We needed a breather after our intensely busy summer, so we decided to focus on some fundraising performances in October rather than our traditional fall concert. To that end, we were guests once again of the Vancouver Sunrise Rotary Club’s “Celebration of the Arts” on October 14, and the next day went to Coquitlam’s Evergreen Cultural Centre to perform for a very receptive audience.
“A Phoenix Christmas” started off our official season. For the first time, we performed two shows – the first was at home at Shaughnessy Heights, and we repeated the concert the next day at the Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Surrey. The highlight was performing the world premiere of “What Child Is This?” arranged especially for Phoenix by Jonathan Rathbone, member of the Swingle Singers. He absolutely loved our performance, and sent a glowing email to tell us just how much! Of course, we followed up those Christmas concerts with our annual appearance on the CBC’s Early Edition Christmas Eve show – it just wouldn’t have been a Phoenix Christmas without it!
Our January retreat began at the Delta Pacific Hotel and moved over to Barb Paul’s house where we all (somehow) managed to have a sit down dinner together. After eating, we continued practicing for a bit before the partying began! Some of our fondest Phoenix memories are our musical gatherings as a family – singing, eating, laughing – absolutely the best!
The second part of our season started with some Phoenix innovation… Preparations were made for a brand new concert idea celebrating Valentine’s Day. The repertoire was first performed at Queen’s Avenue United as a regular concert. Then, on February 10 and 11, the hall at Shaughnessy Heights was transformed into a cozy bistro – set with tables, candlelight, sweet treats and coffee. Phoenix performed a variety of songs – all about love! – from around the world in three sets to the delight of the audience. We even had two world premieres at that concert! We performed "I Love You" - a Cole Porter tune arranged by our very own John Payne. And, "I'm Glad There is You" written by Jimmy Dorsey and arranged by our beloved Cortland Hultberg. Phoenix Family love, to be sure! In between sets, Phoenicians mingled and visited with our audience members. It was a great way to both share some wonderful music and show our thanks to our devoted supporters. Those who attended still rank those evenings as one of their all time favourite Phoenix events.
The final concert of the season was titled “Voice of the Child”, and was shared with Die Meistersinger Children’s Choir. The concert was presented twice – once at the Evergreen Cultural Centre in Coquitlam and then again at Shaughnessy Heights. A colouring contest was held for the children in the audience during the intermission, and there were so many great entries that six children were awarded with Chapters Gift certificates. Will we ever forget seeing Ramona’s mother Adel Luengen dressed up as a giant Crayola crayon? What a great sport!
Phoenix members gathered one last time that season to help celebrate Danielle Hoskins’ marriage to Bo Hamilton, by singing at the wedding service held at Minoru Chapel in Richmond. A final wrap up BBQ was held at Barb Paul’s afterwards. And now anticipation was beginning to grow in leaps and bounds for what was on the horizon for the next year…
In 2000/2001 Phoenix was…
Danielle Hamilton (Hoskins)
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