The Delta Choral Society will take part in the June 3 concert for Special Olympics Delta.

The Best That We Can Be: One special concert

A grand music night on Friday for Special Olympics Delta

A special fundraising concert on Friday, June 3 in Delta will generate much-needed financial support to allow individuals of all ages with intellectual disabilities to enrich their lives through sports.

It takes its title – The Best That We Can Be – from the closing lyrics of a song written for a documentary about Canada’s Olympic team members in 1996 by two-time Juno award-winning singer/songwriter Liberty Silver and film producer/former Canadian basketball Olympian Sylvia Sweeney, an accomplished pianist who is also a niece of the late Canadian jazz musician/composer Oscar Peterson.

This special song will be highlighted during the concert from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at South Delta Baptist Church, 1988 56 St.

The concert will also feature the Delta Concert Band as well as the Delta Choral Society. Both groups, which total nearly 150 musicians, are primarily adult non-profit organizations that have dedicated themselves to  promoting music throughout Delta and the Lower Mainland for years.

Unfortunately, no vocal or instrumental parts from the original recording could be found so Silver and Sweeney gave their permission for Delta Concert band principal trumpeter Marilynn Turner, who is also a member of the Delta Community Choir, to transcribe the band and choir parts off the original recording so that their song can be performed at the Special Olympics Delta concert on June 3.

Writing both the vocal and instrumental parts off an audio recording is an Olympian-scale task in itself that requires a high level of musicianship but Turner, a retired Delta high school music teacher, is up to the task.

She estimates that the task has taken more than 50 hours, start to finish, including listening to the original recording many times, and determining both the vocal and instrumental parts.

“Then all the parts and the full score have to be written out and once that’s done we move into rehearsals,” she said.

Turner says the task is well worth the effort considering how the funds raised will help Delta’s Special Olympic athletes.

“I am very aware of the endless fundraising that is necessary to keep this program going,” added Joan Randall, who came up with the choir/concert band fundraising concept and whose son Scott is also a Special Olympian. “Many of our athletes live on limited funds and just like any sport we need equipment, rental fees for various venues, clothing and money to cover travel costs.”

The concert band and choir will perform separately for 30-40 minutes each then join forces to perform “I Believe” from Vancouver’s 2010 Winter Olympics as well as a full version of “The Best We Can Be.” A Parade of Athletes will also be highlighted during the concert.

Tickets, $15, can be purchased through the Special Olympics Delta via e-mail at: tickets@sobcdelta.org. They’ll also be available at the door.

For more information, visit sobcdelta.org

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