Parksville & District Community Choir ready to celebrate spring

Show on March 29 at 2:30 p.m. in Knox United Church

Spring has sprung and the Parskville & District Community Choir is getting into the spirit. The 50-voice group will present their spring concert Songs of Love and Nature on Sunday, March 29 at 2:30 p.m.

“We’ve been doing some major classical works … and I thought it’d be nice to do some lighter work to celebrate spring,” said director Ann Barber.

The concert will primarily feature two song cycles: John Rutter’s The Sprig of Thyme and Dvorak’s Songs of Nature.

According to a news release from the choir, The Sprig of Thyme offers a selection of traditional songs of the British Isles, drawing together love songs and long-standing favourites such as The Bold Grenadier, The Keel Row, and I Know Where I’m Going.

“He’s famous for very clever arrangements,” said choir member Susan Robbins of Rutter. “His pieces are enjoyable for the pianist as well as the vocalist.” Robbins, who is one of the group’s newest singers, also has a solo section in a song titled The Cuckoo.

Dvorak Songs of Nature, which Barber describes as “picturesque,” is a series of five pieces that beings with Melodies Steal Into My Heart.

Barber also said that the concert will include a variety of light familiar favourites by Canadian and international composers. Songs included in the set will include Away From the Roll of the Sea, Down to the River to Pray, Four Strong Winds, I Dreamed of Rain, An Irish Blessing and more.

While all of the concert’s pieces feature the themes of spring or nature, Barber said are some challenging and serious works throughout the show. “I really like bringing good quality music to the District,” she said.

Aside from Robbins, choir members Albert Davies, Caroline Hammill, Alistair McVey, Sydney Preston and Pam Kerr Roberts will lend also their voices to solo parts throughout the show.

“We have a lot of talented people,” said Barber. “I try to choose the voice that best fits the music.”

“I’ve found it inspirational to see so many older people continuing to sing,” said Robbins, who is a speech pathologist and has sung in other community choirs through the years. “It’s not a gift you do or don’t have,” she said about singing. “If you use it, you have it. If you stop, you don’t.”

As usual, the group will be accompanied by pianist Margaret Nelson.

The concert will take place at Knox United Church. Tickets are $15 each and are available at Mulberry Bush Book Stores or at the door.

 

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