Surrey student choirs sing with pros at Bell concert

SURREY — Student singers from three Surrey schools will rub shoulders with professionals during a special music festival next week.

Members of the award-winning Vancouver Chamber Choir (VCC) will participate in the daytime workshops and evening concert, all at Bell Performing Arts Centre on Wednesday, May 20.

Close to 250 students from North Surrey Secondary, Pacific Academy and Panorama Ridge Secondary will be involved in the one-day choral fest.

The gathering is a rare opportunity for the teens to learn from those who sing professionally, says Carol Sirianni, who co-ordinates Surrey Schools Secondary Choral Festival.

“It’s a special day for these students,” underlined Sirianni, Fine Arts Helping Teacher for Surrey Schools.

“They’ll be participating in a professional rehearsal, with their own choir conductor up there and the professionals standing next to them. That’s special.”

Each of the choirs will rehearse separately with the VCC during the afternoon workshops, with public performances starting at 7 p.m. After an intermission, the VCC will on their own perform a selection of songs, known as “The Ways of Water.” Tickets for the concert are $20 via the Bell box office, 604-507-6355; admission is free for students.

This is the second time the VCC has been involved in the education-focused choral festival.

“Last year, it went really well in most ways,” Jon Washburn, conductor and artistic director of the 20-member VCC.

“We didn’t have as big an audience as we’d like, but educationally, it was a huge success.”

Washburn said the choir’s outreach effort is very much embraced by its singers.

“They really are terrific teachers, and there’s nothing more valuable to these young singers than having a chance like this to stand next a professional singer, to learn from them,” Washburn said.

“One of the main things they realize is how incredibly focused a professional singer is. That’s a valuable lesson, but hard to teach. And for the teacher there conducting it all, it’s a valuable experience, too – like conducting a supercharged car.”

Pacific Academy’s senior choir, conducted by David Rosborough will participate in the festival, as will the Jonathan Krueger-conducted concert and chamber choirs of North Surrey Secondary. Panorama Ridge’s senior concert choir, conducted by Ronald Davis, is the fourth choir involved in the event.

At Panorama Ridge, many of the singers have also been busy performing in a theatre production at the school.

“It’s been a bit difficult to find rehearsal time,” said Davis, the choir conductor.

“The kids are excited about this opportunity,” he added.

Also next week, the VCC will stage auditions for the choir, on Saturday, May 23.

We are especially interested in hearing sopranos and altos, though all voices (SATB) are invited,” say managers of the choir. 

“The key activities of the choir include a subscription series that is unique in Vancouver, extensive touring in Canada and abroad, broadcasting live concerts, recording, commissioning and premiering new choral compositions, and presenting four to five educational programs throughout each season. 

“The choir demands a major commitment of time and needs to be the singers’ top priority.”

For an appointment to audition for the VCC, contact Grant by email, grantwutzke@live.com.

tom.zillich@thenownewspaper.com 

Just Posted

White Rock breaks temperature record

B.C. city was the hottest in all of Canada

South Surrey church members ‘praying for accused mother… for the whole process’

Lisa Batstone’s second-degree murder trial continues this week in B.C. Supreme Court

City will ask Fraser Health to remove pay parking at SMH, Surrey councillor says

Surrey’s new council has already made parking free on neighbouring city streets

VIDEO: Health and Technology District breaks ground on new building

City Centre 3 is the third of eight planned buildings: Lark Group

Spawning salmon returning to North Delta’s Cougar Creek

It’s early in the season, but the streamkeepers are hopeful it could be a good year for returns

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

1 woman dead, man in hospital after ‘suspicious’ crash: police

Homicide investigators and Burnaby RCMP are investigating the fatal collision

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Don’t sign USMCA until LGBTQ language excised, U.S. lawmakers urge Trump

The trade agreement, forged after 13 months of tense negotiations between Canada and the U.S. is scheduled for Nov. 30

Most Read