SURREY — What do 40 men wearing red jackets have in common? Oh, not just any random 40 men in red jackets. These are the men of the First Capital Chorus who sing for the joy of it and love to be known as “those fun guys in the Red Jackets.”
The red jackets are most appropriate for many of their community performances, like Canada Day and Christmas charity concerts. The Christmas concerts have raised more than $110,000 to date for the Langley Christmas Bureau. Good guys, good tunes, and can also be counted on to perform at citizenship ceremonies, cenotaphs, schools, seniors residences and, of course, Remembrance Day shows.
“Honour our Patriots” is the title of this year’s Remembrance Day show. Due to the vagaries of the calendar and securing performance space, this show is not exactly on Remembrance Day, but close.
This year, the choir’s “Honour Our Patriots” concert is on Saturday, Nov. 7, with 2 and 7 p.m. shows at the Parish of St. Mark’s, 12953 20th Ave., Surrey. General admission is $20, with seniors and veterans priced at $15. Tickets (cash or cheques) are available at the door – but go early to secure tickets. This is a popular event, especially with the added attraction of the almost all-girl jazz band, Company B.
Just like the patriots and veterans that “First Cap” is honouring, the average age of the chorus is advancing and numbers are dwindling. Younger members are needed and encouraged. The chorus competes annually in the Evergreen Division 1 as well as all the community performances. Serve your community and sing, all in one package. C’mon guys, sign up now for the barbershop experience. Check it out online at Firstcapitalchorus.org.
There’s a lot more to this chorus than just song. There are Surrey celebrities in the ranks. Roger Bose, secretary to the chorus and bass singer, was just named a Surrey Civic Treasure for his contributions to the arts and cultural communities in Surrey. Roger, a lifelong Surrey resident, is noted as a source of historical knowledge in the city, particularly Cloverdale.
Bose is not the only Surrey Civic Treasure involved with a chorus. Stephen Horning is one, too. Horning has devoted his teaching life to introduce children to the art of singing. His Surrey Children’s Choir is a treasure in itself. This choir is also holding a Remembrance Day celebration, on Nov. 11 at First United Church in White Rock (15385 Semiahmoo Ave.), starting at 10 a.m.
Horning will conduct the children in Remembrance Day standards as well as the very meaningful “When Children Join Hands and Sing,” by Edward Rutherford. The Choir will also sing “Music: Our Salve, Our Courage,” by Dennis Tupman, a Vancouver teacher, musician and writer who profoundly believes in the importance of music, especially choral music, as an essential part of the education system. That does include boys.
And just like the First Capital Chorus, Surrey Children’s Choir will always welcome new members. Get the background on the website, or contact director Horning via email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joining a choir may not bring total world peace, but it sure does help build more caring and kind communities. It’s a start. Wear the poppy and remember.