The Eclectica Community Choir Winter Concert always warms the heart and kindles the Christmas spirit.This year’s concert is happening Dec. 9 at 2 p.m., in a new venue, the Hillside Community Church (formerly called Bethel Pentecostal), with entry by donation. File photo.

Songs for a Winter Night coming to 100 Mile

Kick-off the Christmas spirit with the community choir’s carols

The Eclectica Community Choir Winter Concert is shaping up to be eclectic indeed with the wide range of musical pieces it will feature this year, all to be presented at a new venue.

Advertising director Barbara Hooper says this year’s annual concert Songs for a Winter Night, so-named from the popular seasonal song written by Gordon Lightfoot, features music from around the world, some of them sung in foreign languages.

The concert is geared for all ages and gets underway on Dec. 9 at 2 p.m., with entry by donation beginning at 1:30 p.m. All funds raised go to the two food banks in the community, she explains.

This year’s concert takes place at a new venue, Hillside Community Church (formerly known as Bethel Pentecostal, behind the Marmot Ridge).

The doors open at 1:30 p.m, and Hooper encourages folks who do plan to attend to find their seats early at this new, somewhat smaller location, and then enjoy the interlude listening to the exceptional piano playing of Donna Forward. A professional accompanist, Forward tinkles the ivories like no other pianist you are likely to hear this year, Hooper says, adding she “goes from one key to another without winking an eye.”

Also in the pipes will be Christmas carols and seasonal winter music of all sorts, some lighter tunes and fun pieces by separate singing groups of men and of women, with some active extras that folks will need to turn out to fully appreciate, she says.

Eclectica director Marilyn Buyar, now in her fifth year of leading the local choir that boasts 56 members, says her role also includes selecting the music and other aspects of pulling together several annual concerts with her assistants.

The Winter Concert is a popular way for the community to bring out the family to listen to all ages of music – as far back as the 1500s – by choir members ranging in age from 12 to their upper-80s, she says.

“Folks just come and relax, and they are surrounded by beautiful music. It’s just a wonderful way to get into the Christmas spirit.”

Buyar says a Latin Christmas carol O Magnum Mysterium by Thomas Louis De Victoria will help colour the seasonal spectrum while a soloist, as well as a small ensemble, will sing songs in German.

The choir director adds Eclectica is very grateful to Hillside Community Church for providing the concert venue and sound system during the temporary closure of Martin Exeter Hall due to repairs.

“We are looking forward to trying out the new venue.”

There is plenty of parking for concert-goers with additional spaces behind the church, located at 550 Exter Truck Route in 100 Mile House.

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