Island Voices have concerts on Friday, Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m. at Comox United Church in Comox and on Saturday Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m. in Campbell River at the Maritime Heritage Centre. Photo supplied

Island Voices concerts in Comox and Campbell River

Island Voices has prepared a beautiful and diverse concert program titled i carry your heart with me (sic) featuring songs about love in its many forms.

“Love bypasses the thought process, and brings us together at an emotional level,” said choir director Jenn Forsland. “Poetry does the same thing: we feel a Shakespearean love sonnet more than we think about it. And we all know that music goes straight to the heart. So our intention for these concerts is to combine those three elements into a listening experience for the audience that is beautiful, fulfilling and deeply emotional. You will want to bring someone you love to this concert.”

The concert title i carry your heart with me has been borrowed from a love poem by e.e. cummings – lower case characters and all.

Modern composer Randall Stroope has set cummings’ poetry to music and it is one of 16 pieces Island Voices will present. The diverse repertoire explores the different facets of love; romance, passion, heartbreak, joy, spiritual fervour and love of nature. It also features music in four different languages.

The choir’s performances will give voice to both the highs and the lows of love; from its eternal power, explored in a Spanish sonnet, to love’s more transitory nature described as only Billy Joel can in his pop ballad, And So It Goes.

“I sit, I sigh, I weep, I faint, I die, in deadly pain and endless misery” – Elizabethan composer John

Dowland’s lyrics to Come Again, Sweet Love – offer a fine example of unrequited love.

Most importantly, these Island Voices concerts are about compassionate love, in action.

Proceeds from i carry your heart with me will help the Campbell River Grandmothers to Grandmothers group (in partnership with the Stephen Lewis Foundation) “spread the love” to help support the tens of thousands of African grandmothers who are raising 17 million grandchildren orphaned because of that country’s HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Audiences will also be treated to classic love songs such as If I Loved You from Carousel, and Vera Lynn’s Second World War hit, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.

Local violinist Cam Boyce has recently returned from journeys he has made to Eastern countries with his violin and is excited to share with the audience a snapshot of the passionate musical cultures he’s had the pleasure of living and breathing during his travels.

And Island Voices has a new accompanist this his year. Julie Matthews has accompanied choirs, soloists, and vocalists for over 25 years. Although Julie is a recent musical addition to the Comox Valley from the West Kootenays she has already become an integral part of the Island Voices musical fabric.

i carry your heart with me will be presented on Friday, Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m. at Comox United Church in Comox and on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m. in Campbell River at the Maritime Heritage Centre.

Tickets are $20 (students are free when accompanied by an adult) and can be purchased in Courtenay at Benjamin Moore House of Colour, in Comox at Blue Heron Books, in Campbell River at The Music Plant. For more info, call 250-203-0471 (Campbell River) or 250-898-4773 (Comox/Courtenay).

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