Sooke looking for the gospel experience

Kim Pacheco and Markus Temoney don't sing from books, but from their spirit. Now, others can learn to do that too.

Kim Pacheco performing her “Gospel Experience”. Pacheco is notable for her unique five octave range

When it comes to the musical arts, Sooke is well fitted with just about every genre you can think of.

Heck, we have not one, but multiple choirs, bands, a full orchestra as well as countless other ensembles of talented musicians.

But there something missing: something not so easily acquired, or found; a spiritual musical experience that goes beyond instruments, beyond anything earthly even.

It’s called the Sooke Southern Gospel Experience, a planned musical workshop driven by two vocal legends from the American South, Kim Pacheco and Markus Temoney, who hail from North Carolina.

The workshop will help participants to focus less on the mechanics of singing, but more so on the spirit of singing, noted Derek Lewers, who is working towards making the event happen in March at the Holy Trinity Anglican church.

“Because you actually learn the words, when it comes time for the concert, you actually sing with a lot more emotion and vibrancy, because you’re not focusing on words on a piece of paper,” Lewers said.

He added that similarly like a true gospel choir you might see in a church, they’re not using books, “they’re just singing from their spirit”.

Those feeling this to be a religious-only event needn’t shy away, because it really isn’t, Lewers pointed out, adding that you don’t have to be religious at all to enjoy and embrace what the workshop has to offer.

“It’s 100 per cent spiritual, so it doesn’t matter who you are, there will be a connection, or else you wouldn’t feel that emotion,” he said.

The main driving force is Pacheco, a trained musician who’s performed all across North America and a gospel legend in her own right.

She and Temoney have held such workshops on the Island before, but this time, this is a only-in-Sooke special.

The planned workshop is slated to begin on Thursday, March 10, and run through Friday, 7 to 10 p.m., then 9 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, followed by a concert on Sunday (March 13) though that is yet to be determined.

Tickets are $120 for early birds, $150 after Feb. 15. For more info, register at Eventbrite, visit the Sooke Southern Gospel Experience Facebook page, or call Derek Lewers at 250-744-0193.