North Island Choral Society rehearsals to resume Jan. 7 for spring concert

Following a successful concert for Advent, the North Island Choral Society resumes rehearsals on Jan. 7 for its spring concert featuring works by Beethoven sung in German, Latin and English.

The choir provides a unique musical opportunity in the Comox Valley, generally involving 80 singers, a supporting orchestra of 20-25 musicians (Corinne Innes, concertmaster) 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 25 years. His musical partner at the piano is Elvera Penner, whose masterful accompaniment makes the rehearsals so enjoyable and successful.

This is the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth and one which will be celebrated throughout the music community.

The choir will sing excerpts from Fidelio, the only opera written by Beethoven and sung in German, and from his monumental Missa Solemnis, sung in Latin, Also included will be a few settings of his Irish songs and a selection of his oratorio Christ on the Mount of Olives, both sung in English. The orchestra will begin this epic program with the Coriolan Overture. Finally, Beethoven’s combination of vocal and instrumental music will be showcased by the 4th movement of his Ninth Symphony, which includes the well-known Ode to Joy.

This community choir is non-auditioned and open to all who want to sing classical music. Our first rehearsal will be at St. George’s United Church, downtown Courtenay (505 Sixth St.). The first session 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 spring concerts will take place Friday, April 3 and Saturday, April 4, 2020. For more information:

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