Island Voices concerts will “shorten winter’s sadness”

When Jenn Forsland, the director of Island Voices Chamber Choir, was considering music to open the choir’s 21st season, she began to see common themes in the music she was listening to.

“I began to reflect on what gets us through the darker months of the year. As the days get shorter, we cozy up with loved ones, dream of brighter days, and curl up with a good book or a good friend by the fire, helping the shorter days to pass more enjoyably. With those images in mind, Music focused on the themes of love, light, and contemplation began to surface.”

The result will be two concerts, in Campbell River and Comox, featuring sixteen pieces of music in seven languages from as far away as Estonia, Brazil and South Africa, and as near as Vancouver. After a grand and memorable 20th anniversary season full of celebration, the choir is excited to move forward this year with more sophisticated, challenging and diverse repertoire. Seven new members will add to the excitement as they make their debut performance.

The Tudor piece which became the title of the concerts was written by Thomas Weelkes, a cathedral organist who actually spent most of his time at the tavern, composing light-hearted madrigals. In this piece, Weelkes suggests – with a wink and nudge and a “fa la la” — that we could “shorten winter’s sadness” by being more inclined to love.

In the same vein, a hot-blooded suitor in the traditional Brazilian song, “Muie Rendera”, tries to bargain with a pretty lacemaker: if she shows him how to weave, he’ll teach her the arts of love.

From love, the choir moves to the theme of light, including McCartney and Lennon’s “I’ll Follow the Sun”, the Provençal carol “Un Flambeau! Jeanette Isabelle”, and the traditional spiritual “Bright Morning Stars”.

Contemplation and insight are provided as well. “Let My Love Be Heard” by Jake Runestad speaks of loss and grief, and of the healing power of angels’ voices. In “Muusika”, contemporary Estonian composer Pärt Uusberg suggests the harmonies found in nature are what give us music in our hearts.

One of Director Forsland’s favourite pieces is “My Light”, a brand new piece by Vancouver composer Katerina Gimon. “The music begins tenderly like flickering fireflies in the night sky,” she says, “and builds throughout to a rousing finale, bathing the audience in sheer radiance.” The composer Gimon explained, “I chose a theme of self-discovery and individuality, of finding our inner light, incorporating moments of individuality and self-expression through pitched recitations, glissandos, and fun and bright vocal timbres.” This piece was first performed in Vancouver this past spring, and Island Voices are very proud to present the Vancouver Island premiere.

“To Shorten Winter’s Sadness” will be presented twice, on Friday, November 23 at 7:30 p.m. at Campbell River United Church (425 Pinecrest Rd) and on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 7:30 p.m. at Comox United Church (250 Beach Dr)

Tickets are $20 (students are free when accompanied by an adult), and can be purchased in Courtenay at Benjamin Moore House of Colour, in Comox at Blue Heron Books, and in Campbell River at The Music Plant. For more info, call 250-203-0471 (Campbell River) or 250-898-4773 (Comox/Courtenay).

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Island Hospital Campbell River’s campus has a new food forest

And the hospital staff is encouraging the community to come ‘nibble’ on the produce

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

A true community garden takes root in Tsa’xana

Tsa’xana First Nation residents typically have to grocery shop in Campbell River, 90 km away

Vancouver Island community organizes luncheon for seniors to beat COVID-19 blues

Sayward Community Recreation Association and Mowi teamed up to deliver lunch boxes to senior citizens in Sayward

Road rage incident in downtown Campbell River results in charges

Action movie scene caught on video, which helped identify driver

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Canadians can travel to Hawaii in September; no quarantine with negative COVID test

Travellers will be required to pay for their own tests prior to arriving

Pay cuts, seating charts, COVID screening: How one B.C. venue is bringing back concerts

A growing number of bars and restaurants are welcoming back musicians under COVID-19 precautions

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

Most Read