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Art Beat: Inspirito choir goes global and A Cappella Strait choir celebrates 40 years

The Inspirito Vocal Ensemble, under the direction of Sarona Mynhardt, recently returned from its first international trip: a musical odyssey through Cuba that gave rise to new friendships and future opportunities.
The Inspirito choir were musical ambassadors during a recent trip to Cuba, and will apply their Caribbean gleanings during two upcoming concerts in Gibsons.

The Inspirito Vocal Ensemble, under the direction of Sarona Mynhardt, recently returned from its first international trip: a musical odyssey through Cuba that gave rise to new friendships and future opportunities. 

The Sunshine Coast-based choir collaborated and ran workshops with two professional Cuban ensembles: Vocal Leo and Vocal Luna. Their combined efforts resulted in a combined performance in a Havana cathedral, and a vocal workshop with a professional Cuban a capella vocal ensemble named Novel Voz. 

During their stay, the Canadian singers visited a community centre where they performed with a local dance school. Later, they dedicated time to humanitarian work for struggling families (choir members had previously collected donations from Sunshine Coast communities). 

As Inspirito prepares to host a Woman’s Choir festival on the Sunshine Coast next spring, the group will invite Vocal Luna and its conductor to participate as guest artists. 

The choir has scheduled its spring performance, Woman Am I, for May 4 and 5 Calvary Baptist Church in Gibsons. The concert’s lineup and style is heavily influenced by the trip to Cuba.  

“It really helped our singers to move and grow to the next level,” said director Sarona Mynhardt.  

The concert will include classics like Nigra Sum (by Pau Casals), Klee Wyck (a piece by B.C. composer Brian Tate paying homage to Emily Carr), Malala Pakistani Girl (by Canadian composer Larry Nickel telling the story of Malala), a traditional South African piece Mmangwane Mpulule, and an experimental choral piece When I Am Woman. 

The final set of music will portray inspiring women, women bound together in sisterhood, women who can fight for change, women who understand pain, and women who can laugh. 

The group will be joined by accompanist Toby Aldren and flutist Bernard Blary. 

Tickets ($25) are available by emailing [email protected] or texting 778 888-4957. 

Suncoast Phoenix on the horizon 

The Suncoast Phoenix Choir, under its music director Sara Douglas and with piano collaborator Tom Kellough, is planning its spring concert.  

The choir of mixed voices promises an evening of jazz, Canadiana, German Renaissance and 20th century composers as well as a singalong for those who want to join the fun.  

Two performances will take place at 7 p.m. on May 10 at St. Hilda’s Anglican Church in Sechelt and at 7 p.m. on May 11 at Calvary Baptist Church in Gibsons.  

Admission is by donation (suggested donation $20). 

This weekend, celebrate four decades of Strait goods 

A performance and reception are scheduled on 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 27 to commemorate the ruby anniversary of A Cappella Strait choir. 

The A Cappella Strait choir is this year celebrating 40 years of singing together, and the Choralations children’s chorus is also marking approximately three decades of existence.  

Both groups sing under the direction of indefatigable performer and educator Janice Brunson. 

Everyone is welcome to attend and share memories. Registration is required by emailing [email protected].  

A group number is planned; sheet music can be requested via the same email address. 

Speaking of leadership 

Congratulations are due to School District 46 student Louise Olaniyan who earned bronze at the B.C. provincial Skills Canada public speaking competition held April 17 in Abbotsford. 

A full account of the regional contest — held on March 7 in Gibsons — appeared in the March 15 edition of the Coast Reporter. 

Olaniyan took silver and Atala Herrera secured gold at the regional competition. 

According to regional organizer John Leech, Herrera also had an excellent showing at the provincial competition.