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Concert of Hope and Resilience Strikes a Chord with the Audience

 

Fans of choral music were delighted when the Stratford Concert Choir (SCC) returned to the stage

on Sunday May 15 with a concert called Hope and Resilience -- the choir’s first live performance

since the 2020 Covid shutdown.

“It’s been a wonderful experience for me, having the opportunity to work with the Stratford choir,

to see them through this time of transition, to get them up and singing again, “said Interim Artistic

Director Brian Wismath who conceived the program.

In his opening remarks Wismath explained how, during the past two years, he has witnessed hope

and resilience in the world around him and in the everyday lives of choir members. He wanted to

reflect that in his choice of music.

Mozart and Schubert were on the first half of the program, which ended with A Ukrainian Prayer, written just two months ago by English composer John Rutter.  “We were honoured to include it and loved its harmony and heartfelt intensity,” said chorister Christine Dowdell.

The second half continued with more contemporary works, including Eleanor Daley’s In Remembrance, a particular favourite of long-time choir member Irene Moore.  “It really had special meaning to me and I think it did to others as well,” she said.  In the period of time that we were off, several people in the choir lost spouses and family members.”

Some people in the audience were deeply moved by the repertoire. “I felt uplifted with the performance and it fed my soul,” said Mary Fletcher, “There were sections where I was just carried away.  I felt immersed in the beauty of song and music.”

To prepare for a concert while observing Covid restrictions has been challenging.  Choristers were masked during the concert.

 

“In the beginning I did not believe that we would be able to manage that.  We got used to it because we had to,” said Moore.  “It was hot and hard to get clear diction,” said Dowdell.  But that did not dull the enthusiasm of audience member Elizabeth Chidley. “The choir was outstanding this afternoon,” she said.  “Some difficult music sung under unnatural constraints and still the sound and energy were there.”

Rehearsals for the SCC will resume in September.  “it’s a time of renewal for the choir. We hope that other people will want to join,” said Moore.   In the meantime, choristers will bask in the glow of Sunday’s concert. ‘Our deepest thanks to Brian for bringing us to this point,” said Dowdell, “It was wonderful to be singing again!”

                                                         

The Stratford Concert Choir is always looking for new talent.  Next auditions start in September 2022.  For more information visit www.stratfordconcertchoir.org

Return to Singing!

We are looking forward to returning to in-person rehearsals on Monday February 7th, from 7-9pm. We are excited to return to Avondale United Church, under our Director Brian Wismath and an excellent Accompanist. We are planning to work towards a concert in the Spring, and more details will follow. We are careful to follow Public Health direction regarding full vaccination of each participant, masking, maintaining proper distance, and completing the active CoVid screening by signing the attendance sheet each week.

 

Of course we will be subject to local and Provincial restrictions as the months unfold. We are hoping for the best.

Interim Artistic Director

 

"We are pleased to announce Brian Wismath as our Interim Artistic Director.

 

Before relocating to Stratford, Brian was Artistic Director of Vox Humana Chamber Choir, Music Director of Civic Orchestra of Victoria, Linden Singers of Victoria Peace Choir, University of Victoria Chamber Singers, Tucson Masterworks Chorale, Vancouver Peace Choir, and Victoria Choral Society, as well as a faculty member at Victoria Conservatory of Music. 

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Important Action Required by All Choir Members

Public health suggests we make this Covid self assessment  tool available for everyone to complete at home prior to coming to rehearsals. Click here to link to the Gov Ontario PH website.