Vallee Harmony A Cappella Pop Choir make the peace sign as they leave the Shuswap Music Festival in April where they won first place for Community Adult Choir. They will donate the proceeds of their upcoming concerts to charities in Vernon, Salmon Arm and Kamloops. (Contributed)

A Cappella choir to donate spring concert proceeds to charity

Vallee Harmony A Cappella Pop Choir will be performing on May 25 in Vernon, May 26 in Salmon Arm

“If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change,” is the theme of Man in the Mirror, written by Glen Ballard and Siedah Garrett. It was a number one hit for Michael Jackson and nominated for a Grammy Award.

Vallee Harmony A Cappella Pop Choir members are blending their voices later this month and making a change by donating the proceeds of their spring concerts to local charities in Vernon, Salmon Arm and Kamloops. With over 60 singers, their big sound is perfect for Man in the Mirror, Eleanor Rigby by the Beatles, California Dreamin’ by the Mamas and the Papas, Coldplay’s Viva la Vida and other pop music classics.

They sing without accompaniment, making guitar and percussion sounds with their voices. They also memorize all their music. Bohemian Rhapsody, the international mega-hit written by Freddie Mercury and recorded in 1975 by Queen, is twenty-two pages long, and they sing it by heart.

Directed by Sylvain Vallee, the pop choirs practice separately in Vernon, Salmon Arm and Kamloops and come together as one large group for public performances. They won first place for community adult choirs in the Shuswap Music Festival in April and were recommended for the B.C. provincial final of Canadian National Festival of Music by adjudicator Terry Logan. They also took second place in Kelowna at the 2019 Kiwanis Music Festival.

Vallee Harmony was Kevin Derow’s first venture into group harmony.

“I enjoy making music. Harmony singing in particular is the most satisfying by far, sounds the nicest and it’s a social thing. A lot more pleasing than solo singing,” said Derow, who is a tenor and sings lead in a couple of songs. “Working on a part and coming together as a group—the sound we make together—you don’t find it when you are (making music) on your own.”

He said he finds the A Cappella pop choir fun, challenging and rewarding.

“Sylvain is a very knowledgeable, experienced and patient conductor. He is a lot of fun to work with, and certainly can make people grow in music. Harmony is social but not difficult. It is very easy to fit in socially with this group.”

End-of-season concerts include a performance by 16-year-old baritone Carson Venne and an ensemble singing Billy Joel’s hit ballad And So It Goes.

The group performs at Trinity United Church in Vernon on May 25 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. All proceeds go to the Vernon Women’s Transition House.

On May 26, the group performs at Nexus-First United Church in Salmon Arm from 7 to 8:30 p.m. They will also be performing on May 24 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at Kamloops United Church.

Information and advance $16 tickets are available at www.amazingsinging.ca. Tickets will also be available for $20 at the door.

Related: A cappella choir shows power of voice in Vernon, Salmon Arm

Related: Singers wanted for a cappella pop choir

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