On Sunday, December 11, the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir presents “Christmas with the Phil” – exactly 100 years to the day from their first concert in 1922.
“What a coincidence,” says conductor Yuri Klaz, who describes the uncanniness as “absolutely amazing.”
Having devoted his life to choirs and conducting, Klaz has been a part of milestone concerts before –celebrations of 20, 30, 50 years – but never one quite as auspicious as a centenary. “That’s the first time,” the maestro says, who has been conductor of the Phil since 2000.
For Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir President Glynis Corkal, who has sung with the Phil since 1989, the ensemble has provided not only rewarding musical exploration and memorable tours but also camaraderie and community.
“The people that I get to make music with week in and week out are amongst some of my best friends now,” she says.
In addition to the 50-person choir, the Winnipeg Philharmonic welcomes back an alumni group of singers as well.
“We’ve got people coming from Calgary and Canmore,” says Corkal. “It’ll be fun to see some of them again.”
The Phil also welcomes the Winnipeg Boys Choir to join in the festivities, which will feature a program inspired by the past, present and future, including selections from the first ever concert program in 1922, as well as commissions and arrangements featuring contemporary composers Leonard Enns, Dan Wiebe and Kenley Kristofferson.
Christmas with the Phil takes place at Cathédrale de Saint-Boniface (180, avenue de la Cathédrale) on Sunday, December 11. Two performances to take in: 3 p.m. and again at 7 p.m.
For tickets, visit: www.thephil.ca