Community Choir celebrates 10 years with spring concert

Judy Land leads the Community Singers as they perform a mix of favourites and new songs for a packed house at the Kagawong Park Centre on Saturday evening. photo by Sharon Jackson

by Sharon Jackson

KAGAWONG—What better way to end a lovely spring day and welcome the month of May than with an evening of music led by Jane Best accompanied by Joan Eichner on piano.

The Kagawong Park Centre was packed with family, friends and supporters of the Community Choir.

“We are so glad you’re all here to share our fun with us,” Ms. Best said, welcoming the audience. “Tonight we celebrate 10 years singing as a choir.”

The choir performed 10 of their favourites sung throughout the 10 years including ‘We Rise Again,’ ‘The Mary Ellen Carter,’ ‘Four Strong Winds’ and ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing.’ The Community Choir plans to present 10 more favourites in November at Song and Cider.

Twenty-nine voices strong, made up of talented men and women, both young and young at heart, entertained the audience with a variety of ballads, folk songs and a few just for fun like ‘Cups’ and ‘Anything You Can Do.’

Soloists included Susan Garlock during ‘We Rise Again’ and Peter Gordon took the lead in ‘The Mary Ellen Carter.’ The men’s and ladies’ choruses were featured throughout the evening. Those who shared their voices in a featured vocal role were John Fletcher, Jane Best, Judith Jones, Paul Best, Peter Gordon, John Robertson, Janelle Addison, Anna Best, Robyn Best, Vanessa Glasby, Stephanie Hillyard, Amanda Lock, Edyta Maxwell, Kyleen Robertson, and Enid Runnalls.

Ms. Addison displayed her drumming skills during Land of the Silver Birch which Ms. Best noted is “80 to 100-years-old, yet no one has claimed responsibility for writing it.”

Flutist Robert Kirk accompanied the choir during Pachelbel’s ‘Canon of Peace,’ which had members of the choral group come into the audience to perform the ballad.

Following a short break for the audience to stretch their legs and the vocalists to rest their voices, the choir performed ‘Four Strong Winds’ which Ms. Best described as “a pop song that fits into the folk song category.” Written in the early ‘60s by Canadian singer song writer Ian Tyson, Ms. Best shared the back story of how Mr. Tyson came to write this song that “everybody knows.” While working in the rodeo, he suffered an injury and part of his rehabilitation included learning to play the guitar. The rest, as they say, is history.

‘Down to the Shore’ is an original Ms. Best penned over the past winter. “I was so tired of the snow,” she shared. After writing it she exclaimed, “Thank goodness it’s finally May.”

The choir was all smiles and shared laughter during a medley of ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ and ‘Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better).’

Chosen as their finale, ‘Hold on to the Rock,’ while a new song, Ms. Best stated, “it has become a favourite.”

“We don’t do encores, so please join us in November as we continue to sing favourites, share good memories and good music. Thank you, for coming to listen to us,: she closed.

The choir meets at C. C. McLean Public School in Gore Bay. If you are interested in joining the Community Choir, please contact Ms. Best.