25 Memories From 25 Years

New leadership from Jenn Forsland

In Sept 2014, Jo-Anne Preston, IV’s second conductor, passed the “baton” to Jenn Forsland, a well-known local teacher and performer. Before returning to university to get her teaching degree, Jenn had been a singer in our soprano section, and brought innovation and energy to Island Voices rehearsals and performances. 

“Really? You want us to move and sing at the same time?” 

“Of course” 

Jenn conducted Island Voices from Sept. 2014 to Nov. 2020.

A Time of Transitions 

Island Voices has always been a choir where members valued a “family” feeling, with many members remaining in the choir for many years. In-home rehearsals and pot luck dinners were part of IV’s regular routine. Sadly, IV’s first conductor, Frances Keen, fell ill with cancer in 2002, but was at the helm as much as her health would allow, even recording their second CD in 2005. When Fran’s health was precarious, long-time friend and colleague, Jo-Anne Preston, stepped in as necessary, so that Island Voices continued without missing a single rehearsal. Jo-Anne took over full time in 2006 and the choir celebrated their 10th season by performing the Vivaldi Gloria once again.

A Musical Vision 

It was the spring of 1997 and a group of Campbell River Singers was chatting in the local pub. Frances Keen shared her secret dream with friends Lorill Vining and Beth Kingston. “I’ve always wanted to have a chamber choir that sings excellent music and is top notch”. “What’s stopping you?” was the reply. The seed was sown, and within a few months 16 local musicians were singing in a circle at the former Passages Resort. At the end of the piece Fran closed her eyes. There was silence. Then she smiled. Island Voices had been born.