For 53 years, the Oceanside Concert Choir has sung and entertained the public of Parksville Qualicum Beach with concerts twice a year.
From the beautiful and beloved “Messiah”, to upbeat Christmas specials, to well-known Canadian classics, the choir’s 50+ members have been a popular part of the community’s diverse arts scene.
While many singers have come and gone, and many more have joined for a gig or two, what still remains is the abiding love of singing beautiful music.
When COVID-19 hit British Columbia in early 2020, the board made the decision to cancel the upcoming Easter concert and all practices until it was safe to return. As COVID dragged on, the choir came together virtually via Zoom, which has its limits with “lag” and with senior learning curves for almost hilarious results.
Most arts organizations have been struggling financially over the past two years as rent, music storage and insurance still needed to be covered.
But in February 2022, as restrictions began to ease, it was time to start in-person practices again.
Under the musical direction of Ann Barber and the piano talents of Margaret Nelson, 25 singers began rehearsing every Tuesday night at Knox United Church in Parksville. They wondered if they should just sing for fun or put on a smaller-scale concert for the spring.
More than fifty years of tradition have prevailed.
On Sunday, April 10 at 2:30 p.m., the choir will once again perform a program of former favorites at Knox United.
Rather than sell tickets, the choir decided that this first concert would be by a suggested donation of $15, with children under 15 free.
Like so many other local nonprofits, the Oceanside Concert Choir hopes for a good turnout for Sunday’s event to help them get back on their feet so that they, and the generations that follow, continue to sing beautiful music for another 50 years.
– NEWS staff, submitted
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