The Sooke Philharmonic Chorus is in need of more people to add to its complement of vocal talent.
The chorus is a community choir which rehearses on Saturday mornings in two different venues: on alternate weeks the choir practices in either downtown Sooke or in Colwood across the road from Royal Roads University.
“We work hard – we have to because much of the repertoire is challenging – but at the same time we have fun, and I think that’s why people enjoy singing with this group,” said chorus master Nicholas Fairbank, who is in his second year with the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra.
Fairbank is keen on raising the bar as high as possible, while at the same time understanding that some singers in the choir don’t read music and have to learn everything by ear. Online practice files are provided for non-readers and the occasional extra sectional rehearsal helps the singers learn all their notes.
While generally the chorus performs major works by standard classical composers such as Bach, Mozart and Vivaldi, the philharmonic aims to focus its performances in tandem with Canada’s 150th birthday, finishing off the season with a maritime-inspired work for the choir and orchestra.
Sea Cantata was written by Fairbank over the course of two years with the final notes being added in late 2010. The texts are taken from a variety of sources, including Canadian poets Robert Service and Lucy Maud Montgomery, but they all have to do with ships, the ocean, and the people who live by them, he added.
He said his intention was to write something that was challenging for the singers, but enjoyable to sing as well as to listen to. There are seven movements in all, most of which are completely independent in style and character ranging from the dramatic to the sombre, from sea-shanties to songs of mermaids.
Those interested in joining the chorus should contact the chorus Manager Lynda Rose at: email@example.com, as rehearsals for the June 10 and 11 concerts are already under way.
For more information, go online to sookephil.ca.