The Ancora Women's Ensemble celebrates its 10th anniversary with a concernt May 7. (Ancora image)

Vernon choir hits 10th anniversary high note

Ancora Women’s Ensemble performs Heartsongs May 7

If you missed choral music during the pandemic hiatus, get ready for a treat.

The Ancora Women’s Ensemble, a 15-voice, strong, award-winning group, celebrates its 10th anniversary with a concert of their favourite selections May 7.

Each year Ancora performs two concerts: Wintersongs in late November and Heartsongs in early May.

After being founded by Terry Logan in 2012 Ancora quickly gained recognition for excellence, including winning several awards from Performing Arts BC.

“I wanted to have a fully auditioned ladies’ ensemble to perform the most exciting and difficult music I could find. Even starting with only 12 in the group, we sang in six-part harmony,” said Logan.

Over 10 years, the choir has had 22 singers and three charter members remain: Jenn Britton, Paula Fredlund and Anne Smith.

Ancora draws members from Lake Country, Shuswap and Vernon areas. Their repertoire is diverse, from Medieval to Modern, accompanied and a cappella (which is where Ancora really shines). The ensemble has been praised for their “exquisite harmonies and precise intonation,” “sublime unison” and “magnificent ensemble singing” by adjudicators.

Ancora has two gifted accompanists who also sing with the choir, Britton and Jen Poulin. Their musicianship and expressive abilities add much to Ancora’s performances. Over the years the group has also showcased young rising local artists.

For this anniversary celebration Ancora has invited professional oboist Akane Setiawan to accompany them on There Will Come Soft Rains with a text by Sara Teasdale which paints a gentle picture of rains washing away the senseless horrors and devastation of war.

“Choosing the repertoire was easy,” said Logan. “There are so may pieces that we love! The program includes both poignant and joyful songs, the group’s goal always to give the audience a moving experience.”

One such piece is Even When He is Silent. This powerful text was found etched on a wall in a Second World War concentration camp. It reads: “I believe in the sun, even when it’s not shining. I believe in love, even when I feel it not. I believe in God, even when He is silent.”

Logan says: “We can all use this message of hope during these trying times.”

Ancora’s 10th anniversary concert, Heartsongs, takes place Saturday, May 7 at Peace Lutheran Church, 1204 30th Ave. Tickets are $20 at Wentworth Music in Vernon or at the door.

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