Last Saturday night, the Arrow Lakes Arts Council presented their first performance of their fall concert series: the Chorealis Vocal Ensemble from Vernon, B.C.. The group of twelve voices strong performed a variety of selections highlighting the themes of love.
The group is an unconducted a cappella vocal group that has been singing together since 2008 and is the first singing group of its kind to visit Nakusp.
“In all the years I’ve been here, we’ve never had an a cappella choir,” coordinator Marilyn Massy shared with the audience, “so this is going to be a very fascinating and interesting evening.”
The program began with a playful selection entitled Il est Bel et Bon, and was introduced as “a group of women talking and chatting about how great their husband is, how wonderful he is, and amongst all this chatter some chickens join in the conversation and we’ll just leave it up to you to determine which is which.”
The group moved fluidly from song to song and conducted the audience on a journey across classic sonotas, foreign folksongs and contemporary pop tunes, all interweaving the “tapestry of sound with the various aspects of love,” as one choral member described. Several times during the evening, the ensemble rearranged their positions on stage, playing with the harmonics of sound to produce a spectrum of emphasis from their members. Each move highlighted or juxtaposed the sound so that an assortment of layering brought the range of musical selections to life.
Two times during the program a break from the choir was made possible by the performance of the sub-group of Chorealis, Duo Accord. The flute and acoustic guitar duo, aptly played by Andy Brodie and Glen Goerzen respectively, covered an arrangement of Baroque pieces that were arranged by Goerzen. During the second foray from the vocal performance, Due Accord performed three original pieces by Goerzen.
“I love Baroque music’s balance and grace with just a hint of dissidence,” Goerzen shared. “I have been trying to write my own, and what I have come up with is something I imagine you might hear in the background of one of those old nature films. But with a little more structure.”
The concert concluded with a spirited and unexpected encore of “Can’t By Me Love” to sum up Chorealis’s journey down the paths of love.