West Shore to be second home for orchestra and chorus

Sooke Philharmonic Chorus seeking new voices to join their group

The Sooke Philharmonic Chorus is looking ahead to a exciting season of classical music from Handel, Bach and Mozart. This season the chorus will be led by Nicholas Fairbank, who replaces conductor Wade Noble.

The Sooke  Philharmonic Chorus is seeking new singers to join the 25 already in the choral group.

“We sing a classical repertoire, we’re not singing Kumbaya” said Bob Whittet, president of the Sooke Philharmonic Society. “We want to tap into the growing population on the West Shore, we want to recruit them into our choir.”

Recruiting on the West Shore should be a little easier as the chorus will be rehearsing at Church of the Advent in Colwood and at St. Rose of Lima in Soke. First rehearsals begin at the Church of the Advent on September 19. Rehearsals take place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The chorus is seeking soprano, alto, tenor and bass voices.

“We want to increase our chorus substantially,” said Whittet.

The Sooke Philharmonic Chorus is one of the few choruses on Vancouver Island that has the opportunity to sing with a philharmonic orchestra. The orchestra is conducted by Maestro Norman Nelson and the chorus by Nicholas Fairbank. Fairbank will conduct the chorus for two concert series with the orchestra. Festive Harmony on December 5 and 6 will feature highlights from Handel’s Messiah with guest soloist Nancy Washeim. Then in March the chorus will join the orchestra for Maestro Mozart’s Vesperae Solemnes de Confessore. This sacred work was Mozart’s final choral work composed for the Salzburg Cathedral. It was composed in 1780 for liturgical use.

“It is shaping up to be another wonderful season of music,” said Whittet.

The choral concerts in 2015-16 will be held at the Sooke Baptist Church in Sooke and in the Quarterdeck Ballroom at Royal Roads University. The Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra’s concerts will be held in Sooke at the Sooke Community Hall and at the theatre in the new Royal Bay secondary school in Colwood.

The Sooke Philharmonic Chorus was formed in 2000 when Norman Nelson, contacted a women’s choir in Sooke and asked them to form the nucleus of a full choir interested in singing classical music with the orchestra.

Nicholas Fairbank was born and raised on Canada’s west coast, and now lives and works in Victoria, BC. He divides his time between his various musical activities as composer, collaborative pianist, harpsichordist, organist, conductor, adjudicator, clinician and teacher. Fairbank holds diplomas from the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Royal Canadian College of Organists, and Masters degrees  from both the University of Paris and the University of Victoria. In addition to his responsibilities with the Sooke Philharmonic, he conducts the Via Choralis chamber choir and is music director of First Unitarian Church of Victoria.

Singers interested in joining the Sooke Philharmonic Chorus can call Lynda Rose at 250-642-3536 or email: sookerose@shaw.ca.


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