The Eclectica Community Choir came together in harmony at Martin Exeter Hall on May 11 for their spring concert.
“There is nothing like working incredibly hard and then having something wonderful to show for it at the end,” said Barbara Hooper, who is one of the directors for the Eclectica Community Choir. “I had a great deal of fun. Even though it can be exhausting, in the end, it’s worth it.”
The show was titled Mountain, Sea and Sky and featured a variety of performances from the entire choir, solo musicians and smaller ensembles. Some of the performances included a song called Mountain, Sea and Sky written by Joanna Schwarz and Larry Nickel. The choir sang three traditional Japanese poems Snow (Yuki), Wind (Yama Gawa Ni) and Rain (Murasame).
“I think after the concert, the choir felt really good,” said Hooper. “They know how hard they’ve worked and experienced all of those things that come with hard work. When we are trying to learn new pieces, there is a process you go through when you’re learning. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like we are ever going to learn a new song but it is about trusting that process and pushing through it.”
During the concert, the choir sang an upbeat, barn-burner of a song called Twenty Three Camels, written by Bruce Coughlan and Larry Nickel. The song explored the history of the Cariboo and the gold rush.
“It featured a very difficult four-hand piano part that was performed by Donna Forward and Marilyn Buyar,” said Melissa Hermiston, the Eclectica Community Choir’s newest director. “It was definitely a challenge for our choir, but they rose to the occasion and it ended up being one of our favourite songs to perform.”
According to Hermiston, the choir had spent the last four months preparing and learning new material for the concert – including a girl-power medley, featuring music from Alicia Keys, Katy Perry and more.
“After all of those experiences while you’re learning the material and then being able to perform it, you feel a great deal of joy,” said Hooper. “It’s amazing when the audience reciprocates that joy.”
Hooper said the choir had a number of new people join back in January after their annual Christmas benefit concert.
”Among our new members, some of them have been our youngest,” she said. “Anytime you add a new voice there is a different sound in the choir. It’s really nice and we would like to keep attracting new people. We have a really nice group right now. We have members who are retired, some that are in the midst of raising kids and others that are teens.”
“It’s great,” she added.
The entry to the show was by donation, with all of the proceeds going to the 100 Mile House Hospital Auxiliary and Fischer Place/ Mill Sit Lodge. Hooper said approximately $1,400 was raised.