Hear their voices on Remembrance Day

Island Voices Chamber Choir presents “Voices in Remembrance: In Their Words” on Nov. 11.

Through song and narration, the audience will witness the anguish of war, grieve for the dead, and find solace in hope and the contemplation of peace.

Since its inception by the late Frances Keen in 2005, “Voices in Remembrance” was seen by the choir not as a concert, but as a way to bring the community together. The texts will be read by actor local actors Jennifer Moses (Courtenay) and Christine Knight (Campbell River) and Black Creek’s Nick Preston. Island Voices is especially honoured to be joined by the Canadian Military Wives Choir in Courtenay and the Campbell River Children’s Choir. Choosing music which is especially meaningful to them, and joining for a final massed number, these choirs will add an additional dimension to the experience.

For this moving program, the choir has woven together music and text, with readings chosen from journals, letters and interviews. From a WWI soldier who will never see his new daughter, to a medic working in an army hospital, to family left behind, the readings have been chosen to convey a breadth of human emotions. All the readings have a local connection, from the memories of 96 year old veteran Bud Mabbet, to diaries from the trenches, to a blog of a wife trying to keep the family going.

The songs will evoke a variety of feelings associated with Remembrance Day. There are many connections with love and loss, such as “After the War is Over” (from the movie “Passchendaele”) and “Johnny, I hardly Knew Ye”. There are prayers for strength, such as “Hear my Voice” and words of despair, such as “When I am Silent”. But there are also wishes for peace and an “Inscription of Hope”.

“Voices in Remembrance: In Their Words” will be presented twice on November 11th, at St. George’s United Church (Courtenay) at 2 pm and at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church (Campbell River) at 7:30 pm (admission by donation). For more information contact jo-anne.preston@shaw.ca.