People who love to sing probably know more about music than they think they do and they can probably surprise themselves with what they can do.
They’re the kind of singers who are in the Halina Harmonix, an a cappella musical group directed by Devon Muhlert, and she wants more of them.
“It’s kind of like a choirmasters’ dream. This is a really committed group, some have a lot of musical experience and some don’t. Some don’t read music but everyone wants to learn and improve and share their love of singing and they are very welcoming to newcomers,” she said.
“We are working on harmony and doing a lot of ear training, learning to pull a note out of the air and matching notes. It’s very confidence building.”
The group has two public performances a year and also visits seniors’ residences.
“We do some pop and 1950s rock and we are always looking for unusual pieces,” said Muhlert, who has written some pieces for the group, including Manitou’s Quilt, about the Okanagan, which was performed in the spring.
Muhlert, who has been the director for 11 musical groups in North West Territories and Western Canada, is carrying on a family tradition. Her grandfather was a choir master in Odenberg, Germany and her father was also a choir director. She has a studio at the Caetani Cultural Centre, where she teaches guitar, sax and flute. She sometimes uses her flute to help the Harmonix keep on pitch.
“They say I conduct with a silver wand,” she said with a smile.
“People naturally love to sing and listen to singing. I believe there is healing power in music and we do some toning warm ups and breathing exercises to get the body in harmony to sing better. This is a good musical experience and a joyful experience. The practices and performances are happy and we hope to see more people out in the fall.”
Halina Harmonix meets Wednesdays from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Halina Centre with the first practice of the fall season on Sept. 12. The cost is $50 per person for the year (until June). For more information and registration (there is no audition) contact Pat Roemer at 250-260-3290, email@example.com or Janice McDonald at 250-542-3012.