North Island Choral Society starts rehearsals Jan. 8 for the spring concert.

Choral society’s spring concert features ‘three Bs’

Following a successful concert for Advent, the North Island Choral Society resumes rehearsals on Jan. 8 for their spring concert featuring the “three Bs”: Brahms’ A German Requiem, Bach’s Cantata No. 4 and a solo piano piece by Beethoven.

The choir provides a unique musical opportunity in the Comox Valley, generally involving 80 singers, a supporting orchestra of 20 to 25 musicians (Corinne Innes, concert master) and up to five soloists.

The choir and orchestra are under the direction of Paul Colthorpe, who has provided his able leadership for more than 24 years. His musical partner at the piano is Elvera Penner, whose masterful accompaniment makes the rehearsals enjoyable and successful.

This community choir is non-auditioned and open to all who want to sing classical music. The first session, which meets at Comox United Church, 250 Beach Ave., is free to those who are joining for the first time, and begins at 6:30 p.m. to allow for registration and distribution of the music.

Membership is $70 (students $30), which includes the music. The regular rehearsal time is from 7 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday evening at Mark Isfeld Secondary, 1551 Lerwick Rd. in Courtenay. The spring concerts are Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13.

The choir will sing both the Brahms and the Bach in German. A German Requiem is a large-scale work for chorus, orchestra, soprano and baritone soloists, composed by Brahms between 1865 and 1868. His consummate skills in counterpoint and rhythm are richly present in the piece.

Christ lag in Todes Banden (Christ lay in death’s bonds) is a cantata for Easter, and one of Bach’s earliest works, written in his early-20s.

It is a chorale cantata which begins with the orchestra followed by seven vocal pieces arranged symmetrically: chorus–duet–solo–chorus–solo–duet–chorus, with soprano, alto, tenor and bass soloists. Bach achieves variety and intensifies the meaning of the text through many musical forms and techniques.

Join the society at Comox United Church on Jan. 8, or mark your calendars for April 12 and 13.

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