Arbutus Singers celebrating 15th anniversary

Local choir was originally started in 1998 by Executive Director Jack Boomer who still directs it now

The Arbutus singers perform in Sidney on Wednesday

The Arbutus Singers are celebrating their 15th anniversary this year.

The choir was originally started in 1998 by Executive Director Jack Boomer who still directs it now. Boomer said in the last 15 years the choir, which is a charitable organization, has grown from a group of 15 singers to about 60.

“We’re not a society or a board or anything like that,” explained Boomer. “We basically get together as a group each year and ask ourselves do we want to do this again for another year? And every year we do.”

Boomer explained every cent generated from the Singers’ shows is donated back to causes they believe in.

“All the proceeds of our concerts have gone to Hanti Sidra One Global Family, a Sidney-based charitable organization that has been working on small-scale education, health and community development projects in Eritrea and South Sudan for more than 20 years,” Boomer said.

Proceeds this year will be used to install a well in a small village in South Sudan where people suffer from numerous water-borne diseases because they have no access to clean water.

Boomer added the choir is also instrumental in working to involve children in music.

“Since the formation of our society in 2006, we’ve formed six children’s choirs called ChoirKids throughout the region,” said Boomer, estimating there are more than 200 children who have gotten involved in music because of the society.

The Arbutus Singers’ concert in Sidney happens Wednesday, May 15 at St. Elizabeth’s Church (10030 Third St.) at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 each, or $25 per family.

Visit www.arbutussingers.com for more information.