Marilyn Buyar during a rehearsal.

Eclectica Choir director steps down

Choir is in search of a new director

Marilyn Buyar, Director of the Eclectica Community Choir is stepping down, and the choir is seeking a new director. Marilyn has been an extremely popular leader of the choir and has thoroughly enjoyed her five years as director.

“I’ve thought about it a lot. I have been director for five years and I’ve enjoyed it but it does require quite a bit of time. It’s not just the time in the rehearsals, planning time and getting ready for the rehearsals and I want to be a little bit more free. I retired about nine years ago from public school teaching and since that time I’ve been pretty involved in volunteer activities and I’ve just reached the point in my life where I’d like to be unscheduled, to be able to pick up my camera and go to Farwell Canyon if I feel like it.”

Buyar says she plans to stay part of the choir, although after a break for a few months.

The choir holds two major concerts annually, one at Christmas and the other in the Spring. In addition, it performs on Remembrance Day at several locations (the Community Hall, Carefree Manor and Fischer Place), on Canada Day at the 108 Heritage Site celebrations, and has been available for other community events. As all funds raised by Eclectica are donated to charitable organizations in our community (i.e. hospital auxiliaries and food banks), the choir is an integral part of the support network in 100 Mile House. Eclectica Choir recently participated in the 11th annual “Parade of Choirs” in Williams Lake, where $3,600 was raised to support the Hough Memorial Cancer Society in their effort to provide medical equipment for the Cariboo Memorial Hospital.

Choir members are very aware of the intellectual and emotional benefits of working cooperatively on musical goals. Coming together to sing automatically creates a warm, enjoyable, often humorous and creative setting in which friendships flourish. Reading music and learning new songs have been proven to increase mental health and acuity.

The choir sings a wide range of music (hence the name “Eclectica”). Some examples are pop, show tunes, classical, folk, multicultural, vocal jazz and sacred pieces. While Eclectica usually sings songs in English, it has also performed pieces in Latin, Italian, French, German, Czech and various African languages. Many members are multi-lingual and are excellent resources for pronunciation.

The Eclectica Community Choir comes from a long choral singing tradition in 100 Mile House which began several decades ago with the choirs developed by the Emissaries of Divine Light. Rehearsals are held in the 100 Mile United Church, but the choir is nonsectarian. Eclectica welcomes singers of all ages and abilities. The choir has had many excellent choral directors over the years. Eclectica hopes its new director will have a background in choral music and vocal production and an ability to foster joy and teamwork through choral singing.

Eclectica has a management team, and this lessens the load on the director. In recent years the choir has enjoyed the benefit of having a very capable assistant director, Patricia Spencer, as well as other assistance with conducting when required.

“I really hope that there’s someone in the community that has some choral experience but has, more importantly, the enthusiasm to support this group of fine people. They really are an amazing group,” says Buyar.

The choir is asking for help from the community in its search for a new director. Eclectica would prefer to fill the role before the end of June to ensure the new director’s involvement in planning for the fall season. If you are interested in leading this vibrant choir of singers, please contact Marilyn Buyar at 250-706-2834 or or Patricia Spencer at 250-791-1901 at


Natasha Atzenberger (left), Donna Forward (accompanist) and Rachel Shaw during a rehearsal. Monika Paterson photos.

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