Good Life Here
Chronos Vocal Ensemble
Saturday, Jan. 18, at 2 p.m.
St. Albert Catholic Parish
7 St. Vital Ave.
Admission by donation
For the past four consecutive years, Edmonton’s Chronos Vocal Ensemble has performed a concert at St. Albert Parish.
The 32-member a cappella choir returns once more on Saturday, Jan. 18, to fill the space with a beautiful sound that floats throughout the church and makes the hair on listeners’ arms stand on end.
“It’s a chance for the choir to reach out to a larger audience. We’ve built up a following in the past few years and we have plenty of beautiful music,” said artistic director Jordan Van Biert.
This year, the ensemble performs Good Life Here, a 90-minute concert of the most cherished music from the choir’s past six seasons.
“We’re going to be look at living Canadian composers in preparation for our next tour. Basically it’s our greatest hits, some classic picks, and some songs that our singers and audiences have loved.”
In March, Chronos embarks on its first international six-day tour to Idaho and Washington, where the ensemble will present a featured performance for the American Choral Directors Association.
“We are the only Canadian group. It’s a huge feather in our cap and it’s a huge opportunity to champion Canadian music beyond our borders.”
Some of the remarkable flag-boosting music the choir will promote includes Cree composer Andrew Balfour’s Ambe. Full of rhythmic drive and energy, it comes from an Ojibwa text that was gifted by traditional drummer and singer Cory Campbell to Balfour and the University of Manitoba Concert Choir.
“It is a call to the good life, an invocation to all people,” Van Biert said.
Another piece is Dr. Paul A. Aitken’s Au clair de la lune published in 2019 and is due for a soft premiere in St. Albert.
“It’s an original composition of music, but the text was taken from a folk song.”
Chronos also brings back Vancouver composer Kristopher Fulton’s I’ll Drown My Book, a dramatic setting from William Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
“We try to approach our music with the spirit of professionalism but also with the best aspects of an amateur ensemble – the time, the skill, the heart and a lot of love for the art we practice. And the inquisitiveness of what can be learned that is unique and special,” said Van Biert.
He also encourages music lovers to support Starlight Soiree, a gala evening and auction to support the Washington-Idaho tour. Information is available at chronosvocalensemble.com.
As for the St. Albert Parish concert, Van Biert states, “We are going to be polished and this will be a great opportunity to hear us and make some new friends.”