There’s something so special about getting together with good friends.
And that’s exactly what’s happening this weekend when four choirs come together to celebrate community, shared experiences and a love of music.
Between Friends is presented by Prairie Voices and Bluestem, together with guests Maples Collegiate Choir and St. James Assiniboia Senior Divisional Choir.
“When you’re in a group where every single person is so passionate about what you’re doing, it’s unparalleled,” says Olivia Kehler, a member of the Prairie Voices (PV) soprano section. “I think choral music has been one of the highlights of my life and getting to sing with a skilled group really makes it an incredible experience.”
Having auditioned for the choir previously, Kehler joined (PV) last season coinciding with the start of new director Philip Lapatha.
“I wasn’t sure if I was ready for such a thing,” says Lapatha frankly. Despite a bit of trepidation, he decided to “go into it anyway” and has since found conducting Prairie Voices to be “thrilling” and “very exciting.”
“Once you start making music, all sense of self starts to go away... You really are just focusing on the music and that’s where I’m at now.”
Founded by Dr. Elroy Friesen in 2000, the award-winning group of singers is made up of young adults (roughly age 18-25) and currently consists of a 44-member roster.
“I inherited the choir with 16 last year,” says Lapatha, building the choir up to roughly 30 by the end of the year before another swell of singers to begin this new season. A testament to the conviction of the choir, adds Kehler.
“I think anyone who has seen a Prairie Voices concert in person wouldn’t need much convincing (to join).”
In addition to welcoming Blue Stem, the youngest sibling in the PVI family of choirs with singers aged 14-18, under the direction of Rob Monson, this concert also features a number of guest ensembles: the Maples Collegiate Choir led by Dorothy Dyck and the St. James Assiniboia Senior Divisional Choir, directed by Avonlea Armstrong-Green.
“If I do that math right, I think there’s going to be about 150 singers at the concert,” says Lapatha, noting that there will be two en masse performances with all singers assembled.
Between Friends takes place at the Crescent Arts Centre (Crescent Fort Rouge United Church) at 525 Wardlaw, 7 pm on Saturday, December 3.
For tickets, head to www.prairievoices.ca