Though you may not have heard of the ensemble, you have likely heard its members' voices as, together, they are some of the most experienced choristers in the city.
Proximus 5 – Scott Reimer, Dan Rochegood, Paul Bruch-Wiens, Jereme Wall, and Josiah Brubacher – perform in the second Winnipeg Baroque Festival concert, aptly titled “A Proximus Baroque.”
Regularly found in the choral ranks of other ensembles in the city, the idea for this five-part quintet was born during a post-choir practice libation shared during the summer months of 2019 by Scott Reimer (baritone and countertenor) and Paul Bruch-Wiens (baritone), who had been impressed by the former’s Masters’ choral conducting recitals and thought there might be an opportunity to explore something further.
“We discussed what we wanted it to be,” says Bruch-Wiens. “We knew we wanted it to be a small group... we knew the style of singing we had wanted to do, we knew that we wanted to scratch our own itch and we knew that there were other people in the city that had wanted to do the same.”
Calls went out to Dan Rochegood (countertenor), Jereme Wall (bass) and, at the time, James Magnus-Johnson (tenor).
Since emerging on the other side of the pandemic, Proximus 5 have already presented two concerts exploring a wide variety of repertoire for enthusiastic audiences.
“We all trust each other, we trust our musical instincts together,” says Rochegood about the shared artistic leadership of the ensemble, pointing out that they are also “just doing this for fun.”
“We hope that that is what people, our audience, our community gets a sense of when we sing for them.”
In their third concert, Proximus 5 performs as part of the second annual Winnipeg Baroque Festival featuring the music of William Byrd as the centerpiece of the program.
Though not quite considered a composer of the formal Baroque era, the late-Renaissance Englishman can be viewed as one on the cusp of the new style, acknowledges Reimer.
“This being the 400th anniversary of his death... we thought that this would be meaningful for a lot of folks,” he says.
Proximus 5 perform the stunning and nimble Mass for Five Voices by the renowned composer, in addition to works by Bach, Handel, Lotti, Monteverdi, Pitoni, and Purcell.
The concert takes place at Saint Margaret's Anglican Church (160 Ethelbert Street) on Wednesday, April 19 beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Admission is by donation. Visit: www.prox5.ca to reserve your seats.