Taking Off! Phoenix in 1985/1986

Anonymous's picture
April 28, 2013 - 11:35am -- Anonymous (not verified)

You know your choir is well on its way when it can finally tour.

Not once, but twice - in one season (if only to Nanaimo). Now, that's progress!

Phoenix' third season started off with a retreat back at Deb Mehes (Gibson)’s newly renovated cabin at Brunswick Beach. What a gorgeous location! And, among our new members that year we welcomed two singers who were to stay with us for decades…Charlene Gallaher and Margaret Barry.

Our fall concert was at Shaughnessy Heights United. The warm atmosphere, beautiful sanctuary, and lovely acoustic made us feel at home, and so we continued to concertize there for a long, long time...27 years, to be exact!

Our first tour in November 1985 took us to Nanaimo where we joined the Malaspina Choir under the direction of Terry Pitt-Brooke, now the director of the North Shore Singers, for a joint concert (thanks for inviting us, Terry!)  We enjoyed the experience so much that we returned in May 1986 to put on our own concert. In the fall, Terry commissioned one of our singers Richard Kidd to compose a setting of “Can Doleful Notes”, one of many pieces Richard composed for Phoenix. And in the spring, once again Ron Smail provided us with three more fabulous and hugely popular arrangements of old standards to add to his growing collection. Ron’s arrangements were a signature of the Phoenix sound for many, many years.

From the very beginning, one of the most wonderful things about Phoenix was not just the beautiful music we made together, but that we were friends who liked to hang out together. Hence, the very First Annual Beach Badminton Croquet Frisbee Tournament and Beer Barbeque (known from then on simply as the Beer Barbeque - hey, it was the 80s!) held at Spanish Banks in July 1986.  And the Phoenix family was growing...there was a new Kidd on the block! Rachel Kidd, daughter of Richard and Janet was born in April 1985 and can be seen perched upon Dad’s shoulders.  The first, but not the last, Phoenix baby to be born along the way...

In 1985/1986 Phoenix was...

Sopranos Altos Tenors Basses

Margaret Barry

Janet Kidd

Rosemary Lister (Lindsay)

Josie Martens

Carolyn Tupper

Celine Chaput

Charlene Gallaher

Deborah Mehes (Gibson)

Barb Paul

Joy Smith

Michael Bruce

Stephen Grant

Giles Gysel

Ron Smail

John Whyte

Elliott Dainow

Richard Kidd

Al McLellan

Ian McEwan

Bill Paul

Bill Vermeulen

If you're enjoying the Phoenix History Project, please be sure to leave us your email address so we can keep in touch with you in the future.  More to come next week - on to Season 4 in 1986/1987!

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