25 Memories

A Thank You to our supporters

When we reached the twenty-five year mark, we began to think about what we had accomplished and where we wanted to go in the next twenty-five. And for one group, we wanted to acclaim our special appreciation—our audiences. Much as we love learning and growing together, there is nothing like the feeling of looking out at the audience—singing the notes, expressing the rhythms, and communicating emotions. Nothing beats our sense of connection when the audience listens, not just with their ears, but with their hearts.

Over the years, so many people have supported Island Voices. Our families have tolerated our regular absences and the not-always-so-pleasing sounds of our practice at home. Our friends have attended concert after concert, and community members from Comox Valley, Campbell River, Quadra Island—to name but a few—have supported our efforts.

As we planned our silver jubilee concert, we remembered what we have printed in many programs over the years, and we wanted to say again:

“Thanks to you, our family and friends, for your many years of support”

We hope you enjoy Casey Rule’s arrangement of Danny Boy, recorded this past May at our 25th Anniversary Concert.

A sense of humour

Back about 1999, our Fran went to a workshop about “The Four L’s of Choir”, which focussed on the essential elements of a choir rehearsal. Although no one remembers the other three, “laughter” was one of the elements. We might have followed goofy actions to develop our sound, worn eye patches for a sea shanty, or behaved silly in the green room—Island Voices members enjoyed each other’s company. We are especially grateful for John Elson, our long-time MC, whose witty comments put both the audience and the choir at ease.

One of a conductor’s great challenges is choosing repertoire. We have been fortunate that all our conductors valued variety, including some “lighter” pieces—not necessarily the easiest ones! Here is Stephen Chatman’s “Woodpecker”, a piece we have performed many times.

Celtic Songs by Candlelight

For most of its life, Island Voices has performed two sets of concerts each year, with more appearances when singers were available. For Valentine’s Day 2002, Fran decided to add something special—a performance set in a cabaret—for “Celtic Songs by Candlelight”. Instead of row seating, the audience at St. Patrick’s Church Hall sat at tables laid with white linen cloth and topped with “trees” covered in mini-lights. They were treated to “an evening of Celtic Music, Love Songs and Fine Refreshments, catered by Comfort Zone”.

Piped in by Cameron, tenor Gary Stewart’s son, we performed a variety of choral songs, interspersed with duets. The late Patrick Stewart sang folk songs accompanied by Joyce Baker on the Celtic harp—a highlight. The Mostly Merville Ceilidh Band added to the joyous occasion with a set between the appetisers and desserts. Good music, good food, good fun!

Here is one of our favourites, Mairi’s Wedding.