North Island Choral Presents 

Brahms, Bach and Beethoven.

“The Three Bs”

North Island Choral Society will begin rehearsals on January 15th 2019 for the spring concert which will be performed at St George’s Church April 12th and 13th.  Below is a short article which will appear in The Record in January 2019.

Choral Society’s Spring Concert Features Brahms, Bach and Beethoven – the “Three Bs”

Following a successful concert for Advent, the North Island Choral Society resumes rehearsals on January 8 for our spring concert featuring the “Three Bs”:  Brahms’ A German Requiem, Bach’s Cantata No. 147 and a solo piano piece by Beethoven.   The choir provides a unique musical opportunity in the Comox Valley, generally involving 80 singers, a supporting orchestra of 20-25 musicians (Corinne Innes, concertmaster) and up to 5 soloists.  The choir and orchestra are under the direction of Paul Colthorpe who has provided his able leadership for more than 24 years.  His musical partner at the piano is Elvera Penner whose masterful accompaniment makes the rehearsals so enjoyable and successful.

This community choir is non-auditioned and open to all who want to sing classical music. The first session, which meets at Comox United Church, 250 Beach Avenue, Comox, is free to those who are joining for the first time and begins at 6:30 pm to allow for registration and distribution of the music.  Membership is $70 (Students – $30.00), which includes the music. The regular rehearsal time is from 7:00-9:00 pm every Tuesday evening at Mark Isfeld Secondary, 1551 Lerwick Road, Courtenay.  The spring concerts will take place Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13.

The choir will sing both the Brahms and the Bach in German.  A German Requiem is a large-scale work for chorus, orchestra, soprano and baritone soloists, composed by Brahms between 1865 and 1868.  His consummate skills in counterpoint and rhythm are richly present in the piece

Cantata No.147: Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben (Heart and Mouth and Deed and Life) is a church cantata, composed in 1723 but based on an earlier piece Bach composed in 1716. The familiar Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring chorale is contained within.  It is scored for SATB Choir, trumpet, 2 oboes, bassoon, and strings as well as soprano, alto, tenor and bass solos.

North Island Choral Presented “A Fantasy of English Carols” November/December 2018

The North Island Choral Society began rehearsals for their winter concert “A Fantasy of English Carols” on Tuesday, September 4.  This community choir provides a unique musical opportunity for singers of all ages in the Comox Valley to join for the love of classical music with no auditions to cause anxiety!  Its repertoire covers a broad range of classical choral music, generally involving 80 singers, a supporting orchestra of 20-25 musicians and up to 5 soloists, ably directed for the past 24 years by Paul Colthorpe and accompanied by Elvera Penner.

A Fantasy of English Carols Poster. Click to download a PDF version.

The repertoire for our upcoming winter performances can be termed “A Fantasy of English Carols” or a collection of seasonal songs in free form. The works chosen by Colthorpe for this concert are truly a collection of fantasia by four well-known English composers of the 20th century: Benjamin Britten, Gustav Holst, John Rutter, and Ralph Vaughan Williams.

The Magnificat by John Rutter is a composition of seven movements based on the verses from the Gospel of St. Luke wherein the Virgin Mary learns that she is to give birth to Christ. In the words of Rutter, “it is a poetic outpouring of praise, joy and trust in God” which weaves a magical spell of peace.  He combines Latin text with an English poem; Gregorian chants with Latin American elements to reflect the feast days of the Virgin which are celebrated with singing, dancing and processions.   Soprano Carole Anne Parkinson is the soloist.

A Ceremony of Carols is a choral piece by Benjamin Britten which consists of eleven movements with text in Latin and in Middle English based on poems from the 15th and 16th centuries.  Many of the movements are written as rounds or call-and-response pieces; the Gregorian chant in unison marks the beginning and end.  The parts range from upbeat and festive to reverent; quiet and soothing to dark and foreboding.  Soprano soloist Sophie Simard will join Carol Anne Parkinson for this work.

Ralph Vaughan WilliamsFantasia on Christmas Carols is a choral tapestry of folk songs from southern England:  The Truth Sent from Above, Come All You Worthy Gentlemen, On Christmas Night, and There is a Fountain.  It also features fragments of other well-known carols such as The First Nowell. Baritone Christopher Bellamy sings with the choir in this piece,

Some five years before writing The Planets, Gustav Holst wrote Christmas Day, a choral fantasia of old carols.  He makes use of familiar tunes such as God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen and The First Nowell in combination with the Old Breton Melody and Good Christian Men Rejoice to weave a festive piece of solo and choral parts with the central theme of rejoicing.

The concerts will take place on Friday, November 30 at 7.30 pm. and on Saturday, December 1 at 2.00 pm. Both concerts are at St. George’s United Church, 505 6th St, Courtenay, B, C.  Download your own copy of this information Information Winter 2018 Concert

Tickets are $20 , $5 for under 12s and will be available for purchase at The Blue Heron and Laughing Oyster bookstores at the beginning of November. Also from Choir members and at the door.

Below is a copy of an article in the Comox Valley Record

North Island Choral Presents “A Fantasy of English Carols”

On Friday and Saturday November 30 and December 1, the North Island Choral Society, with a supporting orchestra of 20 musicians, will perform their winter concerts, “A Fantasy of English Carols”.  A fantasia is a musical composition with a free form and one that is often based on several familiar tunes.  It may also be composed of a mixture of different forms or styles.  The works chosen by director Paul Colthorpe for this concert are truly a collection of fantasias by four well-known English composers of the 20th century: Benjamin Britten, Gustav Holst, John Rutter, and Ralph Vaughan Williams.  The choir will be supported by accompanist, Elvera Penner, and the orchestra with choirmaster Corrine Innes, along with soloists Carol Anne Parkinson, Sophie Simard and Christopher Bellamy.
The Magnificat by John Rutter is a composition of seven movements based on the verses from the Gospel of St. Luke wherein the Virgin Mary learns that she is to give birth to Christ. In the words of Rutter, “it is a poetic outpouring of praise, joy and trust in God” which weaves a magical spell of peace.  He combines Latin text with an English poem; Gregorian chants with Latin American elements to reflect the feast days of the Virgin which are celebrated with singing, dancing and processions.

A Ceremony of Carols is a choral piece by Benjamin Britten which consists of eleven movements with text in Latin and in Middle English based on poems from the 15th and 16th centuries.  Many of the movements are written as rounds or call-and-response pieces; the Gregorian chant in unison marks the beginning and end.  The parts range from upbeat and festive to reverent; quiet and soothing to dark and foreboding, making this another fantasia for advent.

Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols is a choral tapestry of folk songs from southern England:  The Truth Sent From Above, Come All You Worthy Gentlemen and On Christmas Night. It also features fragments of other well-known carols such as The First Nowell and a tune There is a Fountain. 

Some five years before writing The Planets, Gustav Holst wrote Christmas Day, a choral fantasia of old carols.  He makes use of familiar tunes such as God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen and The First Nowell in combination with the Old Breton Melody and Good Christian Men Rejoice to weave a festive piece of solo and choral parts with the central theme of rejoicing.

Please join us for a memorable afternoon or evening of wonderful music in celebration of Advent.  The concerts are on Friday, November 30th at 7:30pm. and on Saturday December 1st at 2:00pm, at St. George’s United Church, 505 6th Street in Courtenay.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at Blue Heron Books in Comox and Laughing Oyster Books in Courtenay. Tickets can also be obtained at the door.
Tickets for ages 12 and under can be purchased at the bookshops and at the door for $5.