Choral group shines at the Winter's Warm Embrace shows

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
December 7th, 2009

Simply defined a choir or choral group is an ensemble that sings together. In the case of the performances this weekend by the Grand Forks Choral Society, they went well beyond the definition to bring their unique blending of musical and vocal talent to the ears of the city.

Under the direction of Joan Thompson, the ensembles who performed at the shows demonstrated versatility, skill and passion for their music. The voices within the choral society were well grouped in the sections required to create stunning harmonies. The intermingling of the range of tones was a delight to hear. And they were having fun on stage, joking throughout the Twelve Days of Christmas including the high fives from the dancing lords!

Accompanied by a variety of musicians – Heidi Bekker, Josh Caron, Curt Garrison, Zak Eburne-Stoodley, Lauren LeSergent, Elizabeth Clark and Ellen Tolson – the singers covered a wide range of songs from traditional Christmas carols to Latin hymns and Beatles tunes.

Along with the choral society were the Sopranos & Co. – a group of youth singers under Thompson’s direction. Thompson’s touch of utilizing the talent within the group was evident as the soloists were given music that suited their voice. From the gospel sounds of Jesus, Oh What a Wonderful Child came the voice of Kira Gammie. Gammie’s voice suits the traditional spiritual songs and one could imagine you’re hearing a young Ella Fitzgerald in her tone. The soprano voices of Catharine Turner and Joy Hummel carried Mama Who Bore Me to wonderful heights.

Other guests at the show included the Elle Trio of Ellen Tolson (violin), Elizabeth Clark and Elizabeth Martin. Their classic sounds covered Mozart and Beethoven with beauty.

The show was a wonderful blend of humour, classic song, and a mix of songs to delight different tastes. It’s little wonder the shows were a near sell-out!

Categories: Arts and Culture