Sacred collaboration

Choral, brass groups team up for concert

There’s something about the combination of choral voices and brass that provides an added dimension to sacred music.

Maybe it’s that so many pieces – going far back into the history of church music – were created for traditional vocal and brass ensembles.

That uplifting sound will fill Good Shepherd Church, 2250 150 St., this Sunday (Oct. 16) at 3 p.m. when the Vancouver Brass Project will join forces with the Stella Maris Singers and members of the church’s young Schola Cantorum choir in the concert Exultate.

Trumpeter Al Cannon said that such collaborations – this one follows up on a concert three years ago – are an exciting part of the ensemble’s schedule of performances.

“We really enjoy the opportunity,” he said. “There is a lot of repertoire out there for brass that is sacred, and we continually explore that. But it’s so much better when there is a choir – it really completes the picture.”

But adding to the special nature of the concert, Good Shepherd music director Trudi Stammer noted, is the fact that most of the brass music has been specially arranged to dovetail into the choral pieces by the Vancouver Brass Project’s trombonist and principal arranger, Andrew Poirier.

“One of the pieces, Amid All The Traffic, is based on the melody Shenandoah – and Andrew did an arrangement that is just beautiful,” she said.

“What’s really nice about this is you can kind of create a whole palette of colours from the music of ensembles like this,” added Cannon. “Andrew is a member of the Salvation Army Church, which has a fantastic band program.

“The audience will be hearing music that is essentially a premiere – it hasn’t been heard before.”

In addition to the brass, featuring Cannon and Poirier, trumpeter Chris Mitchell, Nick Anderson on horn, and Eric Morton on tuba, the concert will also showcase the Schola Cantorum girl’s choir.

But it’s principally another chance for the local audience to hear the growing maturity of the more than 40 voices of the adult Stella Maris concert, an auditioned ensemble that includes both voices from within the parish and others in the district, as well as voices from the community at large.

“They’re a seasoned choir – they work well with each other and they are getting more and more musically sophisticated in terms of what they sing and how they sing it,” Stammer said.

Tickets, $15 ($10 seniors and students), and are available at the door or by calling 604-531-5739.

 

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