Men’s chorus has spring in step
Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 06:00 am
Getting in tune is what more than a dozen Okotoks men do well.
Members of the Okotoks Men’s Chorus are warming up their vocal chords with a variety of songs for its annual spring concert, this year dubbed Men with Tunes, at the Okotoks United Church April 22 at 7 p.m.
“We’ve got a bunch of new pieces of music we are pretty excited about,” said conductor Tim Korthuis. “We’ve got some good spirituals, a piece written by Ian Tyson called Four Strong Winds arranged for choir. It’s a very beautiful piece of music. We’ve got a couple pieces arranged by our accompanist (Heather Haaland).”
The adult choral group was formed in 2005 as a small group of men who loved to sing and has since grown in both size and skill.
The chorus performs in venues across Alberta, singing a diverse repertoire of sacred, classic, folk and popular music in various languages including English, Italian, Latin, French, German, Korean and Croatian.
At this weekend’s spring concert the men will sing spirituals like Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho and Deep River and pop songs like Hey There Delilah and The Great Pretender.
“We like to find tunes that are fun to sing and we inject lots of humour and fun into our concerts,” said Korthuis.
“We have fun introducing songs and poking fun at the choir and audience. That’s become a staple of our concerts is to make sure to include lots of humour and lots of fun.”
With just over a dozen members, Korthuis said each singer has to work hard to prepare for performances like the spring concert.
Despite the many hours put into perfecting each piece, the men always have a blast along the way.
“All the guys who join have lots of fun doing it,” he said.
“We joke and we have fun. We set a high standard in picking music and putting together quality music, but we also laugh a lot at rehearsal.
“We create a good community and encourage each other and have lots of fun together.”
The Okotoks Men’s Chorus often brings in other musical talents from across the region into its concerts.
At this weekend’s event the chorus will be joined by Calgary’s Tuba Duo, which will perform various well-known pieces arranged from solo music like the classic Bye Bye Blackbird. Also performing is Okotoks’ Fess ‘n’ Friends Accordion Ensemble.
“We are going to give them a variety of music,” Fess said. “It’s so nice to be invited to take part in this because I’ve heard them several times before.”
Fess expects Fess ‘n’ Friends Accordion Ensemble will surprise the audience with its musical range.
“The accordion is a undervalued instrument,” she said. “It is often thought of as strictly a polka instrument, but it is an extremely versatile instrument that can do any type of music. It’s an instrument that when you have an accordion that’s a full-sized instruments with all the reeds it has many different tone qualities and you can mix it up.”
Tickets to see the Okotoks Men’s Chorus Spring Concert cost $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors and can be purchased at Okotoks Sobeys, at the door or by calling 403-938-7998. Children ages 12 and under are free.
The event will also include a silent auction.