For 53 years, the Oceanside Concert Choir has been singing and entertaining Parksville Qualicum Beach audiences with twice-yearly concerts.
From the beautiful and well-loved ‘Messiah’, to lighthearted Christmas specials, to well-known Canadian classics, the 50-plus choir members have been a popular part of the community’s diverse arts scene.
While many singers have come and gone, and many more have joined for a concert or two, what always remains is the constant love of singing beautiful music.
When COVID-19 hit British Columbia in early 2020, the board made the decision to cancel the upcoming Easter concert and all practices until it was safe to return. As COVID dragged on, the choir met virtually via Zoom, which does have its limitations with “lag” and with seniors’ learning curves to almost hilarious results.
Most arts organizations have faced financial difficulties over the past two years since rent, music storage and insurance still had to be covered.
But in February 2022, as restrictions began to ease, it was time to start in-person practices once more.
Under the musical direction of Ann Barber and the piano skills of Margaret Nelson, 25 singers have begun practising every Tuesday night at the Knox United Church in Parksville. They questioned whether they should just sing for sheer pleasure, or present a smaller scale concert for spring.
Fifty-plus years of tradition won the day.
On Sunday, April 10, at 2:30 p.m., the choir will once again perform a program of old favourites at Knox United.
Rather than selling tickets, the choir decided this initial concert will be by suggested donation of $15, with children under 15 being free.
Like so many other local non-profit organizations, the Oceanside Concert Choir hopes for a good turnout at Sunday’s event to help them get back on their feet so they, and the generations that follow, will still sing beautiful music for another 50 years.
– NEWS Staff, submitted