An Okanagan Christmas ~

Saturday, December 7, 2019

In this year’s concert OFS showcased carols by Alfred Burt and O Magnum Mysterium by Ivo Antognini.  This piece was originally written as a gift to a small church choir that his wife directed, however, to his great surprise, the Vancouver Chamber Choir popularized this piece in the world premiere performance in October 2011. OFS also performed the beautiful There Is No Rose by British Columbian composer, Don Macdonald.  The musical setting for this text honouring Mary, the mother of Jesus, attempts to convey the image of a rose gently opening to show its full beauty. Also included was Healey Willan’s energetic anthem, Hodie, Christus Natus est, followed by Derric Johnson’s The Sleigh, visualizing a sleigh ‘flying’ through the snow at a break-neck speed.

OFS also invited the Okanagan Children’s Choir, conducted by Frances Chiasson, to perform a set during the evening, and to join OFS in bringing to life Jon Washburn’s A Dylan Thomas Christmas.  This is an attractive setting of eleven familiar and beautifully arranged Christmas carols to accompany the reading of Dylan Thomas’s classic A Child’s Christmas in Wales. The text itself was brought to life with the masterful reading of Greg Garrard (Professor of Environmental Humanities at UBC Okanagan), as the narrator.

Handel’s Messiah ~

Saturday, December 1, 2018

The Okanagan Festival Singers under Leroy Wiens were thrilled to perform to a full house, which was sold out a week in advance! Accompanied by the polished and professional sounds of the Okanagan Festival Camerata orchestra under the able leadership of Nancy DiNovo, as well as soloists Dawn Bailey, Daniel Rochegood, Justin Odwak and Nick Niebuhr, the audience responded with an enthusiastic standing ovation.

Handel’s Messiah for Kids~

Saturday, November 24, 2018

The choir had a wonderful time performing a selection of pieces from Handel’s Messiah in a unique program just for children. Set in a space age future, Mr. Handel himself arrived in a time machine to meet Larry the Lamb and a sinister looking alien named Darth Reginald. While integrating his choral masterpiece into a story of time travel, light sabres and fighting bad guys, Handel introduces children to four part choral music and a message of peace and hope. Donations at the door went to support The Bridge Youth and Family Services.

** Photo Credit: Lana Peterson

Spring Concert Mozart/Bach ~

Saturday, May 5, 2018

In collaboration with the Okanagan Festival Camerata orchestra under the leadership of Nancy DiNovo, OFS under Leroy Wiens delivered a heartfelt performance of well known works of two great composers: Mozart and J.S. Bach. From Bach’s Jesu, meine Freude to Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus and beloved Requiem, the choir and soloists Jennifer Turner, Emma Parkinson, Kaden Forsberg and Dale Throness enchanted the audience.