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    Welcome Spring!  We are happy to see all the flowers and to start seeing a little more of that elusive Fraser Valley sunshine!  Now we are through the season, and we have many great things to reflect on, as well as look forward to.  We welcomed a new artistic director, Joel Tranquilla, and the Valley Festival Singers thrived under his talented and energetic leadership.

    Our season opening concert, “Eternal Light”, took place on November 11th and featured a variety of selections chosen for Remembrance Day.  From 12th Century motets to contemporary works by active Canadian composers, the program was a wonderful representation of the power of choral singing to bring communities together during difficult times.

    And just a month later, the Valley Festival Singers collaborated with the Pacific Spirit Chorus from West Vancouver and an orchestra under the direction of Calvin Dyck to bring a full performance of Handel’s Messiah to Abbotsford.  It was a very snowy night and yet a full house showed up as this magnificent music moved us all to feel the true spirit of the season.

    To end the year 2016, Valley Festival Singers continued our Christmas tradition of sharing an evening of festive favourites with friends and family.  The Christmas Celebration is a concert, a sing-a-long, and a chance to share fellowship, hot mulled cider and homemade holiday goodies.  Watch for it next season and come celebrate with us!

    Alongside visions of Spring’s re-awakening life, this year we enjoyed the experience of working with the Canadian Chamber Choir (CCC). Our Musical Director, Joel Tranquilla, is also associate conductor of the CCC, and through his leadership we were able to host this amazing group of musicians.  They spent two weeks in BC giving workshops and concerts, and being involved in events supporting choral music. These musicians travel around Canada and share their talents and passion for singing with students through their educational workshops, and with audiences through their concerts and recordings. It was great fun as well as an opportunity for growth for us to meet and work with them.

    This past weekend, the Valley Festival Singers also held a delightful concert of music inspired by Shakespeare, and we thank everyone who participated, volunteered, attended, and otherwise contributed to another wonderful weekend of choral music. It is truly amazing to discover the range of composers who have been inspired by the stories and poetry of Shakespeare. The program included works by Schubert, Mendelssohn and Prokofiev, a few tunes from Broadway, and a selection of incredibly beautiful pieces by some of the best contemporary composers. Violinist Calvin Dyck was our featured soloist on several numbers, and we look forward to continued collaboration with him in coming seasons.

    Here are a few things our audience members had to say about the concert:

    “Dear director Joel Tranquilla and the Valley Festival singers. Thank you for your ‘heavenly’ singing. The music and song was delightful!”

    “What a rich, interesting, varied concert we attended last night. (April 29th) A wonderful experience. Thank you! Looks like a great season is being planned for 2017 – 2018.  Already looking forward.”

    “A delightful evening.   … loved the quality, the variety, enthusiasm of the director. Enjoyed it all. Amy has sung one of Sergei Prokofiev pieces with her Ambrose College group (Calgary). We drove home with her singing it. They loved the concert, needless to say!”

    Glimpses of 2017-2018 Season

    In Remembrance – November 11th and 12th
    Music appropriate for Remembrance Day, featuring Eleanor Daley’s sublime Requiem

    A Christmas Celebration – December 17th and 18th
    A festive concert for the whole family, with choral favourites and sing-alongs that are sure to put you in the Christmas spirit.

    St. John Passion – March 27th
    Bach’s famous choral masterpiece with orchestra and soloists, in collaboration with Trinity Western University’s Masterworks Chorus.

    Songs of Strength and Beauty – May 12th and 13th
    A special concert program for the Mother’s Day weekend, featuring music for, by, and about women