Community / Press Release

Decades-long Habs national anthem dream comes true for Willingdon Choir

willingdon kids
Montreal - Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Willingdon School’s music teacher Nick Batzios  first dreamt about having his students sing the national anthem at a Montreal Canadiens game nearly 10 years ago – and on Tuesday, April 5, his dream finally came true.

Before the Canadiens hosted the Ottawa Senators,  Mr. Batzios and the Willingdon School Choir proudly stood up in their seats and sung “O Canada” in front of a sold-out crowd at the Bell Centre.

“It was a big dream and it started about 10 years go. I tried, found out what I had to do and worked really hard,” said Mr. Batzios. “It’s a huge honour and I am so greatful; we are really blessed.”

Mr. Batzios and his choir first auditioned six months ago and with the ongoing hope that they would be chosen, practiced weekly before their big performance in early April.

You can see the performance here:

Willingdon choir sings ‘O Canada’ (RDS) from EMSBTV on Vimeo.

Global TV report:

“Once in a lifetime experience”: Montreal elementary school choir singing at Canadiens game (Global Montreal).mov from EMSBTV on Vimeo.

About the English Montreal School Board

With a youth and adult sector population of more than 35,000 students, the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) is the largest English public school board in Quebec. Established on July 1, 1998, when the province created new boards along linguistic lines, the EMSB network consists of 77 schools and centres. For more details, visit the EMSB website at

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