have included Sanctuary and Motion Ensembles, and the resident NBG Ensemble, created specifically for the festival. Events have been presented in partnership with the Acadia Performing Arts Series, Acadia University School of Music, the Al Whittle Theatre in Wolfville, Grand Pré National Historic Site, and the Halifax Farmers Market.

Two successful Centrediscs CD recordings have been released as a direct result of the ANMS/STS Festival activities—“Between the Shore and the Ships” featuring Helen Pridmore and Wesley Ferreira (winner of two ECMA Awards) and “Kitchen Party” featuring Derek Charke and Mark Grant Adam, performers. Collectively, these discs contain music by more than 12 Atlantic region composers, all commissioned by the ANMS.

Funding has been secured from Arts Nova Scotia, the SOCAN Foundation, the Canadian Music Centre’s New Music in New Places initiative, CBC Radio 2, Kings County, and Acadia University.
© 2015 Acadia New Music Society