Community choir Via Choralis in action. The choir will be joined by dancers from the Kathy White Academy. (Submitted by Via Choralis)

Peninsula choral concerts celebrate British and Irish music

Benjamin Britten, sea shanties and folk songs part of diverse musical concerts

Saanich Peninsula chamber choir Via Choralis is performing two concerts of British and Irish choral music, May 5 and 12.

Now in its 19th season, the group combines a passion for singing with a desire to “cultivate community through choral music.”

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The choir rehearses and performs a broad repertoire of music, ranging from medieval to contemporary,from September to May each year. They say they are particularly encouraging to young musicians in the role of soloists and instrumentalists, and enjoy commissioning and promoting new works by Canadian composers.

However, these concerts will explore music from four of the countries located on the British Isles: England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

“So much wonderful choral music comes from the British Isles, from folk songs and sea shanties to classical and contemporary works. In this concert Via Choralis, plus dancers from the Kathy White Academy and collaborative pianist Sandra Fletcher, bring you toe-tapping airs and beautiful melodies from five centuries, including excerpts from Benjamin Britten’s ‘Choral Dances’ from Gloriana and settings of folk songs by Canadian composers Mark Sirrett, Nicholas Fairbank and Jonathan Quick.”

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The group are fortunate to draw on the experience of two of their main collaborators – Fletcher and Fairbank.

Fairbank has been the Artistic Director of Via Choralis since 2005. He is Chorus Master of the Sooke Philharmonic Chorus, Director of Music at First Unitarian Church and on the faculty of the Victoria Conservatory of Music.

Fletcher has 40 years of international experience as a performer, having worked with the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Thai Navy Orchestra, the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra and with many professional musicians in Thailand and Canada. She is currently Associate Organist at Christ Church Cathedral and Music Director of the James Bay Children’s Chorus.

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The concerts take place on Sunday, May 5 at St. Elizabeth’s Church, Sidney and Sunday, May 12 both at Cordova Bay United Church,Victoria. Both performances start at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are priced at $20 for adults, $5 for students on the door while children under 12 go free. Advance tickets can be purchased from choir members, Tanner’s Books in Sidney, or online at brownpapertickets.com.

For further information visit viachoralis.ca



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

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