Janet Schackl, left, and Raphael Wagner work with the Sea Notes in advance of a Christmas concert at the Capitol Theatre.

Alberni choirs join for winter show

Three Port Alberni choirs are getting ready for a seasonal performance on Dec. 4.

Three local choirs are preparing for a winter show and a group of adult singers recently attended a training workshop with a special guest.

On November 12, Raphael Wagner, a Vancouver Island-based singer, instrumentalist and recording artist, spent the day with the Sea Notes to work on vocals. She has been working with the group for the past two years and has seen noticeable improvements.

“We have been working on vocal techniques and musical dynamics,” Wagner said.

In the recent past, she has also worked with the Capitol Glees and Wee Glees, two youth choirs for children from five to 16 years of age. Under the direction of Janet Schlackl, the popularity of the choirs has been steadily increasing. The Sea Notes has responded to the demand by increasing membership to thirty singers, up from twenty-five.

“The choirs here are learning choirs, so we provide education around vocal principles and breathing,” Schlackl said. “Singing is a progressional thing to work on and everyone can continually learn.”

The youth will be attending the Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival next Spring where they will compete and attend clinics.

“This is a big experience for them,” Schlackl said. “They went last year and did well and (the festival) extended an invitation to us again this year.”

Schlackl said the addition of the choirs at the Capitol add to the opportunities for the performers and many have taken part in other of the theatre’s events. They are currently focusing on the upcoming show, however, entitled There Is Peace.

Each group will have its own set of numbers and the Glees will join the Sea Notes for two songs.

“We have reached a level where we can attack new pieces and have one piece with ten lines of harmony, which is quite significant,” Schlackl said.

That is what Wagner was in town helping with. Raised in Comox and currently residing in Nanaimo, Wagner said she enjoys being involved with the arts community in Port Alberni and is doing her part to help it flourish.

“I am really impressed with the arts in Port Alberni, especially considering the size of the town,” she said. “The appreciation for the arts here is phenomenal.”

Wagner will accompany the three choirs for the winter concert. She will perform three numbers and join the group for the finale.

“We think it is great to have her join us,” Schlackl said. “She has a beautiful voice and it is a good opportunity to share it with the community.”

The show takes place on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 7pm at the Capitol Theatre. Tickets can be purchased at the box office.

For information on joining any of the choirs, call 250-723-1195 between 3pm and 6pm weekdays.

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