Members of the Eclectica Choir perform at during their annual Christmas Concert at Martin Exeter Hall in 100 Mile House, British Columbia. File photo.

Eclectica Choir preparing for upcoming season

‘Our repertoire this season will cover many eclectic styles’

The Eclectica Choir is getting ready to harmonize, make melodies and serenade the South Cariboo for another season and registration is starting soon.

With the season soon underway, 100 Mile residents can start to expect to see the choir performing around town. This year, there will be two shows. The first performance will be at the Remembrance Day Ceremony held at the 100 Mile Community Hall and the Christmas concert at Martin Exeter Hall on Dec. 8.

“Every now and then something different will come up,” said Barbara Hooper, conductor for the Eclectica Choir. “For instance, in the past, we have done other performances outside of our two main shows.”

This year, Eclectica will have three conductors.

Melissa Hermiston and Barbara Hooper will be returning from last year and Cathryn Aune will be joining the choir for the first time.

“As a retired teacher, I enjoy helping people learn something new and potentially see them do something they have always wanted to but maybe were afraid to,” said Hooper. “I always look forward to singing with everybody. When I am conducting and I look down at the choir everyone looks so happy and they’re enjoying the music. It’s a really good feeling making music with people.”

Eclectica has been a staple of the South Cariboo for more than four decades. Its name derives from the variety of genres the group performs such as pop, classics, folk and rock. The choir involves music for four sections: sopranos, altos, tenor and bass.

“I enjoy preparing people for concerts and working with the other conductors,” said Hooper.

While singing in a choir bands individuals together it also has positive effects on the body and mind. Studies have shown singing improves a person’s mood. It decreases things like stress, depression and anxiety but it also goes beyond the psychological effects. Singing also affects a person’s physical health. Some of those benefits are lower blood pressure, increased oxygen and elevated immunity.

“Sometimes we stop stimulating our brains and we stop learning new things,” said Hooper. “I think something such as this (learning music) could really help.”

Hooper said the choir is open to people of all ages and experience levels. Registration to join the Eclectica Choir for this year will be held on Sept. 11, 18 and 25 starting at 6:30 p.m. at the United Church in 100 Mile House. There will also be choir rehearsals on registration dates from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Registration costs $30 per person for the season.

“Our repertoire this season will cover many eclectic styles such as jazz, classical, popular, traditional carols, and southern gospel,” said Hooper.

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