Karin Graham (left), Frances Higginson, Ruth Tupman, Carla Karikstad, Natasha Atzenberger perform at the Eclectica Choir benefit concert at the Hillside Community Church on Dec. 9. Brendan Kyle Jure photo.

Eclectica Choir’s benefit concert collects large sum of donations

The choir raised approximately $2,700 to be split between food bank and Loaves and Fish Outreach

The Eclectica Choir performed at the Hillside Community Church on Dec. 9 in front of a crowd of roughly 180 people who donated a combined total of approximately $2,700.

The money will be equally shared between the 100 Mile House Food Bank and Loaves and Fishes Outreach Society.

“We had pretty much a full house,” said choir director Marilyn Buyar of the audience.

“I understand the church holds about 200 people, I’d say we probably had about 180 people there.”

Buyar said they usually have over 200 people show up for the performance but the change of venue might have had something to do with that. Typically, they perform at Martin Exeter Hall but had to find somewhere else to show off their vocal prowess as the hall undergoes repairs.

“The people at Hillside were very generous to make that site available for us,” she said, mentioning the choir enjoyed the new experience. “It is always an adventure and an enjoyable experience singing in a new venue because acoustics change depending on the venue you are in but we’re very pleased with the church, with the acoustics and our audience certainly were comfortable in the space, as was our choir.”

The performance went really well according to the director, who said sharing the joys of singing was what the event was all about and judging by the faces of the audience it was a good time.

The audience enjoyed the variety of the performances, ranging from Latin pieces written in the 1500s to classic Christmas songs and jazzed-up tunes like Frank Loesser’s 1944 classic, Baby, It’s Cold Outside.

“They really liked the variety,” said Buyar. “The German-speaking people in the audience seemed to appreciate the small group that did a melody of German carols and as far as the audience goes, one of the pieces people mentioned to me that they really enjoyed was Blow, Blow the Winter Wind.”

Buyar also said the German-speaking crowd connected with Loether Haegele’s solo performance of the popular Christmas carol Stille Nacht (Silent Night), composed and written by Austrians Franz Gruber and Joseph Mohr in 1818.

“We are so grateful for the generosity of the residents of our area,” said Buyar.” It was a difficult summer for many folks but their donations showed how caring a community is.”

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