Lyn Taron conducts members of the Vernon Seniors Choir during a recent performance at Noric House. The group’s spring concert takes place today at 2 p.m. at the Halina Centre.

Lyn Taron conducts members of the Vernon Seniors Choir during a recent performance at Noric House. The group’s spring concert takes place today at 2 p.m. at the Halina Centre.

Choir serves up songs and strawberries

The Vernon Seniors Choir will harmonize and host a strawberry tea today as they host their spring concert.

With its motto, “Music is Our Contribution,” the choir sings mainly four-part harmony. Since 1971, the choir has been welcoming new members who are not required to audition.

“We take anyone who is interested,” said choir director Lyn Taron. “Experience is not necessary, nor is reading music or even an ability to sing. We take any age, any voice and any experience level.

“We are always working on improving our sound, our vocal technique, our blend.”

As part of that improvement, Taron begins each rehearsal with warm-up exercises that are designed to improve singing technique. She has taken two levels of the Choral Directorship Course offered by the BC Choral Federation and has studied and continues to study with some  of B.C.’s best choral directors throughout the federation.

Taron said the choir sees itself as a ministry — to local care facilities, singing in about eight of them each term — as well as to its members.

“The choir provides a wonderful, caring social environment for its members, while never forgetting that we are a choir, striving to produce a great sound.”

Membership fees are deliberately kept very low, so as to make it affordable to as many as possible. And for those who are unable to afford the low fee, the choir provides “scholarships,” accepting these people as members while not expecting a fee, with only the treasurer knowing who these members are.

The choir relies on grants, donations and other funding to help with costs, such as the director, rental of a room at the Halina Centre, music and piano tuning.

“In recent years it has been more difficult to obtain grants, which is presenting a bit of a challenge to us,” said Taron.

As a charitable organization, all donations to the choir will result in a tax-deductible receipt.

The choir resumes its rehearsals in September, and meets every Wednesday from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Halina Centre at the Vernon Recreation Complex.

The Vernon Seniors Choir welcomes the public to its spring concert today — Mother’s Day — at 2 p.m. at the Halina Centre. Admission is by donation and includes a strawberry tea.