Composers / Arrangers

Explore the music of Maritime composers and arrangers.

Christine Chase
née: Sollows

Christine is a graduate of Mount Allison University with Bachelor’s Degrees in Music and in Education.

She taught in the New Brunswick school system for 33 years, mainly in the Kennebecasis Valley, most of her career as a string specialist, teaching group strings and rehearsing and conducting student string orchestras.

In this capacity she arranged and adapted music for her ensembles and this led her to create arrangements of popular and folk music well suited to the age groups, and performance levels of her students.

In 2002 a friend and well known New Brunswick composer, Jim Stewart, asked Chris to create string quartet arrangements for some of his pieces which were to be to be performed by the Saint John String Quartet for the Opera New Brunswick production of: The Marco Polo Suite -A Folk Opera, at the Imperial Theatre in Saint John.

Jim’s melodies, lyrics and use of Celtic instrumentation were an inspiration to Chris as she worked on those quartets and she was sure his other works would adapt well to string and other chamber ensembles.

Upon her retirement from teaching, Chris set about tidying up those string quartets and as you can see and hear , Chris did not stop there.

Combo byte : Edwin’s Song IV Hope Renewed

In her youth Chris studied with Saint John’s Alice Mae Eccles, attended music camps at Acadia , Mount Allison and in Rothesay. Upon leaving high school, she studied with Acadia’s Janis Kalejs and Mount Allison University’s Rodney McLeod. Chris was original member of the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra and of Symphony New Brunswick.

Christine’s arrangements are at the intermediate to senior level of difficulty for strings.

Soloists featured ?...a great opportunity to include professionals and community participation with your string groups……even add some Celtic all arrangements are in the original keys……and Jim has the lead sheets!!!

SQ byte: Lament for Owen Christy
SO byte: Carol’s Waltz

Jim Stewart’s folk music tell stories of hardship, longing, perseverance , joy and hope. The human experience found not only within their lyrics; but also within his melodies and chord progressions. For more sound bytes of Chase arrangements visit our sheet music page on this site. 

Jim’s original Carol’s Waltz

Chris Chase’s email:

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Saint John’s Telegraph Journal article regarding the multimedia production of The Marco Polo suite-A Folk Opera at Saint John’s Imperial Theatre in t he Fall of 2002
Thankyou Fred!

Jim Stewart

Born in Scotland, Jim came to Canada at an early age, his family settling in Black’s Harbour, New Brunswick. He attended the University of New Brunswick and later, married Jane MacDonald of Saint John, NB.  They settled in Renforth on the Kennebecasis river to raise their family.

A poet, author, musician, lyricist and composer, Jim continues to contribute greatly to the creative and performing arts, in New Brunswick.  His poems have been published in literary magazines across Canada and he is the author of three published collections.  A founding member of the New Brunswick folk group 
Hal An Tow, Jim has performed at major festivals and on radio and television throughout the Maritimes and New England. Jim’s instruments include: 
guitar; tin whistle; low whistle; bodhran; harmonica; Northumbrian small pipes; vocals.

Jim’s original music is of Celtic influence and has appeared in various printed collections.  His compositions have been featured on videos, theatrical and television productions and they continue to be performed by artists in Canada, the UK, Armenia, Australia and the United States. His folk opera The Marco Polo Suite, has received airplay in seven countries and was recorded live in performance by the National Film Board of Canada.

For more on Jim Stewart explore his site:

Saint John’s Telegraph Journal Post Production Publicity

In the 1970s Jim Stewart, New Brunswick writer, musician and composer, began to create and perform his original music in the folk idiom. 

In 1992 Jim recorded a thematic musical project called The Marco Polo Suite on the Epcom Music label. His melodies were so memorable and his lyrics so historically grounded that New Brunswick’s Department of Education created a unit on shipbuilding featuring Jim’s Marco Polo Suite music. This unit
was then sent into our children’s libraries, music and classroom and continues to enhance the teaching of New Brunswick history. Generations of New Brunswickers learning an important part of our heritage through Jim’s research and his music.

The Marco Polo Suite – A Folk Opera was presented at Saint John’s Imperial Theatre in the Fall of 2002 . In partnership with Opera New Brunswick, and in  collaboration with many talented Maritime and New England musicians, Jim Stewart & Gary Chase of Epcom Communications co-produced this series of performances. At Jim’s request Christine Chase created six string quartets and The Saint John String Quartet (SJSQ)was enlisted to perform on  stage with the folk artists. These musicians, folk with a touch of the classical, performed for children and adults from across New Brunswick who attended these performances .

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