This concert will be a special celebration: it will be Karla Mundy’s final performance as our Artistic Director. Michael Creber, the pianist for all but three of our concerts since June 2008, and our rehearsal accompanist since September 2019, will also be signing off after this concert. Bittersweet to be sure, and a definite reason for you to be a part of this historic concert!
Karla joined the choir as a co-conductor with Brian Tate in January 2012. Sadly she had to miss her first concert with us given her daughter’s imminent birth! Karla took over the choir’s full director responsibilities when Brian retired from the choir after the May 2013 concert. Choir members quickly fell in love with Karla’s infectious, positive enthusiasm and her incredible “EverReady Battery” energy during our rehearsals. Our audiences have come to enjoy the music that she’s compiled, as well as the ease and friendliness that she brings to our concerts.
Whether you’ve attended a concert under Karla’s direction or not, this is a concert you don’t want to miss!
To celebrate our time together with Karla, she has selected a number of her favourite songs from our past repertoire, including a few songs that we learned online during the pandemic but haven’t yet had a chance to perform. She’s also added a few songs that she’s performed with her other choirs on the mainland. The repertoire for this concert is a wonderful collection of traditional spiritual, gospel, pop, African, and Afro-Cuban music, as well as some contemporary songs by Jan Kincaid, Coco Love Alcorn and Sarina Partridge.
We are so pleased to have Topazz join us as our guest for this concert. The history of this band revolves around their lead singer Gina Allan, an alumna of Island Soul Choir. When Gina left the choir, she continued to expand her voice through open-mic nights, and along the way, she found other musicians who shared her love of music. Topazz was officially created as part of a special tribute at her mom’s 90th birthday celebration. Today the band includes Billy Dee and Jerry Schnieder on vocals and guitar, Musial Dean Williams on bass and vocals, Michael Butterfield on saxophone, and Adam Telford on drums, plus Gina. Their repertoire includes a diverse collection of swing, Latin, blues, pop and rock music, to bring a memorable experience of joyful sounds to their audiences, that gets toes tapping and hands clapping. Topazz performs throughout Nanaimo and the Oceanside area in a variety of venues and situations.
Island Soul Choir is a community choir in its purest sense. The choir welcomes members from all over Vancouver Island, from Victoria to Port Hardy to Bamfield, as well as Gabriola, Salt Spring, Cortes, Lasqueti and Quadra Islands. Members don’t need to have any prior choir experience; they may not even know how to read music — they just need to love to sing. There’s definitely safety in numbers for newcomers, both in-person and online, to find their singing voice within this choir.
Island Soul Choir rehearsals are scheduled only five times per session, about a month apart, unlike traditional choirs that rehearse weekly. Now into its 17th year, the choir continues to be hugely popular in spite of (or maybe more due to) this unorthodox rehearsal format. Ever since the choir resumed after the pandemic, the choir offers membership both in person and online to broaden their reach.
NanGo Grannies will partner once again with Island Soul Choir by selling crafts in the theatre lobby before the concert and during intermission, in support of The Stephen Lewis Foundation that helps grandmothers in sub-Saharan Africa countries raise their grandchildren who have been orphaned by AIDS. The Grannies will also be selling baked goods in cooperation with Nanaimo Bakery, in support of Island Crisis Care Support that provides local housing and outreach programs to help people in crisis stabilize and find the support, resources and services they need to recover and be well. We encourage our audience to take advantage of this opportunity to support these truly worthwhile endeavours.
Fantastic! I love the upbeat music!… Loved the range of music and the enthusiasm of the choir!… Well done. A good mix of content… Enjoyed it from beginning to end!… Creative adaptations of traditional scores… Everyone had fun!… Time flew by! Lots of energy… I always find the music uplifting and come away feeling joyous!