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Arts festival’s choral sessions head to Langford for 1st time in 97 years

8 choirs, ranging from 8 to 80 students, from schools around Greater Victoria attended the event

The Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival hosted the youth choral sessions in Langford for the first time in its 97-year history on April 17.

Eight different choirs, ranging from eight to 80 students, from various schools around Greater Victoria attended the event at Gordon United Church. The younger kids had 20 minutes to perform, while the older students had 30 to 40 minutes.

“The festival started in the late 1920s as a cultural enrichment for the Victoria area,” said head of the choral section Kristina Stevens, adding it moved from to Gordon United Church in Langford Oak Bay High as it was a much more central location.

The eight schools were Ruth King Elementary, Willway Elementary, Belmont High, Claremont High, St. Andrews, Langley Fine Arts, Shoreline Middle and Mount Doug choir all attended the event.

Sarona Mynhardt, the adjudicator for the children’s performance, says for singers in a choir, being able to sing with friends and make music together is an incredible experience. Mynhardt, who is from Sunshine Coast, works with older singers and helps patients with Parkinson’s through musical therapy.

The adjudicator’s job is to inspire the children, added Mynhardt, who started the first big children’s choir in White Rock over 20 years ago. She added she’s looking forward to helping the students improve their music.

“I hope to see many happy, smiley, smiling faces,” Mynhardt said.

She said music education is essential for children through to Grade 12 and teaches self-esteem and teamwork, making it easier for kids to learn maths and languages.

The Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival started on April 2 and will run until May 11. It features a range of performances around the Capital Regional District.

READ MORE: Langford church hosts junior choir workshop as part performing arts festival

About the Author: Thomas Eley

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