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New Westminster church hosts June concerts

A Ring Out for Ukraine benefit and the debut of the new Rainbow Chorus are both on at Queens Avenue United Church next week.

New Westminster residents are being invited to share the love at a pair of concerts at Queens Avenue United Church next week.

Ring Out for Ukraine

On Thursday, June 23 at 7:30 p.m., the church is hosting a Ring Out for Ukraine benefit concert.

The concert will feature the Queens Avenue United Church Memorial Bell Ringers, along with the Spivanochka Ukrainian Children’s Choir and the Svoboda vocal trio. Guest soloists Jessica De Gaust, Kilian Benson, Mariia Hahalovska and Yarolslava Tanko will also share their music.

Rachel Alflatt will perform on the church’s pipe organ.

Ukrainian wares will also be sold, with all proceeds towards the Maple Hope Foundation, a Canadian non-governmental organization dedicated to helping people suffering from the war in Ukraine.

Admission to the concert is by donation.

Rainbow Connections

On Sunday, June 26 at 7 p.m. the Rainbow Chorus of New Westminster makes its performance debut with Rainbow Connections. The new community choir is made up of members of the queer community and allies.

The choir was started by Rev. Blair Odney in January but didn’t start rehearsing until March, in light of the pandemic situation.

Odney has amassed a group of 49 singers, ranging in age from their 20s to their retirement years, representing a range of musical backgrounds and walks of life. He set them out a course of 10 popular songs at the beginning of the term — think favourites such as Rainbow Connection, Dancing Queen, True Colors and This Is Me — and they’ve learned nine of them in time for the concert.

“I’m thrilled. I’m just busting,” Odney said. “It’s really, really cool.”

The chorus will be joined by the Lynn Valley Voices Community Choir for the occasion.

Musical guests include the Queens Avenue United Memorial handbell choir, pianist Frank Zieginson and jazz pianist Dean Thiessen.

It’s all hosted by Vancouver drag diva Carlotta Gurl, and folks of all ages are invited out to celebrate the choir’s debut.

The concert is $22.23 general admission, $13.75 for students/seniors, or free for children under five. Tickets can be bought through Eventbrite.

Follow Julie MacLellan on Twitter @juliemaclellan.
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