After keeping a rather low profile for the past three years, the Chorealis Vocal Ensemble is ready to show what a small group of voices can achieve when joining together.
The ensemble presents its Warm Music for a Winter Evening concert at Trinity United Church Saturday, Feb. 19.
Chorealis currently has a full complement of a dozen singers –– five male and seven female voices –– focused primarily on Renaissance music, with a sprinkling of classical and modern music, all sung a cappella, without a director.
Many of the members know each other through their involvement in the Aura Chamber Choir.
“There is a real attraction to singing in a small group because not only can you hear all the parts, but you feel much closer to each of the other parts and get the full sense of the composition,” said former member Glen Goerzen, who with current member Frank van Thienen instigated the idea of the group in 2008.
“We perform without a conductor, we have no leader, and everyone has a say in decision-making. During rehearsals, individuals take turns conducting,” explained van Thienen.
Members come from Vernon, Armstrong, Lumby, Kelowna and Salmon Arm, and include Andy Brodie, Anne Smith, Becky Strube, Diana Bainbridge, Dianne Smith, van Thienen, Gloria Brooks, Helen Hall, Imant Raminsh, John Philips, Kathleen Elliman, and Oleh Maryniak
The group’s repertoire ranges from early music motets and madrigals (Tallis, Byrd, etc.) to contemporary compositions and arrangements (Billy Joel, The Beatles).
“This variety of musical styles allows us to vary our performances, in the hope that you, our audience, will get maximum enjoyment from our music,” said van Thienen.
Memorable concert highlights have included guest performances at the Vernon Community Singers Christmas concert in 2008 and 2010, as well as with the Aura Chamber Choir last February.
Members also count its 7 a.m. performance in Gallery Vertigo on a Saturday morning in March 2009 as “one to cherish.”
It was for a live broadcast of CBC Radio’s North by Northwest, hosted by Sheryl MacKay.
“During our first three years of existence, all of our performances have been short guest performances, mostly at senior citizens homes and meetings of local organizations (Rotary Carol Festival, the Vernon Museum, Green Party AGM, Allan Brooks fundraiser, the Naturalist Club),” said van Thienen. “We’ve also had a few rehearsals, or quasi performances, at Hospice House, to bring some cheer into those halls.”
Saturday’s performance will include a variety of a cappella choral works by composers ranging from the 15th to 21st century, added van Thienen.
Joining the choir will be a guest performance by instrumental ensemble, Quartetto Vivo, consisting of Bill Boyd (cello), Les Dawson (viola), Andy Brodie (flute) and Imant Raminsh (violin).
Tickets are available at the door to Trinity United, 3300 Alexis Park Dr., or order in advance by calling 250-545-3731. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. For more information visit www.chorealis.ca.