Local musicians Laura Hols, Dorothy Giesbrecht and Shelly Worthington at the event last year.

Smithers Christmas Choir returns with Sunrise Mass by Ole Gjeib

Three performances will be put on Dec. 2, 3 and 4 at Smithers Christian Reformed Church

Following a two-year hiatus the perennially sold-out Christmas concert is back.

The Smithers Community Christmas Choir is once again practising to put on three performances of the concert Dec. 2, 3 and 4.

Co-director Sharon Carrington said the 60-member choir has been getting together since September to prepare and is excited to be back performing after the pandemic put them on hold.

“After all this time, and not being able to be together, there’s certainly an excitement in the community, as well as with the choir,” she said “And it’s joy. And so that’s what we hope to convey.”

A 30-member orchestra will accompany them.

“I think the choir has worked very hard,” added Carrington. “Also, there’s quite a few new members this year. And, and I think it’s been a challenge. A lot of work. But now as we’re getting together with the orchestra, it’s just been incredible as far as the choir realizes their potential and what we’re capable of doing.”

The orchestra will be led by concert co-director Laura Hols-Wimbush. She echoed Carrington’s excitement of being able to put on another concert after the hiatus.

“This one is so meaningful, coming out of this pandemic, when we were all locked up at home, what we were craving was community,” she said. “And what we were craving was the creativity with other people and so to be able to bring everyone together to play our instruments and sing with their voices, it’s such a beautiful thing. I remember the first couple of rehearsals, people were almost giddy, like, we can do this again.”

This year’s concerts will be held on Dec. 2, 3 and 4 at Smithers Christian Reformed Church on Walnut Drive. The choir and orchestra will perform Sunrise Mass by Ole Gjeib.

“The whole tone of it is just joy and, and hope and light,” Carrington said.

There will also be an eclectic mix of music, slavic dancers, and spoken word with a special guest appearance from the multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Elijah Quinn.

Hols-Wimbush will also be performing with the string quartet and said this community is home to so many amazing top-quality string players.

“All the string teachers in town are all playing in this orchestra,” she added. “It’s really special. I’m playing in a string quartet with three of the other string teachers in town. So that’ll be a fun feature of the concert, not just for the audience, but I think for students to see these four teachers all playing together. So that’s pretty special.”

Both directors said putting this concert together is a lot of work but worth it in the end.

“The kind of the point when people have confidence themselves, that they really know their music and their materials and they can just let go to the beauty of it, release themselves to the creativity and the beauty of music,” said Hols-Wimbush.

“And the joy of sharing that with other people. One of my favourite things is to speak to people afterwards or to see people’s faces when they experienced that mass wall of sound, too, just how it can kind of impact and be meaningful to other people’s lives, too.”

Tickets are on sale at Mountain Eagle Books and Mills Interior Stationery.

 

The last Christmas concert the choir held in 2019. (Grant Harris)

The last Christmas concert the choir held in 2019. (Grant Harris)

The last Christmas concert the choir held in 2019. (Grant Harris photo)

The last Christmas concert the choir held in 2019. (Grant Harris photo)