Provincial Honour Choirs: Photos
February 6 - 8, 2015
33rd Annual Manitoba Provincial Honour Choirs
February 6, 7 & 8, 2015 (Friday-Sunday)
Submitted by Gail Aubin
Junior School Choir (grades 6-8) - Gabriela Gallo Senior School Choir (grades 9-12) - Christopher Aspaas Adult Choir - Michelle Chyzyk
After months of careful planning, the doors opened at Gordon Bell High School to crowds of enthusiastic choristers. Dedicated and committed, young and older, the two hundred singers took their folders full of expertly selected music. Off to their first choir session on Friday February 6th, they are ready for a weekend of great music, excellent directors, maybe a reunion with old friends and, of course, hard work.
These Manitobans, Ontarians and yes, a returning Quebecker, love this Provincial Honours Choir weekend held in February of each year. Many singers have their registration ready to go as soon as MCA has the brochure printed for circulation. All must audition, in some form, except for the adult choir members. As seasoned altos, sopranos, tenors and basses, the adults (18 and older) have almost earned the right to be there.
So many PHC people have been singing since they were mere tots at school, church and community choirs. For some, PHC offers a chance to sing with those who absolutely appreciate one of the best human experience since vocal chords were first used: choral singing. Well, at least that is what so many of us believe.
Singers recognize that elation when singing which may come from the release of endorphins associated with pleasure. Maybe it is the oxytocin release that helps with trust and bonding. (Time Magazine August 2013) No matter what, stress at PHC is fairly low and the schedule fun as well as rewarding. On the second day of PHC, the attendees unwind and enjoy the traditional Saturday Night Live. This year featured Buxton Road made up of former and current PHC members.
Although a busy weekend, it is marvellous to be part of the group and the end product at PHCs Sunday concert is worth it all. With Ace Burpee as an excellent emcee, the packed house at Knox United Church enjoyed the varied choral selections.
This year, the PHC choirs had an outstanding weekend with their directors: Gabriela Gallo, Christopher Aspaas and Michelle Chyzyk. With 83 singers in the adult choir, 41 singers in the junior choir and 113 singers in the senior high choir, Gordon Bell was a busy place but it so perfectly fits the numbers and schedule. The mixed-voiced adult group featured superb physical movement and many of their songs had a global reach. The senior high group brought the house down with Keith Hamptons arrangement of ‘True Light’. The Junior choir delighted the audience with several pieces including one which incorporated the talented beat boxer, Tanner Gooding.
The guest choir, SonoLux was directed by Dorothy Dyck. Their performance of ‘Nunc Dimittis’ was beautiful and moving. Composed by Michael McKay, who was in attendance, this song won the Frances Seaton Choral Competition this year.