Pop choirs sing classic rock hits for charity

From the Beatles to Queen, Valley Harmony performs everyone’s favourite classic hits

  • May. 26, 2017 9:30 a.m.

Patch Hutchinson

For The Morning Star

Classic pop songs of The Beatles, Queen, The Police and others will have the crowd groovin’ when two pop choirs take the stage. Valley Harmony of Vernon and River Harmony from Kamloops, directed by Sylvain Vallee, will blend their voices this weekend to raise money for local charities.

The pop choirs sing a cappella, which means without accompaniment. The singers also use their voices to create the sounds of guitar, drums and other instruments.

“I believe in a cappella, the way the harmonies are prominent and important. Not many choirs offer that. In choirs, there is usually a piano somewhere and a lot of serious music,” said Sue Vignola, who sings soprano with Valley Harmony. “I love our pop music, our choices of music — a great selection.”

The grand finale will be Bohemian Rhapsody, an international mega-hit, written by Freddie Mercury, and recorded in 1975 by the British band Queen.

“It is cool that we get to do these percussion sounds,” said Vignola. “Even though I sometimes groan if we just get to ‘beep, beep.’ I am starting to appreciate it more, and liking it. We have a fantastic artistic director, a very talented man.”

Vallee encourages the singers to move and groove to the tunes. He opens each practice with physical stretching, breathing and vocal exercises.

“Warm-up exercises are a significant part of our practice. They are important and valid,” said Vignola.

Vallee and Canadian recording artist Peter Ernst will open the show, featuring songs from Ernst’s new album, Happiness Is Next In Line. Local roots recording artist Doc and the Disorderlies of Kamloops will also do a set with songs from their fun and eclectic repertoire.

Proceeds from the Vernon concert will go to Vernon Women’s Transition House. Kamloops proceeds will go New Life Community to help the homeless. The spring 2016 shows raised more than $2,000 for charities in Vernon and Kamloops.

The Vernon concert takes place tonight at Trinity United Church on Alexis Park Drive, and Saturday at Kamloops United Church on St. Paul Street. Doors open at 7 p.m., with shows starting at 7:30 p.m.. Tickets are $15, available online at www.amazingsinging.ca and at the door.

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