It was within the depressing January weather stats that the Whitehorse Community Choir began its preparation for its Spring Concert, taking place at the Yukon Arts Centre on Friday, May 7 and Saturday, May 8.

This year’s concert, entitled Pop Goes the Choir, will see the full choir, as well as its smaller off-shoots, The Persephone Singers, The Neptunes and The Chamber Choir, performing 22 pop tunes from the 60s to the 90s.

During the two-hour concert, the full choir will perform songs like La Bamba, Satisfaction, Sarah McLachlan’s Angel, and Loreena McKennitt’s Tango to Evora.

“It’s a hauntingly beautiful arrangement,” says the choir’s director, Barbara Chamberlin, of a song not familiar to most people.

The all-female voices of Persephone will be taking on songs by Blondie, ABBA and a medley of tunes from the Chiffons.

The Neptunes, whose voices are in the lower range, will be singing a Beatles medley, the Beach Boys’ Help Me Rhonda, and Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire.

The Chamber Choir, which Chamberlin joins to sing, generally takes on more complex arrangements, and along with Penny Lane and One More Night, will be performing two pieces from Mozart’s Requiem. These pieces are part of a full concert that it has been practising for next spring.

The Suzuki Strings will be joining the Chamber Choir for these selections.

Other guest artists for the evening will include guitarist Manfred Janssen, drummer Lonnie Powell, bassist Rob Bergman, as well as a horn section.

The shows begin at 8 p.m., and tickets are available at Arts Underground or at the Yukon Arts Centre box office or at

If you need more info, call Sue at 667-4661.

Chamberlin was also thrilled to tell me that the Persephone Singers have been selected to attend the XIV International Choral Kathaumixw, a juried competition in Powell River, BC this July.

Kathaumixw is a Salish word meaning, “a gathering together of different people.”

Quite a gathering it is, bringing together adult, youth and children’s choirs from all over the globe, each having been chosen after submitting recordings.

Almost 30 choirs are coming from places as far-flung as Uganda, Taiwan and the Czech Republic for the five-day celebration and choral competition.

The Persephones will be busy fund-raising for the trip, estimated to cost each of the 22 members around $1,000.

“Some of our members are students,” said Chamberlin of their efforts. “We would love (to be able to enlist) some sponsors.”

The members have applied for lottery funding to help, and are putting on house concerts to raise more.