The Red Deer Chamber Singers are putting the finishing touches on a variety-packed show set for May 26th at Sunnybrook United Church.
Performance time is 7 p.m. Tickets ($15 for adults and $5 for kids 12 and under) are available at the door.
“It’s our annual spring concert and we will be singing some things we have done before plus some new songs as well,” said Director Sharon Braun. Things kick off with A Fanfare for All Seasons, which she describes as the ideal lively choice to start things off.
“We carry on with a Robert Frost song — very beautiful. So it’s an eclectic collage of different songs — I don’t really have a theme — it’s just, ‘Let’s sing a bunch of different things and have fun doing it’. It’s a concert that has something for everybody.”
Brent LaBrosse, a choir member and secretary for the Chamber Singers, agreed.
“As a singer, it’s a really good variety of music so we get to test our voices. Whether it’s liturgical, a pop tune or a song from a musical, there’s a wide, wide range of variety — even some different languages this year, so it’s really nice.”
In 2016, the Chamber Singers marked 40 years of enriching the local soundscape — having been founded by the late Sadie Braun (Sharon’s mother), who launched the group after directing the all-women’s musical troupe The Waska-Sues.
Eventually, she wanted to start up a singing group for men and women, and The Madrigal Singers began.
They later became The Chamber Singers under Sadie’s direction. She passed away in 2016.
“As someone who joined the choir five years ago, that is when I first met Sadie,” recalled LaBrosse. “We still sing with her in our hearts.”
As mentioned, her daughter Sharon — a fabulously gifted musician and opera singer in her own right — now directs the group.
Meanwhile, LaBrosse describes the Chamber Choir as a fun way to hone one’s skills — all the while in a very supportive community.
“The nice thing is you don’t have to have that voice that is totally trained,” he added. “We have a great artistic director too – we learn something every week from Sharon.”
There is just something intrinsically exhilarating and refreshing about singing.
“I can come here exhausted at quarter to seven and leave at 9:30 p.m. just wide awake,” he said. “We’ve also got a really good group of people who really get along well together. We have fun while we are singing.
“You will find that this choir is also very welcoming and very accepting. Also, the variety of music that we sing is very attractive for a lot of people — we do spirituals, we do show tunes, we do different languages. We do some tough pieces, too!
”But when the performances are done, it’s gratifying because you know that you’ve done a good job and all of that work has really paid off when an audience really enjoys our performance.”
“It’s that community spirit — that ‘choir’ community spirit.”
The Red Deer Chamber Singers practice weekly at Sunnybrook United Church. The group also hosts a Christmas concert annually as well, along with other performances throughout the community.
For Sharon, directing the choir provides another rich means of tapping into the wonders of music. She teaches voice at RDC as well, but finds balancing the two areas a continually fulfilling venture.
“Just to work with the choir and to hear what they can do – and this beautiful sound that comes out. How gratifying is that?
For more about the Red Deer Chamber Singers, visit www.chambersingersreddeer.com.