Nanaimo’s Island Consort choir performs at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on Sunday, Dec. 2. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Nanaimo’s Island Consort brings Christmas show to St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church

Seasonal program features some compositions dating back 500 years

Nanaimo’s Island Consort choir is ringing in the holiday season with a concert featuring songs from the 16th century to the present day.

Choir director Bruce Farquharson describes the group’s upcoming program, Sing Hodie, Sing Noël, as “Christmas through the ages.”

“The program simply is an eclectic sort of mix of sacred and traditional carols and quite modern stuff as well,” Farquharson said. “So it highlights a great cross-section of what Christmas is all about.”

The choir will perform its seasonal selections at St. Mark’s Anglican Church in Qualicum Beach on Nov. 30 and at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Nanaimo on Dec. 2.

The concert will be sung entirely a cappella except for three songs featuring Parksville organist Jenny Vincent. This is her second time accompanying the Island Consort.

“They’re some of the best Christmas classical music that there is,” she said. “You think of going to an Anglican church, the huge cathedrals, that type of music you would be hearing.”

The concert will proceed largely chronologically, beginning with the Renaissance and continuing to the 21st century. Farquharson said that although the pieces were written hundreds of years apart, they fit together well.

He said he hopes those in attendance take a moment to think about the significance of the occasion.

“A lot of Christmas programs are almost sing-along things because you get all the familiar carols. You hear them in the malls,” Farquharson said. “But this one, I think, allows some reflection and I think focuses a little more on the actual religious significance of Christmas and the story that goes with that.”

WHAT’S ON … The Island Consort presents Sing Hodie, Sing Noël at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 4235 Departure Bay Rd., on Sunday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. Admission at the door is $20 for adults, $5 for students and free for children under 12. Click here for more information.



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