Choir leaders join forces to celebrate Canadian content

Molly Boyd of the Vernon Community Singers teams up with Diane Loomer and Vancouver choir EnChor to sing Canadian compositions.

Renowned choir director Diane Loomer leads her seniors choir

Renowned choir director Diane Loomer leads her seniors choir

The Vernon Community Singers are fine-tuning their Canadian repertoire for their upcoming concert, Something to Sing About, Saturday, April 21.

The concert will be shared with Vancouver’s EnChor, directed by Dianne Loomer, and promises to be an enjoyable and varied program, said Vernon Community Singers conductor Molly Boyd.

“Back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, Diane and I combined our choirs each spring for a concert in Whistler,” said Boyd. “Diane directed the Amabilis Singers from Douglas College, and I, the Whistler Singers. Vernon’s Scott Singers were also part of the festivities.

“Since then, Diane and I have kept in touch and always thought it would be fun to sing together again, and now at last it is happening.”

Last in Vernon when she conducted Chor Leoni (Choir of Lions) Men’s Choir for the North Okanagan Community Concert Association in 2011, Loomer is a strong advocate of Canadian composers and folk music. She is a recipient of the Order of Canada, presented in recognition of her service to music and humanity. Last May, Loomer  was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of British Columbia.

Loomer founded Vancouver’s En Chor in 2007, feeling there was a largely untapped well of experienced singers ages 55 and up.

The group gives at least two public performance a year, and performs by special arrangement at private functions, assisted living facilities and hospices.

Since its founding, the choir, together with members of the UBC Opera Ensemble, has been a fixture of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s annual Traditional Christmas concert series.

In July last year, EnChor choir was invited to appear at the international choral festival, Festival 500, in St. John’s, Nfld.

Together with the Vernon Community Singers, EnChor will perform an all-Canadian composed program. The Vernon choir will return the favour on May 12, when it travels to Vancouver to repeat the concert at Ryerson United Church.

“The fact that we really are going to sing together again is definitely something to sing about,” said Boyd.

The choirs will give two concerts, Saturday, April 21 at 2 and 7 p.m. at Trinity United Church, 3300 Alexis Park Dr. Tickets are $10 and are available from choir members or at the Schubert Centre.