This page is for choir members.  It will feature all the latest news about venues and times for rehearsals.  You will be able to download various documents eg. Paul’s rehearsal schedule , copies of the program and concert programs.  And news as it become available.

Scroll down to see some YouTube videos of the music we will be singing this spring. Also some notes on Beethoven and his music which will be in the concert program.

Rehearsals Cancelled

In view of the edict just passed by the BC Government not to allow gatherings/events of more than 250 people, it has been decided to cancel our April Concert.  Paul may want to re-visit it in the fall – more on that later.  Therefore, all rehearsals are cancelled and the AGM has been postponed.  Please let any of your friends who may have already bought tickets, that there will be a refund.  Phone 250-338-5077.  They will need to quote the number.

We hope that these actions will help control the rate/amount of infection with the Covid-19 virus.

Spring 2020 Music Beethoven’s Birthday 1770-1827

CORIOLAN OVERTURE, OP. 62

FIDELIO, OP. 72.   PRISONERS’ CHORUS – OH! WHAT A JOY

MISSA SOLEMNIS, OP. 123 – AGNUS DEI (5th mvt.)

Sophie Simard, soprano
Lisa Stephens-Deith, alto
Adam Dyjach, tenor
Christopher Bellamy, baritone

INTERMISSION

CHRIST ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES, OP. 85 – HALLELUJAH

TWENTY-FIVE IRISH SONGS, WoO

#2: SWEET POWER OF SONG – duet

#6: WHAT SHALL I DO TO SHEW HOW MUCH I LOVE HER?  – duet

#9: THE SOLDIER’S DREAM

#19: WIFE, CHILDREN AND FRIENDS – duet

SYMPHONY #9 IN D MAJOR, OP. 125. (4th mvt.)  ODE TO JOY

Sophie Simard, soprano.
Lisa Stephens-Deith, alto
Adam Dyjach, tenor
Christopher Bellamy, baritone

Download a copy here

Notes on Beethoven for the Concert Program

Beethoven composed some of the most spiritually exhilarating music in existence. He was the predominant music figure in the period between the Classical and Romantic eras and, despite becoming completely deaf by the age of 40,  his music is a testament to the human spirit in the face of  such physical and emotional challenges. His innovative compositions widened the scope of the symphony, concerto, sonata and quartet and he combined vocal and instrumental music in his Ninth Symphony. His most famous works include nine symphonies, five piano concertos, thirty-two piano sonatas, sixteen string quartets, two masses and his only opera Fidelio.

Ludwig was born in Bonn on December 16, 1770 into a musical family:  his grandfather was a bass singer and music director and his father a tenor who taught keyboard and violin.  From age 5, he was taught by his father who was harsh, intense and very demanding, forcing Ludwig to compete with Mozart.  By age 13 he had written his first compositions and at age 20 he studied with Joseph Haydn.  Within the next 10 years he was established as a composer who had risen above Haydn and Mozart, although both were undeniable influences.

Beethoven’s hearing loss started in 1798, brought on by a fit of rage, and tinnitus set in.  By 1811 he no longer performed in public and by 1824 at the premiere of the 9th Sympohony, he was completely deaf so that he had to turn and face the audience to see the applause accorded his work.  He used conversation books for the last 10 years of his life and they are a rich resource of musical discussions,  and his thoughts and instructions for how his music should be performed.

Beethoven’s love life was hampered by class issues as he was a commoner who fell in love on three or more occasions with women from the aristocracy for whom he was not considered suitable.  His cause of death at age 56 has been disputed, but more than 20,000 people attended his funeral procession on March 26, 1827 in Vienna.   By the late 1800s, Beethoven was acclaimed as the second of the “three Bs” of classical music composers – Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, thus linking the Baroque and Romantic eras.

The Coriolan Overture, Op. 62, was written in 1807 for Heinrich Joseph von Collin’s 1804 tragedy, “Coriolan”.  Both Shakespeare’s and Collin’s plays are about the same semi-legendary figure, Gaius Marcius Coriolanus.  The structure and themes of the overture follow the play very generally, representing Coriolanus’ resolve and war-like tendencies as he is about to invade Rome, followed by the pleadings of his mother to desist. Coriolanus eventually gives in to tenderness, but since he cannot turn back having led an army of his former enemies to Rome’s gates, he kills himself. This differs from the better-known play, Coriolanus by William Shakespeare, in which he is murdered. 


The Prisoners’ Chorus – O what a joy is taken from “Fidelio”, the only opera that Beethoven composed. It was written in 1805 during a time of upheaval in Europe with wars and revolution.  The chorus is an ode to freedom sung by a group of political prisoners who have been let out of their cells.

The Missa Solemnis  or Solemn Mass was written during the 1820s and the Agnus Dei is the 5th and final movement.  It is a microscosm of the whole work progressing from a dark mood to a lighter tone.  There are fugal portions interuped by martial sounds before the quieter conclusion.  Beethoven grew up at the time of the French Revolution with its ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity and musicologists propose that he is pleading for outward peace as well as inner peace, “Dona nobis pacem”.

Hallelujah  from “Christ on the Mount of Olives” is the final chorus of Beethoven’s first major choral work written over 3 weeks in 1802, and his only oratorio.  The words are by the German poet, Franz Huber,  portraying the emotional turmoil of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, prior to his crucifixion.  In this final piece, Jesus is givng praise and thanks to God as he accepts his fate.

The music for the Irish Songs was composed  between 1810 and 1813 at the request of the folk song collector, George Thomson.   After Beethoven arranged the melodies, Thomson added the lyrics of poets such as Walter Scott, Robert Burns, Joanna Baillie, Thomas Campbell, and W.R. Spencer.  Over an eleven year period, Beethoven wrote 179 Irish, Welsh and Scottish folk songs, far more than any other type of composition, primarily to preserve them for future generations.  It is said of his arrangements that they have “a kind of sophisticated artlessness that no ordinary composer could achieve”.

An Die Freude or “Ode to Joy” is the 4th movement of Beethoven’s final symphony, his 9th. Composed between 1822 and 1824 when it premiered in Vienna, it was the first example of a major composer using voices in a symphony.  The words used in the 4th  movement were taken from the “Ode to Joy”, a poem written by Friedrich Schiller and are sung by four vocalists and a choir. This symphony is one of the best-known and  most performed in the world.

Beethoven – Symphony No 9 – Ode to Joy

Beethoven: Missa solemnis in D major, Op. 123 – V: Agnus Dei

Beethoven, Christ on the Mount of Olives, Op 85 – Hallelujah

Beethoven – The Prisoners’ Chorus

Beethoven Irish Songs – The Soldier’s Dream

Angus Dei – Another Version