Pair of Delta choirs enjoy a spring in their song
The power of music keeps bringing Ailsa Howard back.
"There’s that incredible thing that happens when you’re singing,” she says as the Delta Choral Society’s (DCS) two choirs gather for their first rehearsal of the season. “It doesn’t matter what kind of day you’ve had, when you come, you just feel it. It makes you feel good.”
For the past 11 years, she’s been in the second soprano section in the DCS’s larger ensemble, the Delta Community Choir (DCC).
She describes the vocal group, which started in 1984, as “a bit of a family,” which has grown from about 25 to 60-70 members in the last decade.
The DCC, which is gearing up for its spring concert in May, begins its season as director Danielle Hamilton introduces the material: R&B standard Route 66, an English-language version of Besame Mucho, the jazz piece Take Five and Darmon Meadle’s lyricless classical/jazz hybrid Swingle Song.
She tells the choir she wants a light, airy tone for the performances.
Later in the evening, a smaller group, the Tapestry ensemble, has its first rehearsal.
Whereas the larger DCC members are placed in sections of their tonal range—in descending order: soprano, alto, tenor and bass—Tapestry has singers that go through a more rigorous auditioning process.
Tapestry, a specialized chamber choir capped at 20 members, will sing “off-book” at the spring concert, meaning they won’t have sheet music in front of them when they perform their repertoire. (During their performance, they’ll share only a couple of songs with the DCC).
Tapestry, in its fourth year, used to be an under-30 group, says DCS secretary Alana McKenna.
Most of Tapestry’s members are returnees, and a number of them were students of Hamilton, a teacher at South Delta Secondary School who’s currently on maternity leave.
The DCS holds two annual concerts (winter and spring), and has performed locally at Remembrance Day ceremonies, at Kinsmen, Kiwanis and Chamber of Commerce events, at the extended care unit of Delta Hospital and at the Van Dusen Gardens’ Festival of Lights.
Both DCS choirs rehearse every Monday evening in the hall of the Benediction Lutheran Church, located at 5575 6 Ave. in Tsawwassen. New members are welcome.
The Delta Choral Society and the Delta Concert Band present Showtime!, a selection of music from stage and screen, on May 5 at 7:30 p.m. and May 6 at 3:30 p.m. at Cedar Park Church, 5300 44 Ave. in Ladner. The show will be led by director Danielle Hamilton and conductor Jim Tempest. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and students and $5 for children under 12. Tickets are available at the door, in advance at the church office or at Mud Bay Wines, 1295 56 St. in Tsawwassen. For more information, visit www.deltacommunitychoir.ca