Ring in the Holidays with Song

For many, the holiday season would not be complete without their favourite Christmas music. The Whitehorse Community Choir has the perfect solution for those who are loathe to see December pass without beautiful renditions of “Silent Night” or “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” The choir’s winter concert, Tis the Season, will be sure to fill everyone who joins them with good cheer.

Barbara Chamberlin, the director of Whitehorse Community Choirs, says the audience can expect a very traditional program of Christmas music that will include piano, harp and flute accompaniment. “It’s all feel-good, beautiful music,” Chamberlin said. Three choirs will take to the stage during the evening’s program: the Whitehorse Community Choir, the Persephone Singers, and the Chamber Choir.

The Whitehorse Community Choir, also known as the Big Choir, or the WCC, is made up of about 70 singers. There is no audition required to join this choir and anyone who wishes to take part is welcome. “We try to give everyone who wants to experience what it is like to sing in a choir the opportunity to do so,” said Chamberlin. “We also have a very committed core of singers that help new singers out. This is very community-oriented choir and we do all types of music.”

The Persephone Singers is an auditioned women’s choir of about 16 voices that do harder songs and memorize most of its repertoire. “These are singers that want more of a challenge and want to be a part of a smaller group,” said Chamberlin.

Last, but certainly not least, the Chamber Choir is the elite group of Whitehorse’s family of three choirs. It’s an auditioned group of about 16 voices and is geared towards those that really want to do challenging music, have the talent for it and the time to spend on it.

In addition to the holiday classics, the audience will be in for a few special treats. “We are doing the first movement of Mozart Vesperae Solennes de Confessor, KV 339,” said Chamberlin. “It’s called Dixit, and it is an exciting classical piece that is beautiful, difficult and amazing.” Chamberlin said this is being included in the choir’s Christmas program as a sneak peek into what audiences can expect during the spring concert when the full six movements of the work will be presented. “We would like to give the audience a taste of what we will be doing in the spring and we wanted our choir members to have a chance to experience one movement of the work to reinforce for them that it’s possible to do it and to provide members with some insight on if they want to be a part of performing it in the spring,” said Chamberlin.

In addition, the Chamber Choir will be performing a special presentation of music created for Marten Berkman’s installation that goes into the Yukon Arts Centre Gallery on Dec. 5. Chamberlin wrote the music for the installation and the Chamber Choir recorded it. Berkman’s project focuses on contrasting lifestyles – the city vs. the northern country, or as Chamberlin characterizes it “Toronto vs. the Yukon.”

Tis the Season takes place on Dec. 6 and 7 at 8 p.m. at the Yukon Arts Centre. Tickets are can be purchased from the Yukon Arts Centre box office or YukonTickets.com. Those interested in joining the community choirs should visit WhitehorseChoir.org for more information. The spring term begins on the first Monday of January.


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