Ekoos Vocal Ensemble will perform two concerts

Shared harmony

Ekoos Vocal Ensemble in concert with Coro Galiano

An exciting joint venture by two choirs will take place in Sooke on Sunday, May 1.

Sooke’s own Ekoos Vocal Ensemble will merge voices with the members of Coro Galiano in presenting “Shared Harmony,” a concert of music that spans four centuries.

If the prospect of putting together two choirs from different communities sounds daunting, the task has been made somewhat easier since Peter Dent is the conductor of both choirs.

Ekoos Vocal Ensemble has enjoyed performing with other choirs in the past, but this will be the first time in its seven year history that Coro Galiano has ever shared the stage with another choir.

Dent has chosen an ambitious program of a cappella repertoire including Komm Jesu, Komm, the great Bach motet for double choir. Continuo will be provided by Baroque cellist, Ellen Himmer. The choirs will also sing three Latin Motets by Charles Villiers Stanford for double choir and split voices. Also included in the program are two pieces from the Russian Orthodox tradition.

In addition, each choir will perform separately, drawing from favourite repertoire of past seasons.

The concert will take place first on April 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the South Galiano Community Hall. Ekoos singers will brave the ferry to Galiano on Saturday morning, enjoy a lunch graciously provided by Galiano choir members, work hard through a last rehearsal together, and then perform that evening.

Choir members added, “The plan is to then party into the wee hours, but not so late as to prevent both choirs from catching a Sunday morning ferry back to Sooke, in good time and in fine voice for the concert Sunday afternoon!”

That concert will be at 2:30 p.m. on May 1 at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, 1962 Murray Road.

In keeping with Coro Galiano’s tradition, net proceeds from the performance in Galiano will be used to support the construction of housing for victims of the civil war in Uganda. Ekoos Ensemble will split the proceeds from the Sunday concert with Holy Trinity Church.

This season is the first for Ekoos under the direction of Peter Dent, who is well known as both a choral conductor and a jazz musician. He has studied conducting with James Fankhauser and Phil Mattson, led musical ensembles on tours of the Czech Republic and acted as a juror for two choral festivals there. In January, he led a singing workshop tour of Cuba. The Ekoos Ensemble enjoys singing under his positive and enthusiastic leadership, and is appreciating his introduction to new and intriguing works.

Tickets for the Sooke concert are available at the Reading Room Bookstore and at the door.

Ekoos Vocal Ensemble is grateful for financial contributions from the District of Sooke and the West Shore Arts Council.