Most music fans know Trent Worthington through his performances with Pro Coro, but few are aware of his zeal and enduring commitment to providing young budding singers with a sound musical base.
Tomorrow the St. Albert singer picks up the baton for Pro Coro’s season finale Male Voices: The Tradition Continues at the Winspear Centre.
Joining Pro Coro’s 16 male voices are 40 young men from a network of choirs across Alberta — the Grande Prairie Boys’ Choir, Archbishop Jordan Catholic High School, Edmonton Youth Choir, Eschoir Memorial Composite High School, Strathcona Chamber Choir and Sturgeon Composite High School.
In addition the Stuttgart Boys’ Choir from Germany will be adding its lush sound. In total about 90 male voices will soar, a full-bodied sound that promises to encompass the Winspear.
This concert was added to Pro Coro three years ago in an effort to encourage young men to become involved.
“In this city and in every other city, there are less men interested in singing choral music than women,” explained Worthington. “Pro Coro provides a unique opportunity because we have a well-trained collection of singers and a good quality resource of talent that we can share with young talent.”
As well, organist Jeremy Spurgeon and cellist Martin Kloppers will accompany the choirs. “Martin plays an electric cello he built himself.”
For the most part, little is borrowed from the commercial repertoire. Part of the concert is based on 15th and 16th century music, a time when chants were still prevalent. “The first half of the concert is taken from that era, but we’re adding the electric cello and organ so it won’t be exactly as it was.”
Another concert highlight is La Guerre, a late 15th soldier’s war song. La Guerre has never been performed in the area and was collecting dust in Pro Coro’s library of music. “It’s a remarkable piece about warfare, hand-to-hand combat.”
Kloppers is also debuting two of his compositions — Alia and Cello Solo No. 13, and Brendan Lord, director of the Alberta Choral Federation, leads the choir in Dalvi Duoddar Luohti, a traditional Estonian joik. “It’s very chant-like, rhythmical, nonsensical singing. I think of it as Arctic scatting.”
Expect few love songs. “This is definitely a more robust, more masculine concert.’
Male Voices: The Tradition Continues
Pro Coro Canada
Sunday, May 24 at 2 p.m.
Tickets: $25 to $45