Singers in the South Cariboo were treated to a workshop and concert by the Capilano University Singers on Feb. 11.
The workshop was led by Lars Kaario, the director of choral studies in the music diploma at Capilano University in Vancouver and involved both local singers and members of the university choir. Kaario took participants through a number of different vocal warm-ups, as well as provided tips and direction in three songs. The Capilano Singers also performed a concert in the evening.
Members of Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School’s music program and the Eclectica Community Choir participated in the workshop.
“I was hoping [my students] would take away just the experience of being part of a large ensemble and a large ensemble that is singing together and listening and working together as a team,” said Jasmine Kreschuck. Kreschuck runs the music program at PSO and organized the workshop.
“I was actually part of this group when I went to Capilano and he is such an extraordinary director. It’s nice to bring this calibre of choir to this community. We don’t get to hear it very often here.”
Kreschuck says the workshop was a “good reminder for me of the things that I can bring to my choir at the school and the things that we can work on to create this type of sound.”
Mikayla Crandell, a Grade 12 student at PSO, is considering going to Capilano University’s music program next year. She’s applied to both Capilano and the University of Victoria.
“I thought it was really cool, especially considering I’m thinking of going there next year, so to actually hear what they sound like was actually really awesome,” she said.
Marilyn Buyar, one of the choir directors for the Eclectica Community Choir, says members of her choir will be able to apply what they’ve learned to their own music.
“It’s always wonderful to see what techniques they give us in order to improve our sound,” she says. “Today he talked about falsetto, which applies to the male voice more than the female voice, but these kinds of things are just so valuable for us to get because we don’t have a lot of resources here in terms of vocal expertise. When we have an opportunity to work with someone like Lars, he and so many others, really provide us with that extra information and those skills and approaches to rehearsing.”
During the workshop, members of the Capilano choir were interspersed among participants.
“That way you have strong voices who know the music on either side,” says Buyar. “It gives you confidence and makes you feel like you are making a real, fantastic sound.”
The energy of the university students was also great she says. “They were all so positive and so approachable.”
Buyar says the choir will use the techniques in order to prepare for the 100 Mile Festival of the Arts and the Parade of Choirs.