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20 years of harmony

Arbutus Sounds Chorus
Connie Johnston.
Connie Johnston.

This year, Arbutus Sounds Chorus is celebrating its 20th anniversary. This wonderful women’s choral group has performed at various shows, Christmas concerts, Canada Day celebrations, and at care homes entertaining seniors. Over the years, these women have been harmonizing, singing a cappella, four-part harmonies, in barbershop style. As a member of Sweet Adelines International, the Chorus attends regional competitions every few years and maintains a high standard, with coaching and education provided by the organization.

Originally formed and directed by Grace Kucher when she moved from Vancouver to Gibsons, the Chorus grew under her watchful eye and keen ear, officially becoming a Chapter of Sweet Adelines in 1998.

In 2003, at the age of 80, Grace passed on the baton to Chorus member Debra Sneddon. As the new director, Sneddon kept the women busy, introducing new and contemporary songs to their repertoire. Always striving for vocal excellence while sharing her love of the music, Sneddon allowed the sounds of barbershop to continue to be heard on the Coast.

Now, after many years of dedicated service, Sneddon has chosen to step back up on the risers, adding her own voice to the group. She is passing on the baton, and Arbutus Sounds welcomes Connie Johnston as new choral director. An original charter member of Arbutus Sounds, with over 20 years as a Sweet Adeline, Johnston has gained valuable experience, especially while singing with Alberta Heartland Chorus, an award-winning group in Edmonton. Since returning to the Coast in 2010, she has continued to learn and freely shares her knowledge and passion with her peers. A born educator, Johnston focuses on having fun at rehearsals, while working hard on vocal skills and accuracy. She seeks out musical arrangements that are inspiring, joyful, and fun to sing.

Do you love to sing? Arbutus Sounds invites women of all ages to join them for their New Members Night, on Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m., at Robert’s Creek Elementary School. For more information, see or call Laura at 604-885-5577.

– Submitted