The Chamber Singers from TWU perform Saturday night at the Langley Canadian Reformed Church.

Langley Chamber Singers rejoice with two concerts this weekend

In an Arts in Brief column, the Langley Advance offers tidbits about a few events coming up around town, and the release of a new record.

Trinity Western University’s (TWU’s) first choral concert of the year, called In Every Season, takes place at the Langley Canadian Reformed Church on Saturday, Nov. 5, at 7:30 p.m.

TWU’s School of the Arts, Media+Culture (SAMC) presents what they call a night of uplifting choral music featuring an elite, 18-voice ensemble called the Chamber Singers.

They’re actually performing both  Nov. 4 and 5, first in Abbotsford and then in Langley.

The Chamber Singers will perform with a professional string quintet, piano, and organ. The evening is a rich musical journey ranging from poetic, contemplative pieces to lively American gospel.

Major works of the night include J.S. Bach’s cantata, Der Herr denket an uns, and Psalm 23 set to music.

Both pieces feature local student soloists: Sarah Quinn, Katrina Reynolds, and Anna-Marie Ryan.

Every fall, the Chamber Singers perform a different Bach cantata, and this year it is a work originally composed to celebrate a wedding.

It features a soprano aria and a baroque instrumental ensemble.

Psalm 23 is a little-known cantata by contemporary Canadian composer Robert Ingari.

“Through the work’s five movements, we follow the narrative arc of the psalm, concluding with a triumphant setting of I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever,” concert organizers said.

TWU has the privilege of presenting one of the first performances of this cantata.

“This concert promises to be a spiritually uplifting experience that reflects on God’s presence in all seasons of life,” organizers said.

“Different pieces bring different seasons to mind, from the hope of new beginnings in Bright Morning Stars Are Rising to the sunset of the peaceful Lutkin benediction that closes the concert.

The Canadian classic, Rise Up, My Love, My Fair One illustrates the beauty of love, while an upbeat Finnish song depicts a moment of gratitude and soaring joy, organizers elaborated.

“The rich and vivid poetry of pieces such as I Am the Still Rain Falling complements sacred works that illuminate well-known biblical texts in a new way.”

The first concert is being held Friday, Nov. 4 at Emmanuel Free Reformed Church in Abbotsford, while the Saturday concert is at the Langley Canadian Reformed Church.

Both concerts are at 7:30 p.m. For tickets and details are available online at www.twu.ca/samc or at 604-513-2173.

CAPTION: Ryan and Laura Koch – The Kwerks

Holiday EP released

Langley-based band, The Kwerks, released their second record of 2016 in the form of a holiday EP.

Laura and Ryan Koch, a duo that front the band, wrapped up in the studio in early October and released the fresh new tracks Nov. 1.

The folk-pop band has begun to make a name for itself during the past year with its “popular and catchy” song, Freight Train, which has caught the ears of radio stations across the country, Laura shared.

Showing up on the college radio Earshot Charts (CiTR #10 – Oct 18, CIVL #24 – Oct 25) their debut EP was released last April and has propelled them into the limelight throughout the Lower Mainland, Laura elaborated.

This summer they were seen on stages throughout Langley, Abbotsford, and Chilliwack, as well as being featured performers at the inaugural Fraser Valley Music Awards – for which they were nominated in the pop category.

“I’ve been doing music for years, but have only shared it with the public this past year, and it’s really affirming to see how well received it is,” said Laura, the band’s writer and leader.

“The new tracks have been picked up by a handful of local and not so local radio stations across the country for play during the holidays, and have received some excellent reviews,” she said.

Terry David Mulligan, with Roundhouse and CKUA Radio, offered feedback to the band.

“I spend weeks gathering outstanding tracks and artists for my Christmas shows. I’m happy to say The Kwerks new EP is perfect. The tunes are in keeping with the Season but sound fresh and smart,” Mulligan said.

The group, which performs in various different forms – ranging from a duo to a full band of six – was looking forward to putting out the new record just in time for the beginning of the holiday season, Laura said.

“The hope is to release some fresh music into the mix. Everyone loves the classic holiday songs, but there’s something great about hearing something fresh and new that stirs you up and gets you more connected with the holidays.” Laura said.

The record will consist of four songs that Laura wrote during the past year. They range from what she calls the ambient and haunting Into the Forest to the bluegrass country hoedown Lights.

More information is available at www.thekwerks.com.

CAPTION: Kat Wahamaa and Tony Rees will be performing at the Fort Gallery Nov. 10.

Mixing up the days

On the first Thursday of the month, Fort Gallery typically hosts a visual artists, writers, poets, and musicians from the community, asking them to share their gifts and creations.

This month, however, they’re actually holding it on the second Thursday (Nov. 10) and featuring folk, jazz, and blues duo Kat Wahamaa and Tony Rees.

“With their eclectic tastes in music, harmonic sensibilities and ability to fashion timeless tunes Kat and Tony bring to mind everything from Emmylou & Gram to Gilberto & Jobim, k.d. lang, Dave Alvin, and Peggy Lee,” said gallery manager Margaret Campbell.

“ They have delighted audiences from Ashcroft to Azilda, Kagoshima to Crete. In September 2016 they received a mission MUSE Award for Music and were recently nominated for a Fraser Valley Music Award in the jazz category,” Campbell boasted.

Kat and Tony write and play beautiful music together and are life partners, too.

“A theme of finding joy in the fundamentals runs through the songs, whether you are down on your luck or surrounded by stuff,” Campbell said.

Also featured at this month’s First Thursday are gallery artists and couple David Kimura and Suzanne Northcott, who will talk about their work in our current exhibit Ode.

The gallery is open Wednesdays to Sundays, from noon to 5 p.m. at 9048 Glover Rd. in Fort Langley.

More information is available online at www.fortgallery.ca or by calling 604-888-7411.

 

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