Corazón, directed by Allison Girvan, will be presenting When the Earth Stands Still, four concerts in Nelson on May 29 and 30.
The group is just back the Rocky Mountain Festival in Banff and was one of only a few groups from across Western Canada asked to give a showcase concert there.
“Corazón was amazing in Banff this year,” said Scott Leithead. “It was a very timely and touching performance by the group. There was not a single heart in the room that wasn’t moved by them.”
Leithead is the director of several vocal groups in Edmonton including the celebrated Kokopelli youth choir, and has worked as a choral director on several continents.
The Lalin Ensemble, 15 of the most experienced Corazón singers, also directed by Girvan, will also perform at the Nelson concerts.
The performances will, as always, include movement, body percussion, various configurations of the group around the room, face art, and an eclectic choice of music.
“This year’s repertoire,” said Allison Girvan, “has as its theme compassion and reconciliation. The arrangement of Motherless Child alludes to the ongoing unrest in the Middle East and uses the text as a metaphor for searching for a sense of home. The choreography (pictured in the last photo below) during this piece illustrates the power of community to support and heal.
“Other songs such as Ute Sundance, Paul Simon’s Kathy’s Song and Lou Reed’s The Power of the Heart hold images of forgiveness and an appreciation for human connection,” she said.
Allison Girvan directing Corazón, photo by Joel Pelletier.
Brainerd Blyden-Taylor, an adjudicator at the Banff festival, listened critically to Corazón and did a workshop for them, giving them feedback on their performance. He is a renowned choral director, conductor, and university level music instructor from Toronto.
“I just want to tell you how much I appreciate you,” he told the group. “The fact that I actually got to hear you twice was exquisite. What I like about you is that you know that you are good, you know that you are special, and you sing not to take that for granted or to be full of yourselves. I appreciate that.
“And I appreciate your conductor for what she does. And the home that she provides for you on this earth. It is very powerful when you can be part of such a community.”
Corazón’s program will also include songs from Indonesia, Africa, Norway, Ireland, and Appalachia, as well as songs arranged by Girvan specifically for Corazón and a song newly composed for Lalin by her husband, Don Macdonald.
Tickets are on sale starting May 12 at the Capitol Theatre box office. The concerts are at the Nelson United Church on Friday, May 29 at 6 and 8 p.m., and Saturday, May 30 at 2 and 6 p.m. Admission is $18 regular, $12 for balcony seating and for students.
Proceeds from the Friday 6 p.m. show will be donated to the Pura Vida Foundation.
This year Corazón re-designed and re-made its unique costuming so that it is, as several of the singers put it, “even cooler than before.” The group would like to thank the Columbia Basin Trust, the Nelson and District Credit Union, and the Osprey Foundation for funding that project.