Happy Thanksgiving and welcome to our 2018/2019 season! With a new year comes the opportunity for singers to get together and learn new repertoire. I was fortunate to enjoy a three day choral conducting intensive clinic hosted by the BC Choral Federation, lead by generous and exuberant leaders: Saundra Meister, Fiona Blackburn, and Sarona Mynhardt! It was an incredible experience, and I discovered within the three days that I really love conducting. It felt like a home-coming! Our gracious choral hosts fuelled our focus with beautiful home cooking, and we aspiring conductors were gifted unlimited insight and experience.
I signed up for the clinic with very little conducting experience, but with the enthusiasm of the ultimate choir geek. As a lifelong chorister, I've been lucky to sing under many incredible conductors, watching them wave and stroke the air. So much subtle communication held in motion, bringing a current of sound, then silencing this same sweet sound like a wizard! We were the Wizard's apprentices! We were taught to be community leaders, and we were shown our role as kind guides to a repertoire resource of humour and wit, that warms the hearth, and lends hope.
I would like to invite folks to consider spending the rainy season singing with me for a one hour weekly session. I am enjoying learning how to structure and organize community choirs. And I promise you will leave lighter and brighter. Singing is powerful medicine, and I'm sure our time together will provide residual benefits through the rest of our week! The benefits of singing as a group continue to be proven by studies. Singing in a supportive environment is completely uplifting and engaging, and with the laughter and friendship that is sure to accompany, we have ourselves a sure fire way to keep those winter blues away!
As this warm, delicious Indian summer warms our backs, so too does new friendship warm the heart. I was delighted to be sitting next to a new Lake Cowichan resident at our choral conducting clinic this summer, Marnie Setka-Mooney! Marnie is a vocal instructor at the Victoria Music Conservatory since 1998, offers Music Together geared for young children and their parents, and has conducted a range of choirs. Marnie is also the Mid-Island Representative for the BC Choral Federation. We quickly agreed that going for walks with our energetic, young puppies was a fantastic idea.
The island is so beautiful in the fall, and I feel it's important for lake residents to take September and October to harvest the last little bit of summer warmth. When it rains, it pours- and that's our cue to get together and have some music fun!