EnChor, a 55-voice choir from Vancouver, is set to perform for NOCCA’s final show of the series at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Saturday, April 14. (Photo submitted)

EnChor closes off NOCCA series

EnChor is slated to perform at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre April 14

Brenda Dewonck

Special to The Morning Star

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”

EnChor embodies this Plato quote and many more, and will perform the season finale for NOCCA at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Saturday, April 14.

EnChor is an auditioned SATB 55-voice choir based in Vancouver and is directed by Gerald van Wyck. The choir is the creation of the late Dr. Diane Loomer who felt there was a largely untapped well of experienced, senior singers still interested in performing high quality music.

“Youths sing of the agonies and the ecstasies of their age, but we are different. We have years of experience and expertise in many fields. In our lives we have soared with success and been challenged by unimaginable problems. We have experienced the joys and rashness of youth, the thrills and falls of ambition, the happiness and agonies of aging. We have held new generations in our arms and buried old ones. We have been to every part of the world and lived in many cultures. We have experienced love and rejection, hope and despair. We have walked in bright light, and struggled through impenetrable darkness. We have lived. Of all this we sing,” said EnChor bass Peter Bayley.

Auditions begin when a singer reaches 55 years of age and is looking for a different singing experience. EnChor draws on the strong musical backgrounds of its members to produce programs that please music aficionados and provide entertainment for all.

The choir presents at least two public concerts a year, as well as performs, by special arrangement, at private functions, assisted living facilities and hospices.

Within three years of its creation in the summer of 2007, EnChor’s reputation earned an invitation to Podium 2010, the biennial gathering of Canada’s leading choral conductors. It was EnChor’s entrée to the renowned invitation-only international choral festival, Festival 500 Sharing the Voices 2011, in St. John’s N.L.

EnChor was the core choir at the BC Choral Federation’s Chorfest held in May 2014, performed for the first time at Vancouver’s Bard on the Beach in July 2014, and appears annually with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for the Traditional Christmas series of concerts.

Artistic Director, van Wyck, is well known in the Canadian Choral community for his work with singers of all ages. His innate musical talent versatility and tireless energy are shared at Vancouver Community College, where he lectures in music history, teaches choral and orchestral conducting and works with the Madrigal Singers.

He has been Minister of Music for 29 years at West Vancouver United Church and is also the founder of the Pacific Spirit family of choirs on the North Shore. For more than 13 years, van Wyck was Music Director of the British Columbia Boys Choir, with whom he toured and recorded extensively.

Recently he served as Assistant Conductor to Lion’s Gate Sinfonia Orchestra, with the Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra, and for five years conducted the Vancouver Island Opera Association.

The April 14 performance at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre starts at 7:30 p.m. Single tickets are $40 and $20 for youth, available from the Ticket Seller, 250-549-7469, www.ticketseller.ca. For more information, visit www.nocca.ca or check out NOCCA on Facebook.

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