The Tidesmen are performing their Christmas concerts on Friday, Dec. 15 and Saturday, Dec. 16 and in the new year they will begin a learn to sing a cappella program. (Photo courtesy Mary Peppard)

Tidesmen chorus brings ‘old fashioned’ cheer to Nanaimo

Lantzville-based ensemble to perform in Parksville and Nanaimo this weekend

About a year ago, James Dunn was invited to a performance by the Lantzville-based Tidesmen a cappella chorus and it wasn’t long before he found himself adding his voice to the ensemble.

“I was just so overjoyed to see this group of 30 guys who just sing for the pure joy of singing and I think that’s what really made me then want to join and become part of it. Just to discover that kind of joyful singing,” he said, adding that he hoped it would be an educational experience as well.

“I’ve sung in folk groups and rock groups for many years but I’ve never really actually learned how to sing, I just kind of always did it and always realized that there was a lot I didn’t know about singing.”

Now Dunn is preparing for his first Christmas concerts with the Tidesmen, which take place at the Nanaimo Ecumenical Centre on Friday, Dec. 15 and Knox United Church in Parksville on Saturday, Dec. 16. He said he’s excited and a little apprehensive to be a part of the performances.

“I have never been much of a Christmas sort of guy. Learning the words to like a dozen Christmas carols is kind of daunting … so I’m having to spend a couple hours a day practising,” he said.

Dunn said the program, called Old Fashioned Christmas, includes a mix of new and old carols and hymns “with a couple of interesting twists thrown in.”

Dunn said he perceives that about half the people who attend Tidesmen shows share his enthusiasm to join the group and as vice-president of membership it’s his job to help welcome and support new members.

“I was just so pleasantly shocked and surprised to discover what a supportive environment it is for singers,” he said of the group.

“It’s very easy to not feel pressured there and I’ve just found I’m such a better singer a year later so I kept thinking, ‘Other people need to find out about this.’”

In the new year Dunn will be co-ordinating a learn to sing a cappella program. It’s the first time the Tidesmen are offering the program, which is based on an existing curriculum designed by the American Barbershop Harmony Society, and covers topics like posture, breathing, how to extend range and basic chord knowledge.

Dunn said he hopes the program, which will begin enrolment in January, encourages people to sing more freely.

“The thing that we’ve discovered is there are actually quite a few great shower singers out there who are just not comfortable going beyond that. We want to help people out of the shower and share their talents with the world,” he said.

“The [goal of] Learn to Sing is to help people who aren’t quite confident with their singing yet learn that they actually can be really good singers with just a bit of technical knowledge and some encouragement and support.”

WHAT’S ON … The Tidesmen’s Old Fashioned Christmas show comes to the Nanaimo Ecumenical Centre on Friday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. and Knox United Church in Parksville on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $5 for children under 16.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

City of Nanaimo paving work to alter traffic on Howard Avenue

Road rehabilitation work will re-route traffic in Harewood on Thursday

South Wellington Elementary demolition not taking place next school year

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public School trustees vote against razing south-end school in 2020/21

No injuries after SUV hits tree in north Nanaimo

Nanaimo RCMP and Fire Rescue respond to MVI on Hammond Bay Road, near Brigantine Drive

Nanaimo non-profits ask for volunteer receptionists

Nanaimo Disability Resource Centre and Volunteer Nanaimo have opportunities available

City of Nanaimo takes inventory of its land for official community plan review

Report recommends high-density residential development, identifies shortage of industrial land

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

B.C. tent camps persist as hotels, housing bought for homeless

Current estimate 40 camps, homeless counts stalled by COVID-19

Most Read