Shuswap choir leader says everyone can sing

Enderby and District Arts Council hosts workshop with local choir leader Mary Landers Nov. 7.

If you can talk, you can sing.

That is the belief of choir leader and vocal teacher Mary Landers, who with accompanist Jim Johnston, is hosting a singing workshop at the Enderby Drill Hall Saturday,  Nov. 7.

Hosted by the Enderby and District Arts Council, the workshop is open to all vocal abilities and ranges.

“Through movement, vocal exercises and song, I will inspire all to experience the fun of singing,” said Landers. “My belief is that singing enhances everyone’s life physically, spiritually and emotionally.”

Landers has a bachelor’s of music from the University of British Columbia and has taught kindergarten to Grade 12 in the B.C. school system.

She also instructed the music education program at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops.

During her teaching years, she led both secondary and elementary school choirs, and started singing herself with the Winfield United Church choir as a youth.

Over the past 50 years, Landers has sung in the UBC Choral Union, Aura Chamber Choir, Okanagan Symphony Choir, Shuswap Singers, and Northern Lights Chamber Choir.

She also assisted  local composer/conductor Imant Raminsh with directing the NOVA Children’s Choir in Vernon and directed the Shuswap Children’s Choir in the 1990s.

Landers is the founding member of the  Shuswap Men’s Chorus, which began in 2007 initially for a district Rotary conference. It has continued since and is open to men of all ages.

The current conductor of the Salmon Arm Community Band, Johnston studied piano throughout his childhood and teen years and attended UBC, obtaining a bachelor’s in music, majoring in flute.

He also pursued a career in teaching, and spent the majority of his years teaching music at the secondary school level.

Besides being a talented band director,  Johnston  is also an in-demand piano accompanist and performer. He presently accompanies the Northern Lights Chamber Choir, Ancora Women’s Ensemble and the Shuswap Men’s Chorus. His talents have been recognized by the B.C. Choral Federation, which awarded him the Joyce McGuire accompanist Award in 2010.

The Nov. 7 Everyone Can Sing workshop at the Enderby Drill Hall runs from 1 to 4 p.m. Cost is $10 at the door and refreshments are included.