Elektra Women’s Choir performs under the leadership of artistic director Morna Edmundson (foreground), a Surrey resident. (Submitted photo)

Elektra Women’s Choir performs under the leadership of artistic director Morna Edmundson (foreground), a Surrey resident. (Submitted photo)

MUSIC

Surrey’s Edmundson leads Elektra Women’s Choir for a 36th season of concerts starting Oct. 1

Four ‘diverse and engaging’ concerts, including a Christmas-themed performance in South Surrey

Vancouver-based Elektra Women’s Choir is preparing for a 36th season of concerts under the artistic direction of Morna Edmundson, who lives in Surrey.

A Guildford-area resident, Edmundson has planned four “diverse and engaging” concerts over the coming months, including another Christmas-themed performance in South Surrey.

At Vancouver’s Pacific Spirit United Church, the choir’s 2022-23 season launched Oct. 1-2 with the world premiere of “The Lost Words: A Spell Book,” billed as “a whimsical and evocative musical interpretation” of the bestselling book by author Robert Macfarlane and visual artist Jackie Morris.

“Their magical book’s ‘spells’ and watercolours were meant to conjure back into the lives of children 20 words about nature removed from the Oxford Junior Dictionary,” an event advisory explains. “In Elektra’s concerts, readings from the book by actor Laara Sadiq will be followed by short, new compositions by ten Canadian composers, performed by Elektra and six instrumentalists. Jackie Morris’ wonderful paintings on screen complete the celebration of this literary ‘re-wilding of childhood.’”

The choir’s seasonal “Chez Nous: Christmas with Elektra” concerts are Nov. 26-27, first at Pacific Spirit on the Saturday, followed by a Sunday-afternoon performance at Good Shepherd Church in South Surrey, featuring saxophonist Julia Nolan for traditional and newer works, “from the thoughtful to the playful.”

Back at Pacific Spirit, the choir will perform a “Humanity” concert March 10, 2023, “exploring despair, hope, love, solidarity, boldness, and more,” featuring music by Zanaida Robles, Claudio Monteverdi, Marie-Claire Saindon, Libby Larsen and more, with a focus on recent works by Canadian composer Laura Hawley.

The choir’s season concludes May 6, 2023, with “120 voices together in glorious harmony,” in a collaboration with The Women’s Chorus of Dallas under Melinda Imthurn, and Finland’s groundbreaking ensemble, Philomela, under Marjukka Riihimäki.

Season tickets are available on elektra.ca, along more concert details.

Back in 1987, Edmundson chatted with a fellow choral director at a Vancouver Chamber Choir concert — a conversation that gave birth to Elektra Women’s Choir.

“I was with Diane Loomer,” Edmundson said in a 2016, four years after Loomer’s death, in 2012. “I had just come back from studying in Sweden for a year, and we thought, ‘No one is singing the women’s choir repertoire – I wonder what the repertoire is?’”

Over its three-plus decades, Elektra has explored all the important music for women’s choir, spearheaded the creation of countless new scores and raised the profile of female choirs.

In 2020, the choir released “Fire Flowers,” its 17th collection of music, in both CD and digital formats.

More history about Elektra Women’s Choir is posted to elektra.ca/about/history-of-elektra.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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