Community: friendly association; fellowship.
Choir: a group of singers organized and trained to sing together.
For more than 20 years, the Bowen Island Community Choir has been creating beautiful music for the pleasure of Bowen Islanders. Members of the community choir spend many hours practicing under the wise guidance of our director Ellen MacIntosh, in a warm, friendly and supportive environment to prepare for December and May concerts.
Why do we do all this?
Number one, we enjoy making music together. Even better though, researchers have demonstrated that communal singing offers many mental and physical benefits. Furthermore, psychologists tell us that community singing is an excellent icebreaker, creating bonds that improve our social network and reduce the risk of isolation, a growing concern in today’s online world.
Bowen Island Community Choir members experience the inclusivity of communal singing from the outset. Whether it is the help those who read music offer those of us who don’t, volunteering their time to create practice materials or lead the group, the kind guidance of our superb accompanist Sheilagh Sparks or of course Ellen’s expertise in drawing out the intricate harmonies she is confident the choir can master. It is perhaps unsurprising that such a positive environment has nurtured many friendships over the years.
Then there are the little extras. Twice a month, members have an opportunity to learn about music theory and harmony. The choir has participated in several Kiwanis Music Festivals in Richmond over the years, where we get feedback from professional adjudicators and enjoy performances by other community choirs from around the Lower Mainland. Not to mention the fun we had learning some beautiful choral arrangements of familiar songs by Sting and David Bowie during a pop and jazz choral workshop with musician Dale Rasmussen, a choral arranger and director from Victoria. And then there are our after-show parties at which members wind down after an intense day of performing with more singing, food, fellowship and good cheer.
So who can resist the opportunity to share the sheer joy of communal music-making? The Community Choir’s Christmas concert on December 8 is now a couple weeks away. It forms one of Bowen Island’s many seasonal celebrations. We hope you will come along to the afternoon or evening concert at Cates Hill Chapel to enjoy songs, old and new, from different holiday traditions. And who knows, maybe you’ll even be inspired to join us in January for the next session!
For more information please visit: bowenislandcommunitychoir.ca.