Choir lovers are in for a treat this weekend as five western Canadian youth choirs combine forces with local group Corazón for an epic concert at the Brilliant Cultural Centre in Castlegar at 7 p.m. on Nov. 7.
“Our vision was to bring together six community youth choirs,” organizer Scott Leithead told the Star. “This is a group of choirs that run into each other regularly at festivals, and they’re six of the best in the country.”
The other choirs hail from Edmonton, Red Deer, North Battleford and Vancouver. Together with Corazón, led by Allison Girvan, they number approximately 300.
“The thought of being able to sing with a group of 300 singers—when do you get that opportunity living in a town of 10,000?” asked Girvan. “For the singers, there is a certain sense of awe. It can be overwhelming, it is a big sound, and to have at its very foundation breathing together, nevermind making sound together—that can be a life-changing experience.”
Voices West founder Scott Leithead poses amidst his Edmonton group Kokopelli, who will perform alongside local group Corazón.
Leithead said the idea is to empower their youth.
“We’re empowering the next generation. It’s really exciting. This weekend is very much for the members as well, for getting the kids excited about arts and music.”
Girvan said her singers are uniquely enthusiastic.
“They are teenagers at the height of realizing they can be passionate creatures on the planet. What happens when we are teenagers is that we all discover things that we are feeling a lot of passion for, and that energy in combination with that passion is phenomenal.”
And the venue suits their purposes well.
“The lovely thing about doing the concert at the Brilliant Cultural Centre is that it is a Doukhobor facility and it is Remembrance Day weekend. We want to create something beautiful to remember previous sacrifices and strive for peace.”
Next year on May 18 the six-choir configuration is set to perform at a national conference in Edmonton. Leithead said this is a perfect chance for local acts to see what they have in store, and to experience a mega-choir at the top of its game.
“This is a very unique concert. Something like this has never happened in the Kootenays before, guaranteed.”
For more information visit corazonchoir.org.