A longtime Sunshine Coast resident and member of the women’s acapella barbershop community contributed to a gold-medal finish at the Sweet Adelines International Competition in Louisville, Kentucky on Nov. 3.
Connie Johnston is the former director of Arbutus Sounds, an erstwhile women’s chorus based on the Coast. As an active part of the Lions Gate Chorus in Vancouver, Johnston was among the 100 singers to take top prize for choruses in Louisville.
It is the first time in the chorus’s 69-year history to win the coveted international gold medal. The group was also the first chorus in Sweet Adelines’ history to receive a perfect score in any category from the panel of judges.
Under the leadership of its Musical Director, Sandy Marron, the Lions Gate has been in the top five of more than 500 Sweet Adelines International choruses worldwide since 2007.
“This truly is the Olympics of acapella singing where everyone is excellent!” said Cammi MacKinlay, Lions Gate member and past international president of Sweet Adelines International.
The rousing first-place performance can be watched online via youtube.com/@SweetAdelinesInternational.
Living for movies
The Sunshine Coast Film Society will present the final film of its fall season, the highly-acclaimed Living, on Monday, November 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the Gibsons Heritage Playhouse and on Saturday, November 25 at 2 p.m. at the Raven’s Cry Theatre in Sechelt.
Stultified at work and lonely at home, Mr. Williams (played by Bill Nighy, nominated for a Best Actor Oscar) receives some life-altering news. Influenced by a local decadent (Tom Burke of Cormorant Strike & Mank) and a vibrant young woman (Aimee Lou Wood of Sex Education), he searches for meaningfulness until a simple revelation gives him a renewed purpose.
Based on the 1952 film To Live by film icon Akira Kurasawa (famous for Seven Samurai) with a screenplay adapted by Nobel Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro, this is a heartwarming and life-affirming must-see.
Membership is required. Book memberships/tickets in advance online or with cash only at the door. The film is rated 18+; more info is available online at www.scfs.ca.
Peaceful tidings at St. Bart’s
The remarkable Coast Vespersong group will present Choral Evensong at St. Bart’s Anglican Church in Gibsons on Sunday, November 26 at 5 p.m.
The tradition of choral evensong began nearly 500 years ago in England and has been practiced there daily ever since. A service of evening prayer from the Book of Common Prayer, it is a liturgy that guides the transition from day to night, from work to rest, from worry to calm. Many find it to be a perfect antidote to the cares of the world: rest for the body, meditation for the mind, and nourishment for the soul.
Evensong at St. Bart’s Anglican Church will allow time for prayer and contemplation, featuring music by William Byrd and Thomas Weelkes (both died 400 years ago), and Herbert Howells (who died 40 years ago), as sung by Coast Vespersong.
Belief in God (Christian or otherwise) is not required to enjoy sacred music that speaks of peace and healing for a war-torn world.