Vernon’s newest choir gets ready to harmonize

Sylvain Vallee gets ready to lead another one of his popular a cappella choirs, with auditions taking place now prior to fall rehearsals

If you enjoy singing and are looking for a way of harmonizing with a group of like-minded people, Valley Harmony is a good place to start.

Vernon’s newest a cappella choir will begin rehearsals in September under the direction of Sylvain Vallee.

Valley Harmony’s musical focus will be popular songs, with musical selections by artists such as The Eagles, CSNY, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Beatles, Queen and many more, to make up the majority of the repertoire.

“This promises to be a fun and challenging learning experience for all participating,” said Alara Serait, with Valley Harmony. “A cappella means singing without musical instrument accompaniment so that the voices cover all the parts of a song including rhythm, harmony, counterpoint and melody.”

Rehearsals begin in early September on Mondays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Okanagan Centre for Spiritual Living in Vernon.

The a cappella group format is not a new thing to Vallee, as he directs two other similar choirs in the Thompson/Okanagan area: River Harmony of Kamloops and The Coppertones from the South Shuswap.

“Last season these combined choruses, which included singers from the Vernon area, were the headline act for a fundraising concert which successfully raised more than $1,200 for the homeless,” said Serait. “Their performance received several standing ovations throughout the show.

Originally from Quebec, Vallee is a singer/songwriter, composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist, conductor, audio engineer and renaissance man who has recently relocated to British Columbia. His long musical career has included sharing the stage with Long John Baldry and Brian Vollmer of Helix and opening for the likes of Jeff Healey, Colin James, Blue Rodeo, Sawyer Brown, Martina McBride and Keith Urban.

Auditions for Valley Harmony are now being held, and potential new members are asked to prepare a song to sing without accompaniment as an audition piece and be prepared to spend about 15 minutes with Vallee. To schedule your audition, email sylvain@valleemusic.com.

For more information about the a cappella groups, see www.amazingsinging.ca.