(Top) The Desert Bells performed in Ashcroft on Apr. 22.  Back

(Top) The Desert Bells performed in Ashcroft on Apr. 22. Back

Choir performance delivers a variety of favourites

Local vocal choir and hand bell choir continue to win over audiences with their heavenly music.

On the sunniest and warmest day of the year so far, The Sage Sound Singers, together with Desert Bells, staged their latest concert on Sunday afternoon at the United Church Hall.

The afternoon began with a selection of four pieces performed by the Desert Bells under conductor Carmen Ranta, their programme featuring ‘Danza’, ‘Dreams’, ‘Fairest Lord Jesus’, and a sublime rendition of ‘My Heart Will Go On’ (from the movie Titanic) especially arranged for handbells.

This year the choir has been fortunate in securing the services of the Kamloops-based pianist Dimiter Terziev as its accompanist, and the audience was treated to a short programme of Mr Terziev’s talents in a solo performance of three pieces by Shostakovich prior to the arrival on stage of the Sage Sound Singers themselves.

The programme for this latest concert was highly ambitious. The opening number, the calypso-rhythmed ‘Sway’ featured a bonus dance performance by Sloane Hammond and Troy Greenfield, and this was followed by ‘Fare Thee Well, Love’, a gentle song made famous by the Rankins. The main feature of the programme was a fine performance of some difficult material as the choir tackled songs from the musical Mama Mia!, the work of Abba songwriters Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. If the choir had begun practice sessions back in February thinking ‘I Have a Dream’, then they could well have continued by believing they should ‘Take a Chance’. There was no need at all for an ‘S.O.S.’, as the audience was firmly thinking ‘Mama Mia! Thank You for the Music’ by the end of the performance.

Musical director Michelle Reid’s mid-programme solo of Rogers & Hammerstein’s ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ from the musical Carousel led to two final pieces from the choir: Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘Pacem’, the latter piece featuring conductor Carmen Ranta on flute.

This was another fine performance from the Choir and the Ringers, and the audience of some 150 people will surely be looking forward to their next outing. Congratulations to Michelle Reid, Carmen Ranta, and all performers!

Christopher Roden