Peninsula choral concert brings three choirs together

Songs from Russia, Africa and Pete Seeger on the bill.

embers of Via Choralis chamber choir will join the Sing Your Joy and the Choir of First Unitarian Church in performance on March 20.

Three talented Victoria choirs are coming together to offer a collaborative choral concert next Friday, March 20.

How Can I Keep From Singing joins the Via Choralis chamber choir, the Sing Your Joy young adult chorus and the Choir of First Unitarian Church as they raise their voices in an eclectic selection of classical favourites, world music and gospel at the First Unitarian Church.

“Greater Victoria is very rich in terms of choral music,” says Nicholas Fairbank, the artistic director for both Via Choralis and the First Unitarian choir.

“We have something like 45 community choirs in the CRD, and that’s not including church or school groups. It really is a great thing when we can collaborate and share our programs with each other.”

As well as offering a varied show to the community, the evening is a way for the choirs to join forces and hear each other’s talents, he adds.

“There are choirs of young people, and choirs of older, retired folks, and we wanted to do something together. The old folks are always looking for younger singers, and the younger singers appreciate the experience.”

Each choir will perform about a 20-minute set individually, and then the three groups will combine for a final set of 120 voices.

The logistics of arranging that many people on and off stage is definitely a challenge, says Fairbank, but well worth it for the quality of the acoustic.

“It’s the first time we’ve had this many people involved at the church,” he says. “We’re likely going to be singing in the round, with some of the singers down the hall.”

And with three different directors putting it together, there’s guaranteed to be variety.

From Russian selections to African melodies, Waltzing Matilda to Pete Seeger, the show should have something for everyone to tap their toes and hum along to.

“It should be an interesting and enjoyable evening,” says Fairbank.

The evening begins at 7 p.m. Friday, March 20 at the First Unitarian Church, 5575 West Saanich Road.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students with valid ID at the door, and free for children 12 years and under. Advance tickets are available from choir members and online at

For more information on the choirs, visit, or