Rosemary Lindsay directing the Village Voices during a rehearsal. The April 23 concert is Lindsay’s last performance directing the choral group. Lauren Collins photo

Rosemary Lindsay directing the Village Voices during a rehearsal. The April 23 concert is Lindsay’s last performance directing the choral group. Lauren Collins photo

Qualicum Beach choral director to focus on teaching career at Vancouver Island University

Rosemary Lindsay is leaving the Village Voices after 10 years

After 10 years with the Village Voices of Qualicum Beach — with a one year sabbatical in 2014/15 — director Rosemary Lindsay is leaving.

After some illness in the fall, and an emerging career as a vocal instructor at Vancouver Island University Lindsay said, it was time.

“I’ve always been somebody who says, ‘Listen to your body.’ Listen to your body, figure out whether it’s comfortable in order to sing well, but also listen to your body in terms of what is it trying to tell you,” she said. “When I was really sick this fall, I had to listen to my own philosophy… I had to ask myself, what’s my body trying to tell me.”

Lindsay said this year, she had more students than ever before register for her class that she had to hire another teacher to help with the workload. She said she was just becoming too busy.

“It just felt like it was time. I knew I had already taken that sabbatical, so I knew that they (the Village Voices) could survive without me,” Lindsay said. “I guess I’d had sort of a trial run at it because when I told them two years ago that I had to go for a year; they’d already had that warm up.”

In the last few months since she made the announcement that she was leaving, Lindsay said there have been moments when she asked herself what she was doing.

“When I was so sick, I thought, I better tell them right now because when I get better and back on my feet, I’m going to change my mind.”

Lindsay said she decided to tell the group after its final holiday concert. But on the morning of the concert, Lindsay said she woke up with a fever.

“As if I needed an exclamation mark on that (decision), I didn’t actually make the last concert,” she said.

The past 10 years, Lindsay said, have been fantastic.

“They’re just a fantastic group to work with, to work for. They’re so joyful, they’re so responsive to everything that I have to offer.”

Lindsay said throughout her years of directing the Village Voices, their sound has improved.

“The sound has changed significantly in the past couple of years,” she said. “We’ve been really working on getting the choral sounds — a cohesive sound — and shaping our vowels and our diction. “They’ve been on a course for the last decade with me and I’m handing over a really great choir to the next director.”

Lindsay will direct one last Village Voice performance April 23 at 2:30 p.m. at the Christian Fellowship Centre (825 Village Way, Qualicum Beach). Tickets are $15 at Mulberry Bush Bookstores or at the door.

To celebrate the Village Voices 25th anniversary, people aged 25 and under can attend for free.

The concert, Memories, is celebrating 25 years of choral joy and 150 years of Canada. The Village Voices will be accompanied by Pippa Williams on piano and Ken Lister on double bass.

Lindsay said the concert is a compilation of special requests which include folk, jazz, spirituals and some popular songs.