Choir welcomes new director at open rehearsal

Garry Froese takes over Malaspina Choir from Wade Noble

Garry Froese is the new director for the Malaspina Choir.

Garry Froese is the new director for the Malaspina Choir.

Building community through song on Vancouver Island is the goal of the Malaspina Choir’s new choral director Garry Froese.

Froese, who has an extensive background in choral music in both the U.S. and Canada, believes that choral music has a strong role to play in strengthening the fabric of a community.

“Whether it is through acts of community service, providing learning opportunities for young people and audiences, or showing the social and psychological benefits of group music-making, I believe choirs are a wonderfully effective way to build community,” he said.

Froese, who took over from Wade Noble in January, will be holding an open rehearsal at Vancouver Island University Tuesday (Jan. 10), 7 p.m., in building 320, room 105, to introduce himself to Nanaimo and area choristers. All singers are welcome.

At the rehearsal, Froese will give choir members and visitors an overview of how the rehearsals run, demonstrate the spirit and manner in which the preparations will take place, and introduce some of the pieces to be performed at the spring concert April 15.

Froese comes to the Malaspina Choir with many years of experience. He has a doctorate in music from the University of Cincinnati, with a major in choral conducting and a minor in arts administration.

Most recently he led Victoria’s Glenlyon Norfolk School’s fine arts department and taught voice at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, in addition to conducting the school’s Chorale.

He has also taught graduate music education courses at the University of Victoria and is in his fourth year as the music director of the Linden Singers of Victoria.

Froese said he is looking forward to the opportunity to work with two different choirs in two different communities on the Island, and bringing fresh artistic energy to the 60-member Malaspina Choir, now in its 41st year of existence.