The 250 members of the Fireworks Community Choir had never performed together before and never will again. They had rehearsed together only once, just before the concert.
But they still managed to sound great in the Nelson arena on Sunday, because director Allison Girvan had sent them the music weeks beforehand and they came prepared.
“The people who have huge amounts of choral experience made space for people who have no experience at all,” Girvan said. “So you can come to this choir without having ever sung in a choir before and still feel like you belong. It’s about being in a space where everyone is welcome.”
Girvan directed the group in five pieces for a large audience in the stands of the arena. She said choral singing is a good metaphor for how to live our lives.
“We need to remember how to be connected with each other and with the planet. We were listening to each other — you can not have a choir without everybody listening intently — and everybody was doing their best to make it a beautiful experience.”
Asked about the overall feeling of the event for her, she said, “Hopeful. Hope-filled. People trusting each other.
“These pieces all spoke to the power of connection and belonging,” she said. “I find those concepts deeply hopeful as well as reminders that we ignore the reality of how connected we all are at this time of climate crisis at our own peril.”