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VIDEO: Choral singers from across B.C. perform in Langley

Chorfest 2024 highlights performances by youth and adult choirs

A three-day chorus festival that brought together hundreds of singers from across the province to learn from top music directors came to a close on Sunday, May 26, with a gala concert performance before an audience that filled South Langley Church in Brookswood.

It followed a weekend of rehearsals in Langley with high-profile choral clinicians by adult and youth singers from 24 communities, including Langley, Maple Ridge, Prince George, Richmond, Vancouver, all taking part in the British Columbia Choral Federation (BCCF) Chorfest 2024.

As Willi Zwozdesky, BCCF executive director explained, the singers in the federation’s flagship event were able to perform well with only a few days rehearsal.

“The youth choir is an auditioned group of people [who had to sing to qualify for the event], so there’s nobody sort of sight reading [singing unfamiliar music directly from a written score] and just learning for the very first time,” Zwozdesky remarked.

“And the adult choir, of course, is comprised of very skilled and seasoned choral musicians. So there’s many, many years of choral experience on the stage.”

READ ALSO: Langley chorus hosting annual BC Chorfest

Dr. Julia Davids, artistic director of the Juno-nominated Canadian Chamber Choir and Director of Choral Activities at North Park University in Chicago was choral clinician and conductor of the Chorfest adult choir .

In written remarks printed in the concert program, Davids explained this year’s theme of Be the River.

“As Canadians we are very influenced by our natural surroundings, especially our many bodies of water,” Davis commented.

“Rivers and lakes are especially evocative – from a gentle, still, meandering stream to a fast-moving, vast, wide body of water such as the mighty Fraser River, rivers and lakes have inspired countless composers.”

It was also the title of one of the featured works performed by the adult choir at the event, Canadian composer Stephanie Martin’s “Be The River.

Dr. Tracy Wong, a published composer and assistant professor of choral studies at the Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University in London,Ontario, was choral clinician and conductor of the British Columbia Youth Choir at Chorfest, which performed similarly-themed works, including “More Waters Rising” by Saro Lynch-Thomason.

READ ALSO: Passion earns Grade 8er multiple roles in Anastasia

Dan Ferguson

About the Author: Dan Ferguson

Best recognized for my resemblance to St. Nick, I’m the guy you’ll often see out at community events and happenings around town.
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