Choral Groups Ready To Put Some Sing Into Your Spring

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The Saskatoon Chamber Singers will present two concerts on May 12. (Photo Supplied)

Are you a fan of choral music? Is the human voice your instrument of choice?

If so, you’re in luck: There are some excellent vocal performances coming up this month in Saskatoon. Read on for the scoop.

MAY 12

SASKATOON CHAMBER

SINGERS

The Saskatoon Chamber Singers will present two concerts on May 12 – called Inscriptions – that are focused on “the indelible impact of choral music.”

Founded in 1977 by former members of the University of Saskatchewan Greystone Singers, the Saskatoon Chamber Singers is an auditioned, mixed-voice choir that has between 28 and 35 vocalists. Under the direction of James Hawn, the choir presents four concerts annually at Knox United Church.

The Saskatoon Chamber Singers perform modern Canadian and international compositions as well as the classics. The pieces that will be included in the Inscriptions concert are ones that have personally affected Hawn.

“Many years ago, when I was still a student, I heard the Greystone Singers, under the direction of Robert Solem, perform a piece called Inscriptions from the Catacombs. It has stuck with me all these years and now, more than 50 years later, I have finally programmed it on one of our concerts,” said Hawn. 

“To that end, most of the music on this concert has triggered that same response in me. These are pieces that I have sung, have heard sung and continue to want to conduct and sing. In other words, they have become etched in my psyche in much the same way that someone wishes to inscribe some lasting words, impression or dedication.”

The concerts will take place at 2 p.m. and at 7:30 p.m. on May 12. Tickets are $15 for students, $25 for adults or $30 at the door. Tickets can be purchased from McNally Robinson Booksellers, from the choir’s singers or online at saskatoonchambersingers.ca.

MAY 15 & 16

SASKATOON FIRESIDE SINGERS

The musical Evita — which focuses on the life of Argentine political leader Eva Perón — is one of the most recognizable and beloved Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice creations. Everyone knows the song Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, which became even more popular after Madonna sang it in the 1996 film Evita.

Now, the Saskatoon Fireside Singers are bringing the rock opera to life for two nights at TCU Place. Led by artistic director Marilyn Whitehead, Evita is the latest full-scale musical the group has produced. 

Perhaps best known for the annual Christmas Memories concert, Whitehead’s Fireside Singers have entertained and inspired local audiences for more than 45 years. For the group’s upcoming production of Evita, a cast of more than 75 people will be led by veteran singers Madison McLean, Trevor Wingerter, Sean Brandt, Jordie Hughton and Nicole Wingerter. Bonnie Nicholson serves as orchestra director, Kelsey Stone is choreographer and Albert Couture is stage director. 

The Saskatoon Fireside Singers will present Evita at 7:30 p.m. on May 15 and 16. Tickets are available online at tcutickets.ca.

MAY 25

SASKATOON SYMPHONY 

CHORUS

The Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra (SSO) chorus formed in 2014, and since then the singers have become known for their artistry in the SSO’s Baroque Series. On May 25, the SSO Chorus will present a concert called Great Baroque Choruses, featuring pieces such as Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, Ave Verum Corpus, The Lord Gave the Word and more. 

Baroque music marks an innovative era in Western music history, dating back hundreds of years to about 1600 to 1750. When asked why Baroque music continues to resonate with listeners today, Mark Turner, the executive director, said that it sounds “eternally fresh.” 

“It never seems to age, and audiences always get to enjoy the beautiful effervescent style of the music,” he said. 

The concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. on May 25 at Knox United Church. Tickets range from $38 to $45 and are available online at saskatoonsymphony.org.