Choral society tunes up for concert

Choral society practices for their upcoming Christmas concert

Musical Director Joan Thompson conducts the choral society during a practice session.

The Grand Forks Choral Society is revving up for its yearly holiday concert.

Three choirs will take to the stage on Dec. 10 and 11 at Grand Forks Secondary School auditorium.

The Sopraninos, Sopranos & Co. and the choral society, led by Joan Thompson, have been practicing since September for the upcoming performance.

“The Sopranos & Co. is a teen group (from 13 to 18 years) and the Sopraninos are a children’s group,” explained President Nancy Gillmor. “The choral society is a community group. It is a non-auditioned choir.”

In the second half, the choral society will also accompany a narration by Peri Best of A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas.

Gillmor mentioned that Best also narrated last year’s Grinch.

“It’s never the same every year. The musical director comes up with the repertoire, the songs that we’re going to sing, and the board of directors help to make it happen,” said Lynda Mackey, a director on the board. “Then Joan comes to us and say this is what we plan on doing and we join in.”

Gillmor agreed, “We like to see what the director comes up with and her vision.”

The choral society has the support of the recreation commission and the school board.

“(The recreation commission) provides the band room for us to practice in, and the school board allows us to use the auditorium, which is a nice partnership,” said Mackey.

The choirs will be dressed in period clothing with some pieces on loan from the Rivers’ Edge costume cupboard, stated Gillmor.

“The costume cupboard is amazing,” she said. “We got a whole bunch from there, people have brought some clothing from home and the Thrift Store is always a place where we go looking.”

Gillmor pointed out there’s a good following in the community.

“Some people say it isn’t Christmas until we’ve gone to the Grand Forks Choral Society concert. Let the season begin.”

Ten per cent of proceeds will go towards the Boundary Family and Individual Services Society (BFISS).

“When Joan decides we were doing A Child’s Christmas in Wales she thought it would be really nice if we gave money to BFISS,” explained Gillmor. “What BFISS has is a fund, called the Community Recreation and Learning Fund, and they provide what’s needed to the community.”

BFISS Executive Director Leda Leander said, “It’s a fund that was created a number of years ago to assist children and youth who may not have the opportunities to participate in different recreational and learning opportunities, such as taking music classes or taekwondo.”

A Child’s Christmas in Wales will be held on Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. in the Grand Forks

Secondary School auditorium.

Tickets are available at Thistle Pot Gifts, Gallery 2 and at the door, and the program can be found in the Dec. 7 issue of the Gazette.

The choral society currently has 40 members but people are invited to join during the months of September and January. These two months are when the choral society begins to prepare for their upcoming concerts.

Download a copy of the program here.