VIU students Whitney Williams and Elise Boulanger (from left) will share soloist duties at the Malaspina Choir’s upcoming Sing-along Messiah concert. (Photo courtesy Bernie Boulanger)

Vocalists to make solo debuts at Malaspina Choir’s ‘Messiah’ show

Elise Boulanger and Whitney Williams to share soprano duties at Christmas concert

Elise Boulanger and Whitney Williams have both sung Handel’s Messiah as part of a choir, but now the local sopranos are getting the chance to perform the piece as soloists for the first time.

The duo, both Vancouver Island University students, will be sharing soloing duties at the Malaspina Choir’s eighth annual Sing-along Messiah concert at St. Andrew’s United Church on Sunday, Dec. 10.

“We’re both really excited to get our first shot with some of the solo material,” Williams said, later adding “It’s a cool treat to be able to share it.”

Other guests soloists at the show include alto Julia Morgan, tenor Adam Dyjach and bass Michael MacKinnon. The choir will be accompanied by the Cowichan Consort Orchestra.

Boulager, who lives in Nanaimo, has been with the Malaspina Choir for the past three years, while Cowichan Valley resident Williams sang with the group last school year for a university credit while attending VIU’s Nanaimo campus. She’s now studying in Duncan.

“When she was in the choir I’d always want to stand and sing beside her just because she is a great singer, so it’s nice to be around that,” Boulanger said of Williams.

Both singers see the upcoming concert as an opportunity to be a part of many people’s yuletide routine.

“I feel like it’s become a Christmas tradition… It’s a thing that happens every year and it’s a chance to rejoice and get in the Christmas mood,” Boulanger said of the composition.

“It’s so epic and people have such strong feelings about it and it’s such a tradition for so many people to attend not only the Messiah, but a singalong Messiah is something that a lot of people do with their families,” Williams added.

“So I’m really honoured to be part of that tradition in people’s Christmas season.”

The pair have been rehearsing their parts together. Boulanger said the Messiah can be “tricky” because it contains a lot of quick, wordless vocal flourishes, which means singers “have to have a lot of finesse and control.”

Williams said it’s helpful that they’re each only doing a part of the solo, as it lets them “get our feet wet in terms of doing this big piece.”

She added that the concert will be one of her first big solo performances with a small orchestra and choir behind her.

“It’s also kind of a celebration for me for the end of my school semester as well,” she said.

“So it’ll be a great experience to cap off this semester with a really great performance.”

Boulanger’s seasonal singing continues as she will be accompanying the Tidesmen chorus at two Christmas shows at Nanaimo’s Ecumenical Centre on Friday, Dec. 15 and Knox United Church in Parksville on Saturday, Dec. 16. More information about her activities can be found here.

WHAT’S ON … Malaspina Choir Sing-along Messiah concert comes to St. Andrew’s United Church on Sunday, Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for those under 25, free for children under 12 and $5 eyeGO high school passes are available. Partial proceeds from the concert and sale of $20 Messiah scores will go to Haven Society.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Menorah lighting in Nanaimo celebrates start of Hanukkah

Lego menorah building and doughnuts among the festivities Tuesday, Dec. 12

Nanaimo school district aims for consistency in sexual health education

School district presents its vision for sexual health education

Former owner of flea-infested dog charged with animal cruelty

Dog from Lantzville, who had tens of thousands of fleas upon surrender, now thriving in new home

Nanaimo RCMP searching for bank robbery suspect

Arrest warrants issued for Brandon Maxwell Hopkins of Nanaimo

House in East Wellington area burns down

Six occupants evacuate safely, but chicks die in fire Sunday

VIDEO: Foggy-weather crash in Nanaimo caught on dashcam

Accident occurred Friday, Dec. 8 at about 6:20 p.m. at the old Island Highway and 107th Street

Emergency response ‘well executed’ in B.C. carbon monoxide poisoning

Emergency Health Services talks about how first responders dealt with this ‘mass casualty event’

Body found after fire destroys multiple homes in Cumberland

The BC Coroners Service confirmed they were called to a fatal fire… Continue reading

WestJet Christmas video turns children’s wishes into reality

This year’s annual video took a new spin on the 12 days of Christmas

Firefighters protect seaside California towns as blaze rages

A flare-up on the western edge of Southern California’s largest and most destructive wildfire sent residents fleeing Sunday

Putin declares victory on visit to air base in Syria

Declaring a victory in Syria, Putin on Monday visited a Russian military air base in the country and announced a partial pullout of Russian forces from the Mideast nation.

Pipe bomb explodes in NYC subway

Pipe bomb strapped to man explodes in NYC subway, injuring 4

Toronto FC to hold victory parade following MLS Cup championship

Toronto FC to hold downtown victory parade following MLS Cup championship

Canada’s only commercial spaceport hopes to launch 12 rockets per year

Nova Scotia’s rocket launch site hopes to eventually host 12 launches per year

Most Read