Month: May, 2012

Grande Prairie Boys’ Choir take Provincial Music Festival!

The Grande Prairie Boys’ Choir won the Alberta Provincial Music Festival in all our choirs!

Junior, Senior and Men of Note Choirs placed First.

Men of Note move onto Nationals!….

May 6, 2012: Sail Away Spring Concert

Something old, something new, retrospective and nonsense too!  All par for the course during two May 6th performances of the Grande Prairie Boys’ Choir “Sail Away” spring concert.  The Grande Prairie Boys’ Choir boasts a roster of approximately 100 boys and young men, all of whom came together to showcase a two and a half hour finale to another remarkable season.  The concert also featured local instrumentalists as well as local trio K2C.

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Twelve Prepatory level boys opened both concerts with three selections.  The first two pieces, “Mrs. Jenny Wren” and “The Paper Boat”, were well performed in unison and intonation.  Their third piece, “The Spider Hunter”, drew surprise from the audience when the boys unexpectedly reacted to the spider falling on them!  It was clearly a fun way for these novices to wrap up their performance.

There are close to thirty boys in the Junior choir division and what seemed to stand out most for them in this particular performance was their breath longevity and volume.  Clearly, this group is in shape and has been working hard.  Bravo to them for an incredibly smooth flowing delivery of “The Path to the Moon” by Thiman.

_DSC1596The Juniors were followed by the Senior Choir who sang a classical, traditional and contemporary piece.  “Praise the Lord” by Handel was a well selected arrangement to show off the vocal variances and capabilities of the Senior boys and there was no shortage of finesse and brilliantly floated cutoffs on “The Water is Wide”.  “Cantar!” was this group’s closing piece for the first half of the program and engaged some fantastic visual enthusiasm by the vocalists!  Alumni Chris Wiebe was also on stage on percussion and did a solid job of keeping the complex and spirited accompanying rhythm to this piece written by Althouse.

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The young men of this choir are known as the Men of Note and they are a group of singers who have been working together for many years as they travelled through the ranks of the choir.  This has resulted in the group sharing a keen sense of familiarity with each other and performing with a well entwined charisma.  This held true for most of the six songs they sang that wrapped up the first portion of this concert.  Audiences heard the exciting results of transitioning through well executed dynamics as in “Down in the Valley” as well as the incredible building power of “Bashana Haba’ah”.  And as customary lately, the Men had the audience smiling, laughing and toe tapping, this time with the classic easy rock song “My Girl”.


_DSC1637Sailing on, we come to the second half of the program where the mainstay was all piracy, if you ‘catch my drift’.  To start, the Men of Note sang a comedic dry retrospective of pirates.   One couldn’t help but laugh at monotone, expressive-less lines such as “pirates make me happy” or “for romance, find a pirate”.  These pirates didn’t let treasure stay buried either.  Pieces like “The Captain’s Mate” and “The Ghost Ship” were a few gems from past performances that re-surfaced for the second half of the program.  Also within the treasure chest were moments of great vocal and dramatic expression, hilarious juxtaposition of soprano vocals on the tough guy song “I’m Popeye the Sailor Man” and a commendable job by Alec Girouard on the memorization and delivery of the poem “A Pirate ’till the Day I Die”.  We heard from Matthew Dalen and Michael Love who are graduating from the choir program and in the end all hands were on deck for the overboard finale of “The Banana Boat Song” which en-compassed an onstage scuttle and some ‘stern’ words of reprimand to all the ‘buoys’ by fellow shipmates.  Once again it was another great concert to wrap up a successful season.

Until the fall. . . Bon Voyage!


Concert review by MaryAnn Lynch