Darryl Auten and Graham Dudfield rehearse for Full Spectrum, a 10th anniversary concert to be presented in early March by Northern Lights Chamber Choir. (Photo contributed)

Concert intended to help audience let go of stress and be happy

Northern Lights Chamber Choir celebrates 10 years of singing together

For 10 melodious years, Northern Lights Chamber Choir has given voice to beautiful music.

As the choir prepares for its upcoming concert, Full Spectrum, longtime member Melany Dyer tells of the the auditioned group’s origins.

The choir was started in honour of Margot Hewitt, who died in January 2009.

Hewitt had many roles within the school district, from teaching to administration, and had been very involved in choral music.

“She knew Steve (Guidone) was a gifted choral director and had been encouraging him to start a choir that would strive for ongoing excellence; that’s the point of this choir,” recalled Dyer, noting Hewitt had been well-respected and loved.

“What we know is that the act of choral singing actually lights up more of your brain than any other activity, so singing together in a hour surpasses so many other pleasurable activities.”

Dyer also raves about Northern Lights director Guidone and accompanist Jim Johnston, praising them for their talent and commitment.

Read more: Shuswap concert series explores human nature through music

“They are magnificently dedicated to creating this beautiful music and they do it all gratis,” she said. “For me, that’s a real indicator of their dedication.”

Dyer says the 15 members of the choir are singing for the love of it weekly from October through March.

And the love goes both way as Guidone, describes choir members as a special group of talented and dedicated people.

Over the years, Northern Lights Choir has explored a wide variety of genres, from the Renaissance to present-day modern music.

“Our very first concert series was called ‘Full Spectrum,’ reflecting this broad range of periods and styles,” said Guidone.

“This year’s concert title is the same, as we carry on the tradition of performing a multi-coloured musical experience.”

Read more: Bringing history to life through song

Songs with an uplifting theme have been selected this year in order to give audiences an opportunity to let go of the stresses of life and be happy, as G.F. Handel encourages in his lively piece Happy We.

“The program also includes a celebration of spring, a carnival, and a gorgeous piece that has the same name as our choir,” Guidone said.

“There are many more gems for you to enjoy, including audience and choir favourites from the past 10 years. Our aim is to delight you and to refresh your spirit.”

Concerts take place in St. Mary’s Anglican/United Church in Sorrento at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 3, in Salmon Arm, and at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 8, and 2:30 p.m., Sunday, March 10, at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.

Tickets at $15 for adults and $5 for students are available at Acorn Music, from choir members or online at www.northernlightschamberchoir.ca.


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