Snarby will be joining 60 singers from 40 countries performing as the World Youth Choir at the peace prize ceremonies when they are handed out next month. He is also one of just three singers from Canada, and the only one from the Atlantic Provinces.
Over three days, the choir will be performing three times at different events. The first takes place on Dec. 9, performing for dignitaries and world leaders. The Dec. 10 performance is when the awards themselves are given out. On Dec. 11 they will be part of the concert for the general public.
Snarby has been part of the World Youth Choir since 2003 travelling to many parts of the world to perform. Some of the highlights of that time have been singing for the 50th anniversary of D-Day in France, the 20th anniversary of the World Youth Choir in 2009 in Sweden, and in 2010 as assistant director of the choir when they performed on the Canary Islands in Spain.
Though Snarby is just outside of the age range of the choir, the organizers of the event wanted a mix of past and present members to be part of the choir. That led to the invitation coming to him earlier this fall.
Snarby says the invitation caught him by surprise, when it came in early September. However he had to keep it a secret for nearly two months.
“Even after I found out, I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone. Not friends, not on Facebook or anything like that,” he said.
Once the Nobel Peace Prize Committee approved the lineup of artists, which also includes Sugarland, Jill Scott and Evanescence, he was then allowed to let people know the good news.
“Musically it’s going to be great. It’s going to be great to see old friends, and meet new friends. But just being at the Nobel Peace Prize is amazing,” he says.
Going to the ceremonies even ties in with his teaching, he says. Snarby teaches political science at Liverpool Regional High School, an the Nobel prizes are one of the topics covered.
“It’s something we’ve talked about in my class, but never really experienced it.”
There are obvious difficulties in practicing when your members come from all over the world. It’s not just as easy as taking a quick trip out to practice with one another. Each singer gets a copy of the music however, and is responsible for learning their parts. Once they arrive in Oslo they will have three days for rehearsals. Snarby says it’s a tight timeline, but they will manage.
“Everybody it at a really high musical level, so it doesn’t take long to click,” he says.
What will likely help is having director Greta Peterson directing the performance.
“She’s amazing, the best director I’ve ever worked with. I’m really looking forward to working with her again.”
Snarby says he remembers singing all his life, and started taking private lessons with former local teacher Kim Kirkpatrick. After graduating from High School, he went to Acadia University and minored in music. His musical journey took him to Baltimore to study at the Peabody Conservatory for a year, before returning to Nova Scotia to take his teaching degree.
In that time he has also sang with the provincial and national youth choirs, and started the Queens County Girls Choir.