Professional choir in performance
Victoria’s only professional choir, ‘Voces Intimae’, conducted by Tony Booker (a former student at the St. Petersburg Conservatory), will be performing this splendid sonorous ‘a capella’ music (featuring incredibly low bass parts) on Saturday, May 14 at 7:30 p.m., at Holy Trinity Church, 1962 Murray Road.
Tony Booker has had a very specific musical presence in Victoria since the early 1980s. As music graduate of UVic, he was taught by B.C.’s finest: from Jon Washburn and Bruce Pullan in Vancouver to Michael Gormley, Bruce More, and George Corwin in Victoria. His long haired and bearded presence seemed to stand out at choral performances at the UVic’s Farquhar Auditorium and the Philip T. Young Performance Hall, in the bass section, on piano or in the organ loft. He worked/works with singers of the UVic Chorus either as vocal coach for the soloists or as conductor.
As a ‘slavophile’, he joined and conducted the Victoria Balalaika Orchestra and arranged Russian music for their specific instrumental needs. As member of the quartet ‘Jamshed’, he indulges in his love for Eastern European and Russian music.
He taught music at Pearson College, was choir leader and organist at St. Mary’s Saanichton Church before taking on the position as organist and choir leader at St. Michael and All Angels Church in Saanich.
In 1997 he formed a choral group, Voces Intimae, composed of semi-professional vocalists and instrumentalists, specifically to perform three concerts of eclectic music annually, from Bach, Slavonic music, to new works of contemporary Victoria composers.
Voces Intimae draws singers who enjoy the challenge of commitment towards choral excellence, which is expressed in their excellent performances of classical music.
Voces Intimae’s repertoire over the last 10 years has ranged from Okeghem to Coldplay, with an emphasis on Slavonic music and the cantatas of Bach. They perform three concerts a year. A month before each concert interested singers get together and set up a schedule of six to eight rehearsals that suit all those involved. There are no membership fees; in fact, any profits from each concert are shared equally between singers, conductor and secretary.
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