Imagine singing O Canada in the empty cavernous space of Rogers Arena in Vancouver, hearing your own voice booming off the walls.
In front of you is Mark Donnelly, the man who currently sings the national anthem before every Canucks hockey game in the 18,630-seat arena, judging your every note.
And while you do this, you’re being filmed for Canucks TV, a sports show that covers every aspect of the Canucks hockey franchise and is broadcast on Sportsnet.
You’ve gotten here after competing with hundreds of other singers with your YouTube video, one of a short list of 20, narrowed down to 10 by a fan vote.
And now it’s up to you to “Rock the Rog,” as the Twitter ad for the competition described it. Will you make the cut? Even more scary, will you remember the words?
Two student members of the Malaspina Choir went through this experience last year, and although they didn’t come first, the challenge has given them plenty of opportunities to sing the national anthem.
Vancouver Island University students Elise Boulanger and Whitney Williams, both 23, now have extra-curricular gigs singing O Canada. Williams, as backup at Canucks hockey games, and Boulanger, at VIU convocations and other community events.
They will join the Malaspina Choir, Kwalikum Secondary and École Pauline Haarer choirs, the NDSS Concert Band and the audience in singing O Canada at Malaspina Choir’s spring concert.
The concert, To Canada with Love, is a musical celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday showcasing music about Canada, written by composers from Nova Scotia to Vancouver Island.
B.C. composers are well-represented with Vancouver’s Larry Nickel and Stephen Chatman, while Gabriola Island’s Gail Lund contributes two songs, one a tribute to the Malaspina Choir. Boulanger’s own choral composition, The Warming, will also premiere.
There will be Canada 150 birthday cake afterwards for the audience to enjoy.
The concert is at St. Andrew’s United Church, located at 311 Fitzwilliam Street, April 29th at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for patrons under 25 years old and children under 12 years old are admitted for free. Tickets are available by calling 250-754-8550, visiting www.porttheatre.com or at the door.
For more information, please visit www.malaspinachoir.com.
Kathryn-Jane Hazel is a member of Malaspina Choir.