The annual Festival of Voices was a huge success

The annual Festival of Voices was a huge success

Singing success

The weekend of March 4 to 6 saw Smithers host the third biennial Festival of Voices. Organized by members of the Local Vocals choir, this festival featured Vancouver vocalists and community choir leaders Karla Mundy and Dawn Pemberton.

The weekend of March 4 to 6 saw Smithers host the third biennial Festival of Voices.

Organized by members of the Local Vocals choir, this festival featured Vancouver vocalists and community choir leaders Karla Mundy and Dawn Pemberton.

Both guest clinicians brought a wealth of experience, knowledge and passion for community singing to share with participants.

The event brought together 58 adult singers and 10 youth choir members from Smithers, the Hazeltons and Terrace.

Participants came away from the weekend with a sense of renewed joy and enthusiasm for singing in community.

The weekend was divided into a variety of vocal workshops offering instruction in a range of music, vocal styling, soloing skills and body percussion.   The Saturday program included a dinner and celebration of community singing.

Keeping a Festival tradition, lights were turned off for one hour after dinner, instruments unplugged, candles lit and a song circle created.  As the twilight gathered, a new choir of voices came together in a spirit of community that carried through the rest of the weekend and beyond.

The evening closed with live karaoke, featuring a band of local musicians providing a musical backdrop for those who braved – and in some cases claimed – the stage.

Sunday brought the Festival to a close with a mass choral performance for friends and family.  Participants joyfully shared the pieces they had learned over the weekend, with no little sense of wonder at how much was learned in such a short time.

Many thanks to the local sponsors for supporting this wonderful weekend of song and community – BV Arts Council, Hawkair, Hy-Tech Drilling, Bulkley Valley Credit Union, All West Glass, Perry & Co., and Bandstra Trucking.  The Local Vocals community choir continues to sing every Tuesday at the Smithers Senior Secondary School Music Room – anyone interested in singing is welcome.

The choir’s spring performance will be held in the Rotunda at SSS May 3 at 7:00pm.