40 Years - 80 Tours

Date and Venue 18 March @ 8pm & 20 March @ 3pm| Ryerson United Church, 2195 W. 45th Ave (at Yew St.), Vancouver

Reviewer Ed Farolan

There's always something different when you go and watch a concert by VCC. This time, the choir was joined by the vibant young singers of Trinity Western University. Also, the choir was conducted not only by Jon Washburn but also his assistant, John William Trotter. And finally, this is the first time I've see the choir divided into three choruses so that as they sang, you'd have the impression of "sensurround" sound, similar to what we listen to in movies or in our home if we have all those sound gadgets that give us that "sensurround" sensation.

I was also delighted to hear new compositions, particularly in the second part of the concert. "Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine" by the most published, performed and commissioned American composer, Eric Whitacre, was marvelously performed by the choir, as well as the nostalgic, "triste" piece of French poet Guillaume Apollinaire, set to music by the distinguished Montreal musician Lionel Daunais.

The last piece was also fabulous and impressive: Four Negro Spirituals arranged by Jon Washburn, which premiered at Christ Church Cathedral in Victoria and sung in Moscow during the choir's 1989 tour,

The first and last pieces of the programme, Missa Brevis by Dietrich Buxtehude and Washburn's Rise! Shine! Four Spirituals was sung in conjunction with the Trinity Western singers. I was also impressed with the last song of the first part of the programme, Clement Janequin's La guerre, a 16th century composition, in that the composer used onomatopeic sounds in his chanson. This was supposedly the battle of Marignan between the French and Swiss in 1515. The choir delighted the audience with the sounds of swords and arrows with the von,von,von...pa toe, pon, pon ta ri ra ri ra.

This was another delightful afternoon listening to this remarkable choir who will perform Rachmaninov and Raminsh next for their yearly Good Friday concert on April 22nd at the Orpheum together with the Cantata Singers and the Pacifica Singers.

© 2011 Ed Farolan