I love to listen to new types of music. Previously I wrote a blog on "The Top Ten Reasons Why The Symphony Is Cool." Now I am loving the choir.
Recently, I was fortunate enough to speak with Mr. Leslie Dala, the Music Director of the Vancouver Bach Choir. Mr. Dala shared with me the top ten reasons why the Choir is cool.
1. We perform the greatest works -- both new and old.
The Vancouver Bach Choir is know for our large-scale concerts of masterworks by the greatest composers in history, from Handel's Messiah, to the more recent performance of Mendelssohn's Elijah, but we're also proud to have premiered many new works in BC.
A recent highlight was Phantom of the Opera in 2012, where we commissioned a score from Canadian composer Andrew Downing -- and performed it live to a screening of the 1925 silent film starring Lon Chaney.
2. We were into choir before it was cool.
Next season, the Vancouver Bach Choir will celebrate its 85th anniversary. To date, there are dozens of choral groups in Vancouver, with new ones popping up every day it seems, but we were ahead of our time, having started out way back in 1930.
3. We put the spotlight on new, up-and-coming artists.
We often feature soloists in our concerts and love to collaborate with artists who are starting to make their mark on the Canadian classical music scene. In our concert of Elijah which we performed on March 28th, we performed alongside four young accomplished soloists, Bass-baritone Giles Tomkins, Soprano Eve-Lyn de la Haye, Tenor Adam Fisher, and Mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó.
4. Our concerts are hosted at one of North America's most prestigious concert halls - The Orpheum Theatre.
Vancouver concertgoers covet the opportunity to hear a performance in the historic Orpheum as one of the most stunning, upscale venues in the city. Over the years, the Orpheum Theatre has become our home.
5. We build community.
A choir is also a great place to make connections -- many of our members have been with us for several years, some even multiple decades. The bonds created through the shared experience of performing monumental works season after season are rare.
6. People love us on social media.
We're proud to boast a growing social media following that we keep engaged with some highly creative content. One of our latest campaigns that received a strong reaction was #Bachinstyle, which gave followers the opportunity to vote on the new gowns that will outfit our choristers next season. The unveiling of the winning gown happened at the concert on March 28th.
7. We make choral music accessible to everyone.
We hold many concerts, both free and paid, throughout the year in the community beyond the major events hosted at the Orpheum, for example at the Vancouver Public Library and Vancouver Academy of Music. In addition, we offer individuals age 30 years and younger the opportunity to attend our concerts with tickets priced at just $15 (call the box office at 604-696-4290 and mention the offer).
8. We cross generations.
The Vancouver Bach Choir isn't just your grandparent's choir. For some members, it's their parent's choir and it's also the choir for them. Since the inception of the VBC Children's program 30 years ago, we've been thrilled to have many instances of three generations of families participating.
9. Like meditation, choir benefits the spirit and the mind.
Singing in a group is proven in recent studies to be therapeutic and transformative, reducing cortisol levels that induce stress, and releasing endorphins that elevate one's mood for an energizing effect.
10. We're helping breed the next generation of BC music talent.
Since 1984, we've provided young choral enthusiasts the opportunity to gain experience and vocal training through the Vancouver Bach Children's Chorus and Youth Choir. Some of our alumni of this program have gone on to lead impressive musical careers, for example and one of the youngest winners of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Canadian Soprano Simone Osborne.
I love how music can enrich our lives. Please let me know what new music you are listening to and you enjoy, I would love to hear from you.
Your suggestions are always welcome, as I continue on my journey to live life to the fullest. Let's have the very best 2015!
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