Four Strong Winds

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sing the north logo circle 1Join SING THE NORTH to sing FOUR STRONG WINDS by Ian Tyson.

This project is sung by STN – our founding SING THE NORTH choir.

Four Strong Winds is a folk ballad that we will be singing in an arrangement for SATB chorus and piano by composer Larry Nickel.

Singers on our project will take weekly full-choir rehearsals and sectionals (all rehearsals recorded to watch at your leisure).

The project will also feature a Field Trip on the STN Virtual Tour Bus to the Alberta, land of big skies and wide-open spaces, where Ian Tyson makes his home.

All are welcome to join us to sing this heart-warming Canadian classic!

Follow the link below to choose your price and join us this individual project, or purchase it at a discount with a STN Season Pass or an All Season Pass.

View our Timetable here.

Fee includes your score, live weekly zoom rehearsals, field trip, and workshops, and a full set of materials to help you learn your part. 

Starts May 14, 2022

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Four Strong Winds

Four Strong Winds is a classic Canadian folk ballad that was written by Ian Tyson and recorded by the folk duo Ian and Sylvia.

A significant song in the 1960s folk revival in North America, and inspired by Bob Dylan’s music of the same time, Four Strong Winds was Tyson’s first ever composition. Tyson wrote the ballad in only twenty minutes at the apartment of his then manager, Albert Grossman, in New York in 1961.

The theme of the song is the feeling of conflict when a relationship is nearing its end. There is a wish to stay together, but an acknowledgement that it is time to move on.

With its mention of the cold winters and travelling along prairie highways toward new opportunities, Four Strong Winds has become a Canadian classic and is considered to be an unofficial anthem of Tyson’s home province, Alberta.

SING THE NORTH are singing a beautiful arrangement of Four Strong Winds for SATB chorus and piano, written by Dr Larry Nickel.

Meet Ian Tyson, arr. Larry Nickel

Ian Tyson is one of Canada’s great folk, and later country, music heroes.

A rodeo rider and graphic artist as a young man, he took up the guitar during a time of recovery from an injury. He went on to have a career that has spanned seven decades.

Tyson sang his first concert in the Heidelberg Café in Vancouver in 1956, when he was a member of the band the Sensational Stripes. After moving to Toronto to work as a graphic artist, Tyson began performing with Sylvia Fricker – later Sylvia Tyson – and the two formed the duo Ian & Sylvia, which went on to perform together for more than 15 years, releasing 13 albums of both folk and country music and touring all over the world.

Following their divorce, Tyson hosted a national television program in Canada, the Ian Tyson Show, which was also known as Nashville North. At this time Tyson gave up his folk roots, moving over to country music.

In 1989, Ian Tyson was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.

SING THE NORTH are performing a version of Four Strong Winds that was arranged for SATB chorus and piano by composer and publisher, Dr Larry Nickel, owner of Cypress Choral Music, who also publish Four Strong Winds.

Virtual Field Trip


Just as the song says, SING THE NORTH is going to "go out to Alberta" to see this very special land filled with big skies, Rocky Mountains, and endless prairie, where the horses, groundhogs, and the buffalo run free.

Join STN to sing Four Strong Winds and enjoy our trip down the Trans-Canada Highway as we take in the sights and sounds of Canada's beautiful Rocky Mountain, prairie and ranch land wilderness.

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