Songs of hope, renewal, re-connection and community will be performed by Surrey’s Aequitas Singers during the choir’s first public performance since 2019.
“Finding Colours in the Grey” is the theme of the Singers’ June 18 concert at Surrey City Hall’s Centre Stage theatre, where the choir will be joined by young guest performers.
“Making our way through COVID-19” is also a focus of concert, which starts at 7 p.m. that Saturday evening.
“We have piano and guitar accompaniment,” choir member Karen Ewing noted, “and two fantastic groups from Enver Creek Secondary joining us as well — an acoustic guitar quartet and an instrumental quartet doing classical music.”
In Latin, aequitas means fairness and equality.
Founded in 2013 and directed by Silvia Andrades Grassi, the adult-only, 16-member amateur choir aims to raise awareness of social justice issues and have fun while doing so.
LISTEN: Surrey's Aequitas Singers rehearse a song ahead of their "Finding Colours in the Grey" concert Sat. June 18 at city hall's Centre Stage.
"Ironically, we actually gained members during COVID,’ a choir member says.
STORY: https://t.co/rqbkTcLLM2@SurreyArtsCtre #SurreyBC pic.twitter.com/XeZudR2H4B
— Tom Zillich (@TomZillich) June 1, 2022
They’ve rehearsed at David Brankin Elementary for close to eight years – other than when the pandemic put a halt to such gatherings, of course.
In 2021 the choir pivoted to Zoom rehearsals and recorded “Tiny Lights,” a song written by Coco Love Alcorn. The digital project involved individual recordings of choir members edited together by sound engineer Lee Garrido.
“Ironically, we actually gained members during COVID,” Ewing reported. “When we were learning the ‘Tiny Lights’ song we had two choir members join us who we didn’t meet until a summer get-together we had in 2021, and that was fun meeting them after seeing them only on Zoom.
“During that time,” Ewing added, “I think people were at home looking for ways to still be involved in things, and the choir provided that, online. A lot of choirs kept going during COVID, including ours. The ‘Tiny Lights’ project was seen by people who might not have heard about us before, and we got some hits on our website (aequitassingers.ca). We’re also on Facebook.”
The Singers’ June 18 concert will feature a mix of familiar pop songs and others. Tickets range from $12 to $20, with net proceeds to Backpack Buddies, Surrey Food Bank and READSurreyWhiteRock. Details are found on tickets.surrey.ca and also aequitassingers.ca.
“This choir is a passion project for people who like to sing,” Ewing explained. “This concert is our first since 2019 and we’re pretty excited, and we’re so thrilled to be given this opportunity by the City of Surrey. They have a grant program, and there’s a pilot project where they’re giving (theatre) space in-kind, the Surrey stages, so we ticked the box and got chosen for the Centre Stage theatre. We’ve sang in the atrium there before but not the theatre. It’s a wonderful venue.”
The choir will sing eight songs in a concert included among Surrey Pride events and activities in June.
“Normally we’d sing 12 or 14 songs in concert but because of the COVID situation we had to break in January, when everything closed again due to Omicron,” Ewing said. “We went back to Zoom again, and there’s been some ups and downs even with people being ill from COVID and missing rehearsals. It’s definitely been a challenge to pull this concert together, but we’re glad to be doing it.”