Acafellas, made up of teenage male singers from around the Cowichan Valley, are one of the three choirs performing in Music in the Air on April 28. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

Cowichan choirs tuning up for host of concerts

Choral singing is regaining popularity everywhere

Choral singing is regaining popularity everywhere, with folks meeting regularly to share music and song. Just look at the number of choirs in the Cowichan Valley.

What is it about singing together that draws people? Science seems to confirm what we all know intuitively: music and singing is good for you. Studies of brain chemistry have shown that music lifts mood and emotions, creating bonds of friendship and community.

But according to the Duncan Choral Singers’ Sue Doughty, “choir members say it’s more like a gathering of friends, giving you a sense of belonging, It brings joy, warmth and lifts the worries of the day, and it is good for the soul and I could not do without it.”

The Duncan Choral Singers are in the mood to communicate and they are going to Say it With a Song at their upcoming concert on Monday, April 29 at Duncan United Church.

This group has a wide variety of tunes for your enjoyment.

Director Sue Doughty has been teaching piano and voice in the Cowichan Valley since moving to Duncan in 1996. She is originally from Zimbabwe, where she began her music studies before coming to Canada. The accomplished Ruth Williams has been the choir’s accompanist for 16 years. She is retiring this year and the singers want to give her a good send-off.

Duncan Choral has been offering choral opportunities in the Cowichan Valley and entertaining audiences since 1982. They are active in the community, singing at care homes and various venues during the Christmas season.

Showtime is 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 each with children under 12 admitted free. Get your tickets from choir members, at the door, or call 250-746-2326.

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Ann Antonides’s much-loved Freedom Gospel Choir has also been busy.

“Our concerts are coming up the end of April. We have a wide selection of inspiring songs to share with our audience. ‘Welcome Table’, ‘Angel’, and, ‘Up Above My Head’ [just for starters]. There’s ‘Baba Yetu’ with soloist Phil Wambua, ‘Take Down These Walls’ and more,” she says.

Tanya Gillespie will accompany the choir, with Cara McCandless on bass guitar, and Sheri Clayton on drums for some numbers.

Entitled Wonder, the concerts are scheduled for Saturday, April 27 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 28 at 2 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 531 Herbert St. in Duncan.

Tickets are available at the door, from Ten Old Books, and from choir members at $20 each. Children 12 and under get to hear the music free.

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Sheila Johnson’s group of choirs is saying There’s Music in the Air with a big show on Sunday, April 28 starting at 2 p.m. at the Duncan United Church.

You’ll hear music by Acafellas, Concenti Women, and the Cowichan Valley Youth Concert Choir, which means lots of different selections.

Get your tickets from Volume One Books and from Concenti members. The cost is $15 for adults, with children under 12 admitted free.

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Queen Margaret’s School is welcoming friends and family to a special musical celebration of spring at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre on Wednesday, April 24.

This QMS Spring Rhapsody Concert will feature performances by the school’s Jazz Choir, Concert Choir, String Orchestra, Intermediate Band and the Senior School Band.

With a broad range of musical selections from movie soundtracks for The Incredibles and Bohemian Rhapsody, to Robert Buckley’s ‘This is My Home’ and an encore presentation of award winning musical scores from this year’s Cowichan Music Festival, everyone will be entertained.

Led by Musical Director Alison Hounsome, everyone is invited.

Tickets are $5 each. All profits from this event will be donated to the Cowichan Valley Performing Arts Foundation to further enrich musical education in the Cowichan Valley.

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Encore! Women’s Choir, in connection with their guests, Opus One Women’s Choir, are presenting Singing With My Sisters at the Christian Reformed Church Saturday, May 11 starting at 7 p.m.

Under the direction of Christine Dandy, with accompaniment by Mary Jackson, Encore! has a history of offering very challenging songs with all the aplomb of a magician pulling a rabbit from a hat.

And, in what is an interesting coincidence, their guests, Opus One, bear the same name as the now-disbanded choir from which Encore! sprung.

Tickets are $15 in advance from choir members, at Volume One Bookstore, from encorewomenschoir.com or by calling Christine at 250-715-1568. You can wait to try for them at the door, but it will cost you $20 per person. Children get in for $5.

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