Director Coreen Smith (front) leads Counterpoint members in song at the Downtown Vernon Light Up in November.

Director Coreen Smith (front) leads Counterpoint members in song at the Downtown Vernon Light Up in November.

Counterpoint celebrates 10 years

On Jan. 22 and 23, Counterpoint presents Madrigals, Minstrels and More at Knox Presbyterian Church,

  • Jan. 15, 2016 5:00 p.m.

In 2006, when Elizabeth Scott retired as director of the Scott Singers, the executive surveyed the choir members for suggestions and approached Coreen Smith to serve as choir director.

The Counterpoint name was chosen, and a new choir emerged. Dyan Cornies and Carol Perry provided accompaniment.

Choir membership numbered 32, with 23 returning members from the Scott Singers.

Smith’s dynamic and meticulous qualities as a musician, her past musical achievements and ability to train and teach vocal expertise, encouraged great concerts from her choir members.

An exceptional asset was  accompanist Cornies, who retired in December, 2014 after many years of excellent musical support.

The choir, sometimes to its chagrin, learned to sing in many languages: English, French, Latin, German, African, Samoan, Yiddish, Spanish, Italian and Russian. They even sang in fowl language, presenting an opera for a singing chicken and a six-pack of wolves.

While concerts are generally held in January and in late April or early May, other events are also scheduled: the Downtown Vernon Light Up in late November, Rotary Carol Festival appearances in early December and occasional visits to seniors’ residences as requested.

Knox Presbyterian Church on Alexis Park Drive is home to the choir for Monday night practices and most concerts held each year. Its support is much appreciated.

The choir has many talented members who not only sing but design and create striking posters and programs for each concert, assist with publicity, co-ordinate choir events, decorate the church for concerts, while the executive members manage the choir operations, music libraries and much more.

Tapping into community talent by way of soloists and instrumentalists has also been a great benefit to the general mix.

Over the past few years, choir members have also contributed financially through fundraising with the MS Society in Vernon and participating in its annual walk/run/ride event on the last Sunday in April. Proceeds raised are shared by the choir and the MS Society.

Canadian songs are a perennial favourite with choir members, who prefer music from composers such as Gordon Lightfoot, Imant Raminsh, Ian Tyson, Healey Willan, Leonard Cohen, Oscar Peterson, Rupert Lang, Daniel Powter, and the choir’s very own Devon Muhlert.

On Jan. 22 and 23, Counterpoint presents Madrigals, Minstrels and More at Knox Presbyterian Church, Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. Conducted by Coreen Smith and accompanied by Teresa McKnight, the choir will perform musical selections ranging from early sacred music to old English folk songs and more.

Special guest Chorealis will also perform.

Tickets are available from choir members or from Shear Dimensions downtown and cost $12 for adults (free for children 12 and under.)

Counterpoint’s 10th anniversary concert takes place April 22 and 23. Watch for information this spring on this event.

Compiled by Devon Muhlert and edited by Donna Wedgewood-Maynes