Medieval music for the masses

Choral ensemble sings the praises of The Beloved

Ensemble Laude

Ensemble Laude

Directed by Elizabeth MacIsaac, Ensemble Laude is an award-winning women’s community choir dedicated to singing intercultural choral repertoire and early music (pre-1600). Its upcoming concert, The Beloved, features a fresh and diverse selection of choral works celebrating adoration in all its forms, including signature pieces from the medieval period, joyously upbeat Renaissance and French Canadian songs, and a sampling of exciting contemporary works.

“Ensemble Laude has been in existence well over 10 years now,” said MacIsaac. “It began at one-third or one-fourth the size it is now. Ten singers in my basement over the years expanded to 30 or 40.”

It is a very inclusive choir. “You don’t have to have been singing choral music for a long time or be able to read music. It just seems to be the kind of person who likes to experience rarified music and can hold a tune.” The singers range in age. “The age group is vast. Right now the youngest is 14 and I’m not allowed to say how old the oldest is,” she said.

MacIsaac has lead choirs for more than 25 years in Canada and France. She also enjoys an international career as a vocalist specializing in early music and new commissions of contemporary music.

Spanning from east to west, ages past to present, from divine rapture to sweet romance, The Beloved explores the journey of the heart’s song. There will be surprise guests and moments of comic relief, including PDQ Bach’s Throw the Yule Log On, Uncle John.

“We always include medieval repertoire as part of concert’s choral diversity,” said MacIsaac. “I do a lot of travel around the world finding music for the female voice.”

This concert however, will include male voices, adding depth to the madrigals and some of the comedic pieces — yes there is funny choral music. “Laughter is so much part of the joy in life. We include elements of that whenever we can,” she said.

The Ensemble performs several concerts on Southern Vancouver Island every year, raising money for charity and bringing medieval and world repertoire to Island choral enthusiasts. The 2011-12 season highlights feature a commissioned work by Canadian composer Nicholas Fairbank, and participation in the Kathaumixw International Choral Festival in Powell River in July, 2012. Ensemble Laude has been chosen as “favourite vocal ensemble” in Monday Magazine’s 2010 and 2011 M Awards.

With Beloved, the singing focuses on the love of an object and with the Christmas season it’s the Christ child, said MacIsaac. The concert includes Sufi poetry, and the rich imagery of exotic Persia. “There’s true Farsi music from another tradition, and percussion instruments including the medieval oud and viello,” said MacIsaac.

The concert will coincide with the release of Ensemble Laude’s CD, Inspirata, which includes lively repertoire from Hildegard von Bingen and the Libre Vermeil de Montserrat (Red Book of Montserrat), and contemporary works by Ola Gjeilo, Eleanor Daley and Abbie Betinis.

The Beloved shows at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 18, at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. The concert is by donation, “which makes people feel welcome,” said MacIsaac.

For more information about Ensemble Laude, go to www.ensemblelaude.org.

 

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

Just Posted

An architectural rendering provides a look at PC Urban’s proposal for three buildings on the former Galaxy Motors property at 1764 Island Hwy. in Colwood. (Rendering courtesy of PC Urban)
Commercial/industrial development planned for former Galaxy Motors site

Colwood proposal goes to public hearing Jan. 25

Colin Springford doing what he loved best, tending to his garden. (Linda Matteson photo)
Longtime farmer Colin Springford dies at age 75

‘He will be deeply missed, always loved and never forgotten’

Inmates at Metchosin’s William Head Institution are being given COVID-19 vaccines as part of the first phase. Around 600 inmates will be vaccinated in the coming days. (Black Press Media file photo)
William Head inmates in Metchosin receive their first doses of COVID vaccine

Priority set for older inmates and those with underlying medical conditions

Scaredy Cats television series has turned Empress Avenue in Fernwood into a Halloween themed neighbourhood. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Trick or treat! Halloween comes to Fernwood in January

New television series Scaredy Cats filming in Victoria

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canadian malls, conference centres, hotels offer up space for COVID vaccination centres

Commercial real estate association REALPAC said that a similar initiative was seeing success in the U.K.

(Black Press Media file photo)
From arts to environment, nominate your West Shore hero

Nominations for the Goldstream Gazette’s Local Hero awards are open

Flags line the National Mall towards the Capitol Building as events get underway for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States

About 25,000 National Guard members have been dispatched to Washington

The objectives of the Vancouver Island Down Syndrome Society include peer support for parents and caregivers, as well as developing support services, projects, educational and employment opportunities for people with Down Syndrome. Photo supplied.
Vancouver Island Down Syndrome Society offers support for families in the community

New non-profit seeking directors in cities across Vancouver Island

A memorial for the fatal bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335 near Tisdale, Tuesday, October 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards
‘End of the road:’ Truck driver in Humboldt Broncos crash awaits deportation decision

Sidhu was sentenced almost two years ago to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson is humbled to her knees as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Updated: Ucluelet paddle boarder surrounded by pod of orcas

“My whole body is still shaking. I don’t even know what to do with this energy.”

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

Most Read