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Nova Scotian composer, guitarist, teacher Scott Macmillan is a musical treasure, that has played a significant role expanding audiences for Atlantic Canadian music nationally and internationally for over 40 years.  In 2014 Macmillan received Nova Scotia’s top Artist Prize, the ‘Portia White Prize’.  His passion for creating music has inspired exploration into genres from rock to blues, classical to choral, Celtic to jazz, as well as modern and avant-garde.  Acknowledged by Rita MacNeil as integral to her success, Scott has played an equally pivotal role in the rise of the Rankin Family Band, Symphony Nova Scotia’s Maritime Pops programming and the Nova Scotia Mass Choir.  His his much loved collaboration with Jennyfer Brickenden and ode to our world’s oceans “Celtic Mass for the Sea” has taken him to Carnegie Hall, twice, in New York, to the British Isles, Germany and beyond. Visit
Enjoy the video below.


Scott Macmillan and Jennyfer Brickenden

SATB with piano or orchestra – CP 2295       
This highly accessible contemporary work is a crossover between Celtic, Classical and Choral traditions.  It uses voices blended with a string orchestra and traditional instruments such as Uileann pipes, Irish flute, guitars, mandolin and fiddle.  Composed by Halifax-based Canadian composer Scott Macmillan to a libretto by Jennyfer Brickenden, The Mass is based on ancient Celtic sealore, incantations and chants.  “Celtic Mass for the Sea” celebrates the reverence of ancient people for the sea’s majesty, ferocity and vitality, and is a relevant message of hope for the oceans in these times of eco-destruction. This work will delight radio programmers, choral and symphony conductors looking for something new (especially in “Canadian Content”) and anyone interested in the current Celtic revival.

Scott Macmillan has interwoven his own original themes into traditionally Celtic styles, including rowing songs, funeral chants, sea-rapture songs, pipe and fiddle tunes, and labour songs.  The Mass’ text is based on the Celtic oral traditions, from pre-12 century pagan, Wiccan and Druid sources on.  Among the sources used by librettist Jennyfer Brickenden were the “Carmina Gadelica”, collected by Alexander Carmichael in the mid-1800s, “Songs of the Hebrides”, Marjorie Kennedy Fraser, 1909, and “From the Farthest Hebrides”, collected by Donald Fergusson in 1912.

If I Were a Blackbird

arr. Scott Macmillan

SATB with piano  –    CP 1360   – 4:05   
A beautiful folksong melody collected by Dr. Helen Creighton in Lunenberg County, Nova Scotia.  It is in 3/4 time telling the story of a sailor, his maiden, and the pain of separation.

MacPherson’s Lament

arr. Scott Macmillan 

SATB with piano  –    CP 1361   – 4:45   
James MacPherson was an outlaw in the north of Scotland, 300 years ago; popular with the poor people and the nemesis of Lord Duff -the Laird of Braco. Legend has it that he composed this tune the night before he was hanged and played it with his fiddle on the scaffold. Then he smashed the instrument before “dancing a loft”.

Peter Amberly

arr. Scott Macmillan 

SATB a cappella  –    CP 1362   – 4:50   
Another classic folk song from the east coast – sung from the perspective of a lumberjack who was crushed by a falling tree. Scott presents the story with compelling a cappella writing.

Siúl a Ghrá

arr. Scott Macmillan 

SATB with piano  –    CP 1359   – 3:00   
This beloved folksong made its way from Ireland to Newfoundland centuries ago. Scott gives it a lilting flavor with a beautiful chord progression.