Harrison Happenings – Silver is still beautiful

Though the Seniors’ Chorfest 2011 is over, the memories will linger on for a long time as a great success.

The evaluation sheets our guest choirs have filled out for the BCCF (BC Choral Federation) are very complimentary and should we ever be asked to do it again, we would gladly say yes. I hope however, that our success is not stopping other choirs from giving it a try, too.

Though resources as great as ours are not to be found easily elsewhere, it can be done in different ways. I talked to a member of the “Lost Chords” choir based on Salt Spring Island about this. They were billeting their guest choirs in their own homes, for instance.

“It was very different” she told me “but very nice too.”

However, let’s hear it one more time for everyone who made our event possible and all the HHS Multicultural Choir members who not only had to learn the songs but, at the same time helped with the work needed to organize such an event.

One memory that will linger in our minds forever is the world premier of the new choral piece Silver. I think the famous poem, written by Walter de la Mare, has been waiting patiently until it was commissioned by the BCCF, in memory of Joy Maguire, to be painted with the silver music of Jon Washburn and entrusted to 201 silver-haired seniors. It is a beautiful and powerful piece of choral music that will, I am sure, be sung all over the world in the future. The fact that we sang it first can fill us with great pride.

It might also be noteworthy that due to the gentle and humorous prodding by Bruce Pullan, guest director and clinician, some of us dared to sing the entire massed choirs portion of the concert by memory. And this at our age — ha!

Our thanks to Bruce Pullan and Doug Balfour for two days of great workshops.

Of course all this could not have happened without the BCCF.

Chorfests are blooming again around the world especially in Europe, and with the BCCF’s help, it will happen here too.