Raising voices at Harrison

A capella workshop and concert next Saturday in the village

Dozens of a capella singers will join to make beautiful music next Saturday.

The first ever Valley A Cappella Festival is coming to Harrison Hot Springs June 13. It includes a full day of vocal workshops, capped off by an evening concert at the Memorial Hall.

Festival founder Samantha Taylor has facilitated countless workshops in other communities, taught a workshop at a previous Harrison Festival of the Arts, and leads several choirs. She is excited to bring this style of music home to Harrison and share her love of a cappella with the community.

“I’m really passionate about a cappella world music, and about rhythm and body percussion,” comments Taylor. “You’re working harmoniously together, and creating something greater by putting all those voices together.”

A capella music is worldwide, spanning every continent and people group, going back as long as people have gathered to sing.

Choirs have been invited from the local community as well as Hope, Chilliwack and Vancouver to participate in the festival. Taylor says that often, choirs work in isolation, with their own repertories, styles and concerts.

“I want to make opportunities for choirs to connect and share repertoires and ideas, to inspire each other and learn from each other.”

Taylor, who has lived here for almost six years, says she hopes this festival, put on in partnership with the Harrison Festival Society, will become an annual event, to help enrich the already-diverse musical offerings in our area.

Three experienced instructors will lead participants in vocal exercises, new songs and arrangements. The workshops include Heartbeat Song with Taylor, Singing Folk and Traditional Songs with Andy Hillhouse, and SpiralSongs with Heidi McCurdy. Taylor encourages singers of all skill and comfort levels to join in, emphasizing that all are welcome not just those who consider themselves singers.

The evening concert at the Memorial Hall is open to all. It will feature six different choirs with more than 50 people, plus participants from the workshop performing some pieces. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., concert starts at 7 p.m. Tickets will be sold on-site for $10, children 12 and under are free.

For registration information, contact Samantha Taylor at samtaylorsong@gmail.com or call 604-491-4413.

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