Swift Current Oratorio Choir celebrates 40 years

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Submitted by Marcia McLean

Members of the Swift Current Oratorio Choir are excited about celebrating their 40th year of choral music performances. With some additions to their regular programming, the choir is hoping to attract new singers and bring back former singers to the choir.

The December concert, “By Request” will feature new choral music as well as favourites of the Christmas season. Anyone wanting to hear a particular favourite Christmas selection should contact Marcia McLean, choir director, or one of the singers from the choir.

The April concert will feature a performance of the much-loved “Messiah” by George Frederick Handel. Audience members, many who may have sung “Messiah”, will be asked to join in the singing of some of the major choruses in the oratorio.

The Swift Current Oratorio Choir has identified two types of singers that are potential new choristers. Firstly, there are individuals who love to sing, but are reluctant to join because they don’t “read” music. Last year, the choir offered sessions for any interested singers who wanted to learn or needed to refresh themselves on some basic choral music reading skills. These mini-workshops were well received and will be offered again this year. They will run from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Mondays, preceding choir rehearsal for about a six-week period. Singers that have not sung for a while will find that the vocal warm-ups and exercises at the beginning of each rehearsal will soon get the voice back into shape.

The second target group for singers is the vocalists with a significant choral background. Swift Current has a rich legacy of singers who have sung in school choirs dating back to choir director Alister Browne. Many of these individuals reside in the Swift Current area and we hope to bring them back to the joy of singing.

The Oratorio Choir is also sponsoring the formation of an auditioned chamber choir, within the larger Oratorio choir. In the fall season, this choir will rehearse from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Mondays, before the Oratorio Choir rehearsal. Hopefully, this rehearsal time will be expanded in the future.

The Oratorio Choir welcomes all former singers and new singers to join us for our 40th year celebration, The choir rehearses at Zion Mennonite Church from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Mondays, beginning on Sept. 10. Registration is $50 for the entire year or $30 per session. Social events for the choir include a potluck supper and monthly coffee nights. For more information, contact Marcia McLean at 773-8920.

Organizations: Swift Current Oratorio Choir

Geographic location: Swift Current

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