Saturday, November 21, 2015 marks the first concert of the season, presenting a fascinating combination of classical compositions and jazz arrangements from the “Great American Songbook.” Held at Covenant Christian Reformed Church in St. Catharines, the choir will be joined for the jazz segments of the evening by the Twilights Jazz Trio, featuring Lesley Kingham on piano, Rob McBride on bass and Devon Fornelli on drums.
This 10th anniversary season celebrates the Avanti Chamber Singers’ accomplishments since they began their first rehearsals under the leadership of founding conductor Harris Loewen. Since then, the choir has presented concerts within the Niagara region and beyond. They also hold the distinction of being the Ensemble-in-Residence for the Department of Music, Brock University, where Loewen is an Associate Professor.
Along the way, the Avanti Chamber Singers (ACS) have released three CDs of choral music by Niagara composers, continuing the Voices of Niagara CD series begun by the former Niagara Vocal Ensemble, also conducted by Loewen. All recordings in the series, including Avanti’s Glorious Light (Xmas), Gate of the Year (Sacred), and Beauty is Before Me are still available through the ACS or the Department of Music.
This coming season will offer three regular concerts, all with a thematic orientation. Following Nocturne, on November 21, Avanti Chamber Singers will perform Animalia: The Lighter Side of the Animal Kingdom on February 20, and Water Music: Of Rain, River and Sea on April 30. The concerts present an engaging variety of musical styles, ranging from classical and jazz to folksongs and spirituals.
The Avanti Chamber Singers are also active as a guest ensemble this season. In mid-November, the choir is on stage with Kenny Rogers for four shows at the Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls. On December 5, ACS and other guest artists join the Brock University Choirs in the Cairns Recital Hall at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, for a concert that will feature premieres of three choral works by Brock University composers. The final guest performance will be with the Brock University Choirs on April 2, 2016, where the joint choral forces will partner with the Trillium Brass in a new version of Peter Landey’s thrilling Gloria.
Conductor Harris Loewen states, “I’m so proud to celebrate a decade milestone with this wonderful group of singers, some of whom have been performing and recording with the choir since its inception. We are really looking forward to this busy but satisfying season, as we continue to have fun learning and making beautiful music together.”
The Viva Voce Choral Series, presented by the Department of Music, is a key part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate in building connections between the community and Brock University. (For more information about ACS, visit: avantichambersingers.com).
Come and celebrate this 10th anniversary launch on Saturday, November 21 at 7:30 p.m., held at Covenant Christian Reformed church, 278 Parnell Road, St. Catharines. Admission at the door is $25 adults; $20 seniors & students; $5 eyeGo program for high school students. A $5 discount is available for advance tickets (excluding eyeGo), and can be purchased at two St. Catharines locations: BookSmart (Scott & Vine Plaza) and Thorold Music (Glendale Avenue).