Choir heading in a new direction

Malaspina Choir taking a new approach after four decades in the Harbour City.

Malaspina Choir members Stella Robinson

Malaspina Choir members Stella Robinson

When the Malaspina Choir was first formed more than 44 years ago, it was the city’s pre-eminent choir. The choir had as many as 100 members and sang major choral works to large audiences.

But that was when there were only a handful of established choirs in the Harbour City. Fast-forward to 2014 and there are more a dozen such choirs, each with their own repertoires that range from gospel to baroque.

With this new reality, Malaspina Choir decided it was time to develop a new vision and appointed Lionel Tanod as their new musical director. According to Tanod, the choir has renewed its commitment to performing the great choral works, because it is “an essential part of a city’s cultural heritage and reputation.”

On Sunday (Nov. 16), residents of the Harbour City will have an opportunity to check out the newly improved Malaspina Choir as they perform at St. Andrew’s United Church, where they will be joined by the Vancouver Island University Singers. Since deciding on a new direction, the Malaspina Choir has increased their membership, by adding 57 new singers. They have also established partnerships with instrumental ensembles both large and small as well as with other island choral groups.

The choir, which balances traditional classical repertoire with modern, contemporary compositions, will be heavily engaged in the community for the fall season.

The Malaspina Choir are scheduled to participate in AnySing Goes! with 10 other city choirs, the Community Carol Festival at St. Andrew’s, and Christmas carolling with the Nanaimo Concert Band at its annual Christmas concert. They will also perform in the fifth-annual Sing-along Messiah.

Tickets for the concert are $20 for adults, $10 for students and $5 for anyone with eyeGO membership. Tickets are available at the Port Theatre Box Office or online at www.porttheatre.com and by calling 250 754-8550.