Choir celebrates Valentine’s

Nicholas Fairbank composes at the piano. -
Nicholas Fairbank composes at the piano.
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In celebration of St. Valentine’s Day, Via Choralis presents Amour et Musique, a program of love-songs spanning four centuries.

From the Renaissance to the present day, from Josquin des Prés to Cole Porter and Billy Joel, the program includes works by Canadian composers Stephen Chatman and the choir’s conductor Nicholas Fairbank, whose lyrical Sonnet is based on a text by William Shakespeare.

Artistic Director Fairbank divides his time between teaching, performing, composing, conducting and adjudicating. He is currently on the faculty of the Victoria Conservatory of Music, Artistic Director of Viva Choirs, an Examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music and an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre. He is often seen locally or further afield as a collaborative pianist, harpsichordist and organist, conductor or singer (as the baritone in the vocal ensemble Hexaphone). As well as earning associate diplomas in organ performance from the Royal Conservatory (RCM gold medal 1981) and the RCCO (Willan Prize 1998). Fairbank has masters degrees from the University of Paris (musicology and French literature), the University of California at Santa Barbara (French language and pedagogy) and the University of Victoria (music composition), where he won the Martlet Music Award for Excellence in Advanced Composition. His works have been performed across Canada and in Europe.

Rehearsal and concert accompanist Jennifer Mitchell will be featured in the concert program performing selections from Maurice Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin.

Mitchell earned an Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto in piano performance in 2005 and studies piano performance with May Ling Kwok at the University of Victoria, where she is in her fourth year of undergraduate studies. Mitchell also studied pipe organ with Fairbank, and won BC silver medals for the Royal Conservatory of Music Grades 7 through 10 organ examinations.

The choir extends an invitation to the audience to join the choristers and conductor for an after-concert reception.

Via Choralis chamber choir presents Amour en Musique, an afternoon performance of love songs honouring St. Valentine’s Day on Sunday, Feb. 13 at 2:30 p.m. in St. Elizabeth’s Church, 10030 Third Street. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for those 18 years and younger; available at Tanner’s Books, choir members and the door.

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