Kathaumixw (pronounced Ka-thou-mew) is from the Coast Salish language meaning “a gathering together of different peoples.”
The International Choral Kath-aumixw is a five-day festival filled with concerts, common song singing, choral and vocal solo competitions, conductors’ seminars and social events that takes place every second year in Powell River.
Up to 40 choirs from around the world take part together with soloists, guest conductors and the orchestra in residence. This year the festival runs from July 3 to 7 and audience is welcome to attend. (See www.kathaumixw.org or phone 1-604-485-9633 for ticket information.)
For those who want to stay on this end of the Coast, there’s an opportunity to see three of the visiting choirs in Madeira Park, Sechelt and Gibsons.
The Pender Harbour Choir invites you to the School of Music on Monday, July 2, as they host The Birralee Blokes, a dynamic ensemble of young men from Australia, aged 13 to 22, whose love for singing captivates audiences.
In their home country, The Blokes were judged Youth Choir of the Year, the Listeners’ Choice Award and ABC Classic FM Choir of the Year. Their recordings with Voices of Birralee include their own CD, Walls Come Tumblin’ Down. Their most recent CD, Towards Infinity, was released on the ABC Classics label in 2011.
Paul Holley, the associate director of Voices of Birralee and conductor of The Birralee Blokes also conducts Gondwana Chorale, the Australian national youth choir. Tickets are available from Pender Harbour Choir members, at Bluewaters Books, the Sechelt Visitor Centre and Laedeli in Sunnycrest Mall in Gibsons. Adults are $15, children under 12 are $5.
The Coast Recital Society, in collaboration with St. Hilda’s Church in Sechelt, presents the Murwillumbah Philharmonic Choir from Australia on Sunday, July 8 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Hilda’s.
This country town, community choir from northern New South Wales, Australia, has 75 members ranging in age from 16 to 80. Performances range in styles from baroque oratorio to jazz favourites, folk and modern. The choir’s recent concerts have included the Faure Requiem, incidental songs and an English music concert. They have performed internationally. Heather Martin is their music director/conductor. Tickets are $10 adults and $5 for students, available at the door before the concert.
On Monday, July 9, at 7 p.m. the Sunshine Coast Music Society partnering with Gibsons United Church presents the State House Girls High School Choir from Nairobi, Kenya.
Music Society president Sue Milne explains that with the local church providing billets for the visitors, it gives an opportunity for singers to meet and make friends with those from other countries.
The girls’ choir has scooped top positions in Kenyan music festivals in the category of set pieces as well as African-American music compositions and arrangements. In 2011 during the African Women Delegate Conference held in Kenya, they were given a theme for an original composition to be presented at the conference. At the request of the delegates, State House Girls recorded the song and the delegates took it home where it is currently playing on Kenyan radio stations. Isaak Kavehere has conducted the choir since 1999. He is also a music producer and gospel music recording artist. Tickets are adults: $15 and children under 12: $5, available at Laedeli, Sechelt Visitor Centre and Bluewaters Books.