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Phoenix Season 7 - At the Top of our Game in 1989/1990

26 May. 2013 Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Season Seven was a time of great celebration for Phoenix – but boy, were we busy!

Our very first weekend in September included both a Saturday retreat at Barb and Bill’s and a prestigious concert on the Sunday at the Orpheum Theatre for the Governor General of Canada. Cortland’s interview with radio personality Vicki Gabereau attracted a lot of attention and Cort was at his personable best.  Then, we headed up to the Sunshine Coast to Gibsons to perform in October followed by our regular fall concert at Shaughnessy Heights in November.  At that concert, we were really lucky and thrilled to premiere a work called “Creations” by John Oliver, winner of the 1989 overall best composer of the CBC Composers Competition. The piece displayed a wide variety of techniques and languages and was an exciting challenge for the choir.  And, the piece was very well received by our audience.

December was an extremely busy month (as always), but also a very exciting one. We were formally presented with the trophies for our big EBU “Let the Peoples Sing” wins! Via satellite, Phoenix was broadcast live from the UBC Recital Hall by the CBC to the national radio networks of the 18 participating countries of the European Broadcasting Union. We were formally presented with the actual Silver Rose Bowl and the Hungarian Radio Trophy. As you can imagine, much celebrating took place after the broadcast!

December also saw Phoenix performing our Christmas concert at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre for the first time, a coffee concert at the Vancouver Playhouse, the Early Edition Christmas Eve show, and the New Year’s Eve event, “First Night”.   Whew.

1990 started off with a new location for our retreat – at the Delta Airport Inn in January where we prepared new material for the Music in the Morning concert series in February. Meanwhile, we tried valiantly to raise enough money to try to get to Yugoslavia in the summer to participate in a festival as the Rose Bowl winners. Many letters went out to major corporations and other funding sources, but to no avail. It was disappointing, to say the least.

We still had many events ahead of us; our spring concert in April, a fundraising concert for the Richmond Community Music School in May, and a trip to Calgary to participate in Podium ’90, a conference for Canadian Choral Conductors. Our final May performance was White Rock on May 26th. Our annual social events – a pool party at Cort’s in July and our Beer BBQ at Spanish Banks in August – finished off a very full and rewarding year.


In 1989/1990 Phoenix was…


Sopranos Altos Tenors Basses

Margaret Barry

Sheryl DeCoste

Rosemary Lister (Lindsay)

Josie Martens

Charlene Gallaher

Deborah Mehes (Gibson)

Barb Paul

Joy Smith

David Cousins

Mark Donnelly

Scott Gould

Howard Meadows

David Sugars

Graeme Wearmouth

Paul Grindlay

Rob Hollins

Bill Paul

Grant Rowledge

Stuart Tarbuck

If you're enjoying the Phoenix History Project, please be sure to like our Facebook page or leave us your email address so we can keep in touch with you in the future.  Season 8 - 1990/1991 will be posted next week!