‘Choirs in Concert’ preview
By Caroline Ho, Arts Editor
Douglas College’s Music Department is very excited to present Choirs in Concert on Saturday, November 26. Conducted by Eric Hannan, this concert will showcase the talents of students and the community, and is an excellent chance to discover what the music department has to offer.
All of the ensembles at Douglas College are open for students to join, not just those in music programs, a fact that many non-music students are unaware of. Anyone who is interested in singing in a choral group or playing in a band is welcome and encouraged to get involved.
Performing on Saturday will be two choirs: Chorus and Chorale. The larger Chorus is made up of students—most, but not all, of whom are in the music program—as well as community members, some who have been in the choir for years. In the past, the Chorus has mostly sung larger works from the classical repertoire, but for this concert they’re singing a mixture of shorter works from the last 200 years.
The smaller, select Chorale is made up of the more experienced students. They will sing music from as far back as the medieval period, and up to contemporary pieces.
The concert will have a wide, diverse program, with songs from a range of periods and styles. “It gives the students exposure to all kinds of music,” said Hannan. It will include quite a bit of Baroque music, one song from the medieval period, as well as folk, jazz, and more. The chorus will be accompanied in some pieces by a small instrumental ensemble, and other songs will feature piano accompaniment. Some of the pieces will also be sung a cappella, mostly by the Chorale.
Hannan is particularly fond of a beautiful piece by French Baroque composer Charpentier, which will be the last song in the concert. Other songs to watch out for include a folk-like Spanish song performed by Chorus, and a performance of the jazz song “Misty” by Chorale. Hannan is also excited for the chorale settings by J. S. Bach, which are German hymns from the Lutheran Church, because of how Chorale and members of Chorus will be arranged to fill the hall with music.
“I think as far as highlights go, each person in the audience will have a different piece that they think was the best,” said Hannan.
The choirs have been preparing for this concert since September. Chorus meets once a week for practice, and Chorale meets twice a week.
For some members of the choir, this will be the first time ever performing in concert. Since music is a two-year program, the choir’s makeup changes a lot every year. About half of the members are completely new to these choirs—and for some of them, their first ever experience singing has been with the choir.
Hannan wants to stress that joining a choir is an opportunity for everyone in the community, and that being involved with music is a huge benefit. “Making music is one of the healthiest activities for your brain and your body, whether or not you do it as your study,” he said.
Choirs in Concert starts at 7:30 p.m. on November 26 at the Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for seniors, and admission is free for students, so everyone is highly encouraged to come and listen.