David Pasivirta sang on stage at The Arts Station as part of the Fernie Community Choir’s Oktoberfest celebrations. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Fernie Community Choir celebrates Oktoberfest

On Friday, October 20, the Fernie Community Choir hosted an Oktoberfest Concert, a singalong featuring maritime, work, and drinking songs which brightened up the long October nights.

On Friday, October 20, the Fernie Community Choir hosted an Oktoberfest Concert, a singalong featuring maritime, work, and drinking songs which brightened up the long October nights.

Led by the talented and enthusiastic David Pasivirta, the group sang songs which resulted in many laughs.

An interactive show, the 35 choir members encouraged participation from the 100 eager crowd members. This was the first-ever Oktoberfest Concert produced by the local choir group.

“This is a new thing for us,” said Pasivirta.

Oktoberfest typically coincides with the celebration of the harvest. To the choir, it’s a reason to celebrate.

At the end of the concert, the group concluded with ‘The Parting Glass’.

“We’ve all be united by tragedy this week, and music has the power to unite everybody,” said Pasivirta, who believes that despite beliefs, music has the power to bring a community together.

In between songs in the first half of the concert, Pasivirta addressed the crowd. He shared that while singing, each member of the choir’s heart is beating close to the exact same rate, as they are all breathing at the same time.

Typically, the group spends 12 weeks preparing for their annual Christmas concert, but thought they had enough repertoire under their belts to perform an autumn concert as well. This trip served as a fundraiser for their trip to Banff in April, where they will be performing at the Canadian Rocky Mountain Music Festival.

According to Pasivirta, the level here is very high, and it’s an honour to be accepted to perform.

“We were accepted to sing there, and I think we’ll learn a ton from the expert choirs,” he said.

He spoke to many talented groups, some as close as Nelson and Edmonton. As there will many musical groups of varying genres attending, including jazz bands and jazz choirs, the Fernie Community Choir will be focusing on their knowledge as a chamber choir, being the size that they are.

Between now and then, they may attempt to learn a song called the Hymn of Acxiom, a song with a progressive theme, addressing the pros and cons of surveillance, something that has become a regular practice for marketing-data company, Acxiom.

It encompasses lyrics such as, ‘somebody hears you’, and ‘someone is gathering every crumb you drop’.

“Super creepy and weird and beautiful,” said Pasivirta.

These tunes will be judged by expert adjudicators from all over Canada.

The Fernie Community Choir is always looking for new members. Every Tuesday night they meet at The Arts Station, 7 p.m. There is a nominal fee for membership. No experience is necessary.

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