The Kokanee Singers, led by local tenor Paul Moore, are about to swim into their spring concert season, with performances in Armstrong and Vernon this week.
Started in 2012 by Moore as an expression of his love for harmony with mixed voices, the choir meets each week on Tuesday at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo and Wednesday in Armstrong at The Zion United Church.
“One of the best training experiences for singers is the ensemble or group singing experience. Singers join the choir only or do private lessons and sing in the choir which gives everyone a choice for deeper, rounded study if they wish,” said Moore.
Accompanied by Mabel Thibault on piano, the choir sings a mixture of music from classical to contemporary.
“Music may be chosen because of vocal demands, language, beauty or just because the members like it and want to sing it,” said Moore. “I call it choir mutiny, when one of the singers brings up the name of a song and then everybody gangs up on the director (me) who then has to say yes or face vocal unrest. I think the mutinies are worth it, though, because the singers have good taste. In every piece there is always beauty and there is always something to be learned by singing it.”
Music for the Spring Sing concerts was chosen by Moore and the members based on songs the choir likes.
“The music turned out to be mostly pop or contemporary with two exceptions,” said Moore, adding the choir will perform Bridge Over Troubled Water, You Raise Me Up as well as choir favourites Danny Boy and Ubi Caritas.
“Ubi Caritas is a song composed by Maurice Duruflé in 1960 but it sounds like it’s a very early piece of music, maybe from the 13th century.”
The concert will also feature soloists who currently study with Moore or who have been students in the past, including mezzo soprano Patricia Howorko (Kelowna), mezzo soprano Theresa Beach (Vernon) and baritone Darren Roesler (Lake Country), who will sing a mixture of contemporary, musical theatre and opera arias.
Moore will also sing throughout the evening, accompanied by Thibault, and has chosen favourite songs, which include opera arias, musical theatre and classical song repertoire.
In addition, members of the Kokanee Singers will participate as a team in the Relay for Life June 6 at Polson Park.
The team will join others in running or walking non-stop over a 12-hour period in order to raise funds in the fight against cancer (donations for the event will be accepted at the concerts or contact team captain Theresa Beach at 250-308-2181).
The Kokanee Singers’ Spring Sing takes place Wednesday, May 6 at Zion United Church in Armstrong and Saturday, May 9 at All Saints Anglican Church in Vernon. Both concerts start at 7 p.m. Tickets are available from choir members, at Wentworth Music in Vernon and Chocoliro in Armstrong and at the door for both shows.