In keeping with this month’s theme of remembrance – although a little after Remembrance Day – an upcoming event at St. Mark’s Anglican Church will present a full concert by vintage close-harmony experts The Lady Larks.
Boogie Woogie Bugle Babes (Sunday, Nov. 17, 3 p.m., at the church, 12953 20 Ave.) will include representative elements of the quartet’s tuneful repertoire, with particular emphasis on their tribute to the music of the Andrews Sisters and the swinging hits of the Second World War era.
The young group – originally formed in 2010 as The K Sisters – brings together four award-winning soloists and collaborative musicians with multiple music degrees and a wealth of experience: soprano Caitlin Beaupre, pianist/vocalist Karen Lee-Morlang. mezzo-soprano Jennifer McLaren and soprano Eva Tavares.
They’ve won a loyal following in a short time through their high-energy musicianship, sense of humour and lively choreography.
The concert is the first of a regular series of St. Mark’s concerts produced by congregation members – and professional singers – Debra Da Vaughn and Christopher Simmons (A Night On Broadway).
And proceeds from this particular concert will go to the Anglican Church’s Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund which goes to support relief efforts in areas hit by natural and man-made disasters and crises around the world.
And Simmons and Da Vaughn say the Lady Larks performance will strike the right note for a series they hope will become known for high-quality presentations.
It follows on three shows they have organized, and performed in, themselves for the church congregation over the last couple of years, starting with a well-received Valentine’s Day concert in 2011.
“The church came to us and said ‘this is something we’d like to open up to the public,’ “ Da Vaughn said.
“The idea is to offer something that’s also affordable,” Simmons added.
The Lady Larks concert will span music from the 1920s to the 1940s, he said.
“The first half will be focused on remembrance, and the second half will be more based in Tin Pan Alley.”
The group has a proven connection with audiences – particularly senior audiences – he noted.
“You just see people’s faces light up – this is their kind of music. And it is great music; it was an amazing period in history.”
Upcoming series concerts will be keyed to Valentine’s Day and Mothers’ Day, Simmons and Da Vaughn said.
“In February, we have another husband-and-wife musical team; singer Melissa Howell and saxophonist Graham Howell,” said Da Vaughn.
“It will be a great afternoon of jazz music, a blend of ballads and uptempo songs focusing on love.”
And around Mothers’ Day, Da Vaughn and Simmons will be back in the spotlight, along with Andy Greenwood, known as the “singing fireman,” and another guest singer yet to be confirmed.
“Andy is a battalion chief with the Vancouver Fire Department, but he’s also been performing opera throughout the world – he’s a phenomenal baritone,” said Da Vaughn.
The concert will have a slightly different Mothers’ Day theme that focuses on not just the joys but also the sorrows of motherhood, she added.
“We also want to recognize mothers who have lost children,” she said.
Simmons said the couple is very conscious of dovetailing what they offer into the existing concert-series landscape.
“We’re not by any means trying to compete with White Rock Concerts’ series at the Baptist Church,” Simmons said.
“We want to concentrate on local and Canadian artists, and keeping the costs very reasonable,” Simmons said.
“The goal with each concert is to have a lovely afternoon of light-hearted entertainment.”
Tickets and more information for this weekend’s Lady Larks show ($15) are available by calling 604-535-8841.