Choral music lovers in New Westminster have some big treats in store in 2019.
We’ve rounded up five of the must-see choral concerts that will be coming your way this year. So take note of these dates, and get your tickets soon – before the rest of the world figures out what we choir geeks have known all along: that choral music is in fact the coolest music around.
1. VanDeca: Saturday, Jan. 19, 7 p.m.
VanDeca, a New Westminster-based a cappella ensemble, has been going strong for eight seasons, and it’s kicking off 2019 with Light and Darkness. The concert, which is being held at the Pyatt Hall at the VSO School of Music on Seymour Street (in downtown Vancouver), will feature an eclectic selection of pieces that travel across genres and styles.
“Explore the shadows, bask in the sun, take in the dazzling neon lights, and then contemplate in the brilliance of the night sky, all through an evening of song,” says a write-up about the concert.
The co-owned, co-directed seven-member ensemble will feature repertoire from such diverse artists and composers as Rajaton, Electric Light Orchestra, Edward Elgar, Don McLean and Imogen Heap. (And, really, where else are you going to find Elgar and ELO on the same program?)
2. The Real Group: Friday, Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m.
The Real Group is an internationally acclaimed five-member a cappella group from Sweden that’s regarded as one of the leading forces in the world of vocal music today. The ensemble has been around since 1984, creating its own brand of music fusing the Nordic choral tradition with jazz and pop and allowing them to collaborate with pop and rock bands, symphony orchestras, jazz groups and international artists.
They’ll be onstage at Massey Theatre thanks to the efforts of Quayside Voices, a New West-based a cappella quintet that will also perform as an opening act. Tickets are $45, or $35 for children and seniors, available through www.ticketsnw.ca or 604-521-5050.
3. Laudate Singers: Saturday, Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m.
Hot on the heels of The Real Group, local audiences can also enjoy the talents of the North Shore-based Laudate Singers as part of the Music at Queens concert series. This highly regarded choir, directed by Lars Kaario, will present selections from their Organic Voices concert, joining forces with organist Edward Norman. The concert will feature a new commission by composer-in-residence Marco Del Rio, alongside works by both Canadian and international composers.
The concert is at Queens Avenue United Church, 529 Queens Ave. Tickets are $25 regular, $20 for seniors and students, or $10 for children. See www.queensavenue.org or call 604-522-1606 to buy in advance.
4. Amabilis Singers: Saturday, April 27, 8 p.m.
This 65-voice choir has been making music in the New Westminster area since 1989 (and, in fact, before that, when it began life as the Douglas College Community Choir in 1980, before it became an independent community ensemble). Under the direction of Ramona Luengen, the choir will present Force of Nature, at New Westminster Christian Reformed Church (8255 13th Ave., Burnaby).
The concert will feature musical depictions of the power of nature, including Eric Whitacre’s Cloudburst, Eriks Esenvald’s Rivers of Light, Katerina Gimon’s Fire, Barbara Baker’s The Storm is Passing Over and Stanley M. Hoffman’s arrangement of Beau Soir.
Tickets are $25 regular, or $15 for secondary school students (children under 12 are free). Tickets are available by calling 604-897-7258 or online at www.eventbrite.ca (note that only regular-priced tickets are available online). See www.amabilissingers.org for more on the choir.
(A word of disclosure: I am in fact a member of Amabilis, so if you come, be sure to look me up among the altos!)
5. Maple Leaf Singers: Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26
The show chorus returns to the Massey Theatre stage for two performances of its spring concert, Don’t Stop Believin’: a 7:30 p.m. show on Saturday, and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday. The choir is known for its high-energy, choreographed performances of varied repertoire that runs the gamut from Broadway and movie musicals to pop, classical, folk and gospel.
Tickets will be on sale through www.ticketsnw.ca or the Massey box office at 604-521-5050, but sales don’t open until Friday, March 1. In the meantime, check out more about the choir at www.mapleleafsingers.com.
Got another choral concert I should know about? Be sure to email me, firstname.lastname@example.org.