In 2013/2014 we were embarking on our 31st season as a choir, but the first order of business was to really pull out all the stops and celebrate our 30th anniversary! Having completed our first year with Graeme Langager at the helm, we now knew what to expect: fast-paced, invigorating and inspiring rehearsals! Our first rehearsal was in our new home at Holy Trinity Anglican Church on September 10th, where we met our newest members.
The following weekend we held our fall retreat in Squamish where we were introduced to the rest of the season’s repertoire and got a good head start on it. It was a gorgeous weekend, and we also managed to have a bit of a party where we all bonded immediately!
There was a lot of planning to do to prepare for the 30th Anniversary concert. We were very lucky to hire Michelle Herrewynen as our choir manager and she immediately jumped in and began to work hard on all aspects of our organization.
October 26th was a very full day. We attended the B.C. Music Educator’s Conference as the demonstration choir for Dr. Langager’s choral conducting session. Then we headed up the road for the first annual Wine and Cheese reception at Barb Paul’s to thank all our donors and volunteers. The choir sang for the guests and we all got a chance to enjoy each other’s company.
Our 30th Anniversary concert was held November 9th at Shaughnessy Heights United Church. We were delighted to welcome back so many Phoenix alumni and have them join us for our last few pieces. Barb was very startled but thrilled to be pulled out of the choir and serenaded by the men’s chorus in honour of her 31 years with Phoenix! As the audience made their way to the reception for cake, speeches and toasts, they were each presented with a gift bag containing a CD, chocolate and a thank you card. What a wonderful evening!
The Phoenix Christmas concert was held at Ryerson United Church on December 22, and we were once again blessed to have member Janet Nordstrand’s talented Sound Wave Handbell Choir as our special guests, adding that festive sparkle to our beautiful Christmas repertoire and readings.
A very busy spring season lay ahead. The Board met at Brian Day’s home on Saturday January 11th for a very worthwhile daylong Vision and Strategy meeting…who can forget the wall full of sticky notes with all of our thoughts and visions for Phoenix?
The following Saturday was our Spring Retreat and Frank Lee hosted it at Seycove High School. We discovered how school boards are saving money – no heat on the weekends! We worked extra hard to keep warm.
The retreat helped with our preparation for several concerts over the next few months. We were very lucky to have the chance to perform to a full house at the Chan Centre as the guests of the UBC University Singers on Saturday, April 5th.
On April 12th, we performed for other choirs at the Kiwanis Festival. Queen’s Avenue United Church included us in their concert series on May 3rd. And, Phoenix wrapped up the concert season with “Fleur” on May 10th, at Holy Trinity Anglican Church. What a full and exciting season we had for our 30th Anniversary!
But wait! It wasn’t quite finished! The following Monday, May 12th, we returned to the Chan to finish up our recording for a new CD to be released in the fall of 2014, featuring Terry Dawson on piano accompaniment for Mid-Winter Songs by Morten Lauridsen. The following evening we met once more for our Young Composers workshop and read through some very interesting new works.
Of course it would not be Phoenix if the real finish to the season wasn’t a pool party! Happy 30th anniversary, Phoenix!
In 2013/2014, Phoenix was…
Why not check out the recap for Season 32 in 2014-2015? Click here...