Andrea Roberts directs the Shuswap Intergenerational Choir in rehearsal for its upcoming public performance at the Nexus at First on Saturday, May 5. (Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer)

Andrea Roberts directs the Shuswap Intergenerational Choir in rehearsal for its upcoming public performance at the Nexus at First on Saturday, May 5. (Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer)

Generations connect through song

Shuswap Intergenerational Choir rehearse for May 5 concert at Nexus

They connected through a shared love of music, and now the Shuswap Intergenerational Choir is preparing to share that love with the community.

On Saturday, May 5, the choir of singers ages four to 70 and up will be taking the stage at the Nexus at First (Salmon Arm First United Church) for an afternoon concert with special guests including Blu and Kelly Hopkins.

Choir members Keri McKeen and son Naveed Anders are both feeling anxious about the upcoming event – their first public performance with the choir.

“I’m pretty nervous, how about you?” asks McKeen.

“I’m scared…,” replies Naveed.

“Are you excited as well?” asks McKeen.

“Yeah,” smiles Naveed.

While these feelings may be shared with their fellow choir members, it was difficult to detect any discomfort during the group’s rehearsal last Friday afternoon at Andover Terrace Retirement Resort.

Led by director Andrea Roberts, the choir sang, with a playful confidence, a wide variety of music ranging from Chubby Parker’s King Kong Kitchie, to Bob Dylan’s Forever Young, to K’naan’s Wavin Flag.

Roberts explains how finding the right songs was one of the challenges she faced when the group started singing together back in September 2017.

“How do you please them all? My idea was let’s treat it like a learning opportunity for everybody,” said Roberts. “Come open-minded with the realization that you might not love everything at first but give it a chance.”

Roberts said it wasn’t until after Christmas that something clicked in the choir, and personal issues fell way to a mutual love for singing.

It was an email from Dr. Joan Bratty that got Roberts involved with the choir. Bratty has been an advocate for the social and mental benefits of music.

“I completely jumped onboard – this is something I feel pretty passionately about as far as everybody making music together,” said Roberts. “We just went from there and we approached the Shuswap North Okanagan Division of Family Practice for help with it and from there it started.”

For Forever Young, Warren Farrell was one of three to share solo singing duties centre stage. He said it has been decades since he last sang solo before an audience.

“What enabled me to go up to the front originally was Andrea Roberts, the choir leader, asked for one of the older people to go up and no one came,” said Farrell. “So I thought, well, I’ll go, and my knees shook – but they don’t shake anymore.”

Roberts said the original vision for the choir was to have it consist of singers from ages 7 to 17 and 70 and above. But as the project got underway, people of ages outside of those parameters expressed a desire to take part.

“Then we thought honestly, people want to sing, why not have them come in?” said Roberts. “So what has ended up happening over the months is we have people of all ages. I think my youngest is probably four-years-old and I think she finds joy in it… it’s kind of turned into a multi-generational choir. It has far exceeded our expectations for sure.”

Initially, the choir was intended to be a fun weekly gathering. But Roberts says it turned into something she never expected.

“I think we’re sounding pretty great,” said Roberts. “So we said, why not, let’s do it, let’s have a concert.”

Doors open for the May 5 concert at 1:30 p.m., with the performance beginning at 2. Admission is by donation.

After the concert, the choir will break for the summer and then start up in September. For more information, visit the Shuswap Intergenerational Choir’s Facebook page.


@SalmonArm
lachlan@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

A Salmon Arm artist worked with talented local fabricators to create an enormous set of steel bighorn sheep horns to greet visitors to Radium Hot Springs. (Village of Radium Hot Springs image)
Salmon Arm locals’ skills bring steel sheep horn sculpture to Radium

Adam Meikle and Idea 64 Projects made the towering horns a reality

Salmon Arm Silverbacks defenceman Kieran Ruscheinski (right) sticks close to Vernon Vipers forward Logan Lorenz during Salmon Arm’s 2-1 overtime win in B.C. Hockey League pod play Saturday, April 10, at Kal Tire Place. (Lisa Mazurek - Vernon Vipers Photography)
Mack attack paces Salmon Arm Silverbacks past Vernon

Sullivan Mack scores both goals, including beautiful OT winner, in Gorillas’ 2-1 BCHL pod play win over Snakes

Machinery could be seen working to clear land behind a pair of houses on Main Street for the future site of the Shuswap and Secwepmc Healing Centre, a medical facility on Friday, April 9. The Sicamous Fire Department has been using the buildings for training exercises ahead of their demolition. (Jim Elliot/Eagle Valley News)
Snapshot: Clearing space

Land is being cleared for a new medical centre on Sicamous’ Main Street.

Winter driving conditions returned to the Coquihalla Highway on April 10. (ICBC image)
Coquihalla motorists warned of fresh snow

Five to 10 cm of snow is expected today for the mountain highway.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

A second case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at Vernon’s BX Elementary School. (Kerry Hutter photo)
Second COVID case confirmed at Okanagan elementary school

Exposure at Vernon’s BX Elementary happened April 6 and 7

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

Highway 97 being converted to four lanes in April 1990. This photo taken in Lake Country. (Greater Vernon Museum and Archives Photo #14025)
HISTORY: How the old Highway 97 in Lake Country got new name

Pelmewash Parkway recognizes the First Nations history in Lake Country

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

Flight with COVID
Another Kelowna flight with COVID-19 exposure

Westjet flight on April 5 from Kelowna to Edmonton

Most Read