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NV Other Lives - Peter Fillmore

Updated: Mar 20


This year, our 20th anniversary season, we are pleased to give you a closer look at members who have been with Nova Voce since its inception.  In this edition of the newsletter, we hear from Peter Fillmore, in his own words.


Section One: Choir information

1.     Choir member name: Peter Fillmore


2.     Voice in the choir (section)

I’m a baritone, a would-be Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau or Bryn Terfel


3.     Number of years in the choir

Twenty years—since the beginning!


4.     Positions held in the choir: Committees / Board?

Several terms on the Board, including looking after Publicity. I believe this newsletter was my initiative. I also worked with Dave Jellicoe to get our website going.


5.     How and why did you join the choir?

I attended the first meeting out of curiosity about male choral singing and was immediately hooked! Note: This seems to be a running theme amongst all the ‘original’ members. It must have been a magical event!


6.     What has kept you in the choir? Eg. Camaraderie? The music?

Yes, it is the camaraderie, but it is also love of singing, and the wide-ranging Nova Voce repertoire.


7.     Best Nova Voce memory or your funniest memory

Lasting memories come from our tour in Italy. At one venue, near Joe Renzie’s ancestral home, we were given a huge banquet with copious amounts of wine, after which we had a concert. Fortunately there was a delay, as we waited for the local nobility to appear! Note: There’s another story here Peter. Maybe you can tell us more in an upcoming newsletter.


Section Two: Outside of the choir

1.     General demographic information: age, spouse, family etc.

I am still singing at 87 and hoping to continue for some time yet. My wife Anne Ellen was a school teacher, starting with kindergarten and winding up in the QEH English Department. We had three children and five grandchildren, and now suddenly I find I have eight great grandchildren, with another on the way!

Glory be!


2.     Other musical groups you belong to or have belonged to:

It all started when my mother enrolled me in voice lessons when I was about 12. I was in the Saint John High chorus and band. Anne Ellen sang all her life, and while at Indiana University she got us into a madrigal group, about 12 of us around a table with plenty of beer. Back at Dal we joined the Dal Chorale (now Collegium Cantorum) and later the Walter Kemp Singers. Presently I sing in the Symphony Nova Scotia Chorus, Collegium Cantorum, First Baptist Church Choir, and of course Nova Voce.


3.     What would you say are your talents?

In school my best subject was mathematics, and that has led to a satisfying career. Starting over, I might go for music!


4.     Employment – current or if retired, what was your main career?

I am a mathematician. After an honours degree at Dal, I did a PhD at Minnesota, then taught at Chicago, Indiana, and back to Dal for the final twenty-five years.


5.     Describe two or three life experiences that might illustrate your personality or your philosophy on life. (eg. travel, home or work successes)

My career enabled extensive travel, including sabbatical years in Toronto, Edinburgh, Copenhagen and Waterloo. In addition, we took each of our grandchildren on three-week trips to Europe, travelling on rail passes and staying in youth hostels. I was fortunate to have some very gifted graduate students, to serve Dalhousie on many committees and as chair of my department, and to serve my profession in many roles including a term as President of the Canadian Mathematical Society.


6.     Name two things you are looking forward to this year. (this could be work or leisure)

I look forward to my daily nap and visiting with family. A trip to England and Italy is being planned as well.


7.     If those who know you were to describe you in one or two sentences, what would they say?

I have no idea! At work I was regarded as being somewhat hard-nosed, but I never felt that way. Note: We wanted to add our two cents here. Peter is a dedicated member of Nova Voce – isn’t that obvious?  And a pleasure to know!


8.     Do you have a motto you live by?

At my age, it’s to be active every day!



Thank you, Peter.


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