The Mennonites are known for their love of singing.
And that is exactly why the West Coast Mennonite Quartet will be performing at the Yukon Arts Centre March 1.
This is not part of a tour and it is not a money-making venture … unless you count the CD sales, but all of that profit will go to Communitas, an organization that helps people with mental illness and brain injuries.
Indeed, this is not even an established quartet. Instead, it is a pianist, three accomplished singers and Tony Funk.
“I sing,” says Funk with a shrug that is discerned over the phone line. “But not 9 to 5 like these guys.”
“These guys” are Colin Dalzer, tenor, who will be flying off to Madrid after Whitehorse to perform in yet another country.
And Laura Pudwell, alto; and Charlene Pauls, soprano.
“It is just five friends who got together to sing,” says Funk, who is no lightweight in the musical world as director of the West Coast Mennonite Chamber Choir.
“It is quite enjoyable,” he adds. “No egos involved, just do what we do best with people who support you 100 per cent.”
They got together three years ago to record a CD for Communitas. This live performance will be only one of two they have performed.
Along with pianist Betty Suderman, who Funk knows through her work with the choir, they will be singing some classical songs, American folk hymns and Eastern Canadian and British folk songs.
“The music is going to explore belonging and longing,” says Funk. “The longing to belong.
“This is purely a musical treat,” he adds, then pauses. “That’s a trite word, but it really is a confluence of energy, love for music, friendship and just the privilege to share it with people who come out.”
The Whitehorse Concerts presentation will March 1 at 8 p.m. at the Yukon Arts Centre. Tickets are available at the Yukon Arts Centre Box Office and Arts Underground.