Nutcracker Nouveau
Uncharted Waters
Vikings on Vacation
Not Much is Worse Than a Troll
Midnight Sun




Nutcracker Nouveau

Premiered at St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre in December 1892, Tchaikovsky’s music for The Nutcracker received glowing praise, but the ballet production itself was not a roaring success. No one could have predicted that almost seventy-five years later The Nutcracker would become a festive season favorite, a ‘Christmas bonus’ for ballet companies around the world.

In their brand-new release Nutcracker Nouveau, Ensemble Polaris celebrates Tchaikovsky’s popular music with influences ranging from traditional Scandinavian, bluegrass, Roma and Klezmer to Chinese classical and The Nightmare Before Christmas, and juxtaposed with instrumentals and songs from Russian folk tradition. Music to bring you good cheer, at any time of year!

O’er the Snowy Steppes
Bright Face, Round Face
Waltz of the Flowers
Sugar Plum Fairy
Juniper on the Hill
Danse Arabe/Araber Tantz
Picking Tea/Danse Chinoise
Two Guitars
Danse des Mirlitons
Not the Wind

You can order from Atelier Grigorian here:

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You can download from Classics Online here:

Uncharted Waters

Ensemble Polaris and Pipistrelle Music are delighted to announce the February 2012 release of Uncharted Waters. Drawn from sessions recorded in April 2009 and January 2011, the eighteen tracks of this CD run the gamut from evocative laments to sizzling dance tunes, and include a few new charts by members of the band. This is Polaris’s much-anticipated fourth CD.

Distributed by Naxos of America, Uncharted Waters is available digitally as of February 7 2012, and at stores throughout North America from February 28, 2012.

The artwork on the cover, tray card and booklet is by Toronto-based artist Loree Ovens, and the package design is by Yesim Tosuner

Ena Twigg/Hallowwen Peabody
Get Him
Dry Toes Waltz
Waltz 39.3
Valley Girl
I Wish in Vain
I Kopanitsa in Vain, oeuvre MMM
The Turnip Tune
Le Manine di Primavera
Solomon Buster
Vals etter Vidar Lande
Steklåt från Särna/Polska
el Domador de Tarenque
Jeg Leggis i Min Vugge Nu
Beetroots for Nico
Gånglåt från Klockarberg

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Vikings on Vacation

Polaris' 3rd CD, with new members Marco Cera (guitar) and Katherine Hill (voice, nyckelharpa), is their first studio outing. Incorporating a wider range of music, the disc will nonetheless enchant and delight old and new fans alike. From the melancholy song Klosterjungfrun (The Young Nun) to a rousing arrangement of a Nino Rota composition, Vikings on Vacation is the latest and (dare we say it?) greatest of the band's catalogue.

Jungfrun och Näkken (The maiden and the water sprite)
La Rumba
Klosterjungfrun (The young nun)
Cod's Anatomy: Stir it all aboot
The Little Black Fox
The Mysterious Murder Of Max Penney
Farewell To Little Seldom
Reel From Doran House
Visa från Venjan (Tune from Venjan)
You lovely island
Polska for Alban Faust
Polska efter Anders Liljofors
Anna och Wilhelm (Anna and Wilhelm)
Polska efter Byss-Calle
Emil goes to market
I wish in vain


Not Much is Worse Than a Troll

Polaris' 2nd CD continues where the first left off, using the wide variety of instruments and arrangements that they have become known for. From squeaky toys to palimpsests, duo to full ensemble works, Not Much is Worse Than a Troll will surprise and delight old and new fans alike.

The Oberlin Polska
Yksi russu (One rose)/Kay neitoa kaksi (Go, maiden, to the rose valley)
Krakan situr á steini (The crow sat on a stone)
The Hulder Girls Go Shoe Shopping
Heiemo og Nøkken (Heiemo and the Nøkk)
Polska Per Danielson
Skrammelpolska (Scramble Polska)
Mansikka (Strawberries) / Grannas bastu (Our neighbour’s sauna shed)
Pennknivsmördaren polska (The Penknife Murderer’s Polska)
Anna burte er (Anna is gone) / Nøkkendanser (The Nøkk’s Danse) / Gammal och unghalling (Old and young)
Softhu unga astin min (Hush, my little treasure)
Säckpipslät (Bagpipe tune)
Reinländer från Foldal (Dance from Foldal) / Gypsy Reel
Erik's Potty
Maístjarnan (Star of May) / Säästöpankki valsi (Savingsbank Waltz)
Arvon mekin ansaitsemme (We too are to be valued)
Bagpipe Polskas
Springlek från gudbrandsdalen (Jumping Dance) / Engelska från Bohuslan (English Dance)
Hea ja kuri mees (Good and bad men)


Midnight Sun

"Ancient songs with extraordinary words, laments and dances are all reworked here for modern ears. The arrangements are absolutely spot on - inventive yet never flashy, the result stimulating yet meditative...a tantalising, beautiful collection..." 
Classic CD. Ensemble Polaris is joined by guest vocalists Tiina Orpana and Sarah Granskou.

Mandom, mod och morska män (Bravery, courage and fearless men)
Läksin minä kesäyönä käymään (On a summer's night)
Vem kan segla förutan vind (Who can sail without wind)
Halb sirp (Poor sickle)
Polska efter Karl Lindblad
Polska efter Nergards Lasse
Polska efter Mats Wesslen
Brudmarsch F. Näs (Bride's March)
Suur tamm (The great oak)
Eg fekk i hug å gå til siri (O Siri, my Siri)
Kringollek / Rysk Dans (Circle Dance / Russian Dance)
Krummavísur (The Raven's Song)
Lase kiik kia (Rock the swing)
The Lass of Humberside
Tore lill tove (Alarm calls)
The Skipper o' Dundee
Miks ei mulle tulnud (Why did you not come to me?)
Divi divi mes muosenis (We two sisters)
Móðir mín Í kví, kví (Oh Mother of mine)
Pað á að gefa börnum brauð (Give your children some bread)
På gården (On the farm)
Roselil' og hendes moder (Rosie and her mother)
Minun kultani kaunis on (My sweetheart is beautiful)
Greenwin Air
Som stjärnan uppå himmelen så klar (Just like the stars up in the skies)
Uti vår hage (In our meadow)


Picture Gallery

For a slideshow of photos from Polaris’s August 2009 concert in Middleton, NS, go here:

Ben Grossman, Katherine Hill, Kirk Elliott, Margaret Gay, Deb Sinha, and Marco Cera at Sharon Temple, July 2010. Deb is holding his drum over the lamp to tighten up the skin on the head by warming it. It was cool and damp that day.

Photo credit: Colin Savage


Colin Savage, Kirk Elliott, and Katherine Hill at the Richard Bradshaw Atrium, Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto, April 2008.

Photo credit: Joel Slonetsky

Kirk Elliott, Ben Grossman, Margaret Gay, Terry McKenna, Jeff Wilson, Katherine Hill, and Alison Mellville at St. John's Anglican Church, Lunenburg, NS, August 2009.

Photo credit: Colin Savage


On tour in the Maritimes Ben Grossman, Terry McKenna, and Katherine Hill, wait for breakfast at the Starlight Diner,near Summerside, PEI, August 2009.

Photo credit: Margaret Gay

Ben Grossman, Alison Melville, Margaret Gay, Colin Savage, and Jeff Wilson kicking back en route to Iona, NS, August 2009.

Photo credit: Kirk Elliott


Setting up for a school show, Toronto, ON, February 2012.

Photo credit: Jeff Wilson & the ScanCamera app

In action with some young guest artists at St Nicholas Catholic School, Toronto, ON, February 2012.

Photo credit: John Wall



Ensemble Polaris rehearsing Marco Cera's 'Terengue', May 2010

Video Credit: Jeremy Mimnagh, May 2010

Ensemble Polaris rehearsing Definitely NOT the Nutcracker, December 2011

Who needs a celesta when you've got two mandolins and a cowbell?

Photos and Music - Oberlin Polska from Not Much is Worse Than a Troll

WOW! Someone made a slide show of our tune