Bytown Voices Community Choir celebrates nature in spring concert

By Manor Park Chronicle

A cropped image of Bytown Voices choir performing during their December 2023 concert

The Bytown Voices Community Choir welcomes you to attend their spring concert entitled Home: Songs of Belonging, Land and Connection.

Among the featured songs you’ll hear Canadian classics like Antoine Gérin-Lajoie’s Un Canadien Errant and Gilles Vigneault’s Mon Pays.

The concert take place at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 28 at Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Lisgar St. The choir will perform under the direction of Joan Fearnley with accompanist Carla Klassen.

Joan has directed the choir for over eight years. She brings with her many years of leadership, having directed both the women’s and children’s choirs of the Notre Dame Basilica in Lowertown. Additionally, Joan has a noted career as a soprano soloist with several Ottawa choirs.

Remembering Africville

Songs celebrating the rivers of Canada and Georgian Bay will be performed along with a very special premier of the song Home to Africville composed by local musician and teacher, Lyndsey E. Bolden, in which she remembers Africville, the sadly displaced and vibrant black community of Halifax.

A bluegrass band will accompany a suite of songs entitled Dear Appalachia while another beautiful trio of songs celebrates Emily Carr and the divinity she found in the pulse of nature. This celebration of nature and relationship can also be found in She is the Woman Who Sang me the Birds with music by Indigenous composer Beverly McKiver and words by poet Wendy Duschenes.

Voices wanted

The Bytown Voices is a “no-audition necessary” choir of mixed voices, soprano, alto, tenor and bass. Children aged 9 and up are eligible for membership too, making the Voices a true community choir.

We encourage parents along with their children to join our ranks. The choir is looking for any interested tenor or bass voices – we need your participation! No previous choir experience is necessary, and members benefit from many online learning supports in a nurturing environment.

The Bytown Voices Choir practices at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday nights at St. Basil’s Church on Maitland Ave. just north of the Queensway.
Registration for fall 2024 will begin in August. Check our website in late summer for more information on repertoire and starting dates.

Tickets for the concert are now on sale at our website. Adult admission is $20, children 12 and under are free. Free parking is available on street and for $2 at the nearby Ottawa City Hall lot, entrance on Laurier Ave.

This article was written by Mary Forster. Mary has sung with the Bytown Voices for four years. She strongly encourages anyone who loves music and singing to try them out. It’s a fine choir with a supportive ethic.

Bytown Voices, a multi-generational choir, performs their Christmas 2023 concert. Photo: Howard Sandler