Island Voices Chamber Choir

Founded in 1997 by a core group of singers led by the late Frances Keen, the choir has been committed to excellence in singing high quality choral music for 20+ seasons.

Mission Statements:

1. Strive for musical perfection in the performance of good quality choral music. 

2. Enrich the cultural lives of rural areas by making quality choral music more accessible and working cooperatively with other artistic and cultural groups.

3. Promote Canadian composers and arrangers of choral music, both within Canada and internationally.

 The choir has built a loyal following in its home communities of Campbell River, Comox Valley and Discovery Islands.

New Director for Island Voices

Choir welcomes Dr. John Hooper

This spring will be a time of transition for Island Voices Chamber Choir. Like all arts groups, the choir has been severely affected by Covid-19, but as founding member Jo-Anne Preston states, “We are alive and well and looking forward to a bright future”.

When former musical director Jenn Forsland announced she was leaving, the choir knew it would be a challenge to find someone with such strong conducting skills and such passion for choral music. “I was surprised at the quality of the candidates who applied,” says Preston “and we are so very pleased to welcome Dr. John Hooper into our choir community.”

Dr. Hooper comes to us from Edmonton, where his conducting career was centred at Concordia University. He conducted the concert choir and community chorus, and founded Sine Nomine, a choir composed of Concordia Alumni. He taught many music courses, as well as administering the School of Music. Recently, Hooper conducted the chamber and concert choirs at King’s University. He has conducted international music exams for the London College of Music for many years, and has been a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator at international ensemble festivals such as the Singapore Youth Festival. 

As a choral conductor, Hooper is “passionate about developing chamber choirs, getting to know individual singers – as musicians and as people - and connecting them to each other and to those who listen to them.”  He is excited to be starting this new chapter, saying, “I envision a strong future for Island Voices, building off its solid foundations and the strong commitment of its singers.”

Hooper and the choir members are eager to begin working together, in whatever form health regulations allow. Possibilities for April include more of the popular VIP nights hosted at Coastal Black Winery, a video recording, or a mini-concert of some sort. “When planning for the future in times of Covid-19, the key is definitely flexibility,” says Hooper. “We will do what we can this spring, and hopefully, we can all have a more normal singing experience in the fall. I’m already working on a program for late November!” Hooper is also very keen to make musical connections and looks forward to future partnerships in the community. He can be contacted through Island Voices’ website (www.islandvoiceschamberchoir.bc.ca) or at islandvoiceschamberchoir@gmail.com .

But it is not right to welcome the new without saying good-bye to the old. Since its founding by the late Frances Keen in 1997, Island Voices has been committed to “singing excellent music excellently”. Jenn Forsland, for the last 6 ½ years, led the choir with energy, creativity, skill and patience. Under her direction, the choir grew, both in size and in quality, and the choir will be eternally grateful. “My tenure with the choir has been rich and rewarding,” she states, “and I am grateful for our collective growth. A change in directorship marks the start of new opportunities for me and the choir. I am excited for the next chapter in the story of Island Voices and I look forward to hearing the choir sing with John as conductor. I continue to be a devoted fan and an avid supporter of the community and their beautiful music”.

For more information contact Jo-Anne Preston, jo-anne.preston@shaw.ca,  250-337-5730

Video- We Love to Sing

Island Voices is seeking experienced tenors and basses who can read music for the current season. Please email islandvoiceschamberchoir@gmail.com for more information.

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