There is nothing like belting out a few fabulous tunes to melt away the stress of any given day.
That’s the way Lisa Ward sees it – the energetic and inspiring director of three local choirs – ihana, Soliloquy and Brioso.
The three groups are set to perform in an already sold-out show entitled ‘Happily Ever After’ Feb. 10th at the First Christian Reformed Church.
“This is the first year that all of the groups will be performing, because it’s the debut performance for our children’s choir Brioso,” said Ward. “So yes, they will be making their debut, and they are going to be very cute,” she added, smiling.
Altogether, 16 numbers will be featured in this show.
“Twelve of them are choir numbers, and four of them are duets or small groups from within the choirs.
“There’s everything from Disney stuff, some Leonard Cohen, some Pentatonix in there, some Simon and Garfunkel – we are talking a diverse line-up! It’s been fun,” she said, adding how challenging it is to choose tunes from the countless choices that are always available come each and every performance.
“There are literally millions of songs, so it’s kind of like finding the needle in the haystack.”
As to the choirs, Brioso started up four years ago, and members will also be taking part in the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra’s annual Choir Kids event later this spring as well. “We’re going to be part of that this year which is great.”
But beyond the Feb. 10th performance, Ward is always looking for new folks in the community to audition for one of the choirs. These days, it’s really about getting the word out about these choirs and the extensive opportunities they provide for participants to hone their skills in a fun environment.
Soliloquy has been going strong for about 14 years now, and ihana has been running for eight years come the end of this season.
Brioso Children’s Choir is aimed at the younger set (Grades 1 to 9), ihana Youth Choir is for those aged 15 to 24 and Soliloquy Mixed Chorus is for those 20 and over.
They all fall under the umbrella of the Choral Singers Unite Society (CSUS) – a group of choirs based out of Red Deer that provides musical opportunities to people of all ages in Central Alberta.
For Ward, she loves every minute of it – teaching, directing and watching the singers grow in their skills and confidence.
“If you find something that is not only your passion, but something you feel really connected to – it doesn’t matter how tired I am or what’s been going on, when I get into rehearsal, working with these groups of people that have chosen to be there, it’s a whole different world,” she said.
“There’s an opportunity to not only be creative, but there is connection. When I’m standing in front of a group, I’m watching them sometimes having these ‘a-ha’ moments when they are thinking, ‘I can do this’ or ‘This sounds fantastic’,” she explained, adding that the sense of community is inspiring in and of itself.
On that note, she encourages folks to audition and discover the many benefits of musical expression.
“When we get into rehearsals, the music just works through me and I think it allows us to do a lot more than any of us could singularly accomplish.”
For more information about the choirs or the auditioning process, check out www.choirsreddeer.com.