Choir leader and music teacher Angela Sommer brought two gold-winning choirs to Cariboo Festival this year.
Her Angelkeys Children’s Choir and Just for Fun Ladies Vocal Group were both presented with Gold awards during the special choir evening held Monday at St. Andrew’s United Church.
The Just for Fun Ladies Vocal Group was started two years ago by a group of five women who felt they “couldn’t” sing but wanted to.
“Our tag line was ‘We are just for fun and make a joyful noise,’” Sommer says.
“Now the group has close to 30 members who sang so joyfully during their festival presentations that the adjudicator, Erica Northcott, awarded them not only Gold standing but high point adult choir winners of the festival.
When the award was announced by festival president Ann Smith there was an audible gasp of disbelief among the women’s choir members, who had just finished their songs.
They were up against the more experienced Quintet Plus and Cariboo Men’s Choir in the festival competition — choirs which also received gold standing.
Quintet Plus choir leader and high school band teacher, Laura Eilers, won the choir directorship award.
During the concert Monday Just for Fun Ladies Vocal Group joined the Cariboo Men’s Choir in singing The Rose, then for their individual performances they sang Tell My Ma; Sentimental Journey, California Dreamin’ and Mairi’s Wedding.
During the past two years, Sommer says the Just for Fun group, has performed at Relay for life, the Children’s Wish Breakfast, International Women’s Day, Earth Day Celebrations and is planning to participate in many community events this spring and summer.
The Just for Fun Ladies Vocal Group is open to women 16 years of age and older.
Participation is free and no singing knowledge or ability to read music is necessary.
“We deal with that during practices,” Sommer says.
“We choose our songs as a group and make up harmonies and parts as we go,” Sommer says. “It’s never quite the same twice!”
She says the choir is grateful to the Women’s Contact Society which supports the choir financially and also provides free childcare. The festival win also comes with a cash award.
The Just for Fun Ladies Vocal Group meets every Friday evening from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at St. Peter’s Anglican Church right after the Angelkeys Children’s Choir which practices at 6:30 p.m. on Friday evenings and also participates in many community events throughout the year.
“Every child should have the opportunity to sing with others,” Sommer says of her Angelkeys Children’s Choir, which is open to all children ages five to 10.
The fee is $45 per child for each three-month session.
“The children receive a booklet and CD with all the songs we are doing,” Sommer says.
“The emphasis is always on fun,” Sommer says. “Music should be fun! My goal is to allow the children to give back to their community and create wonderful memories.
“When I grew up I was invited to sing and play all over the small communities close to where I lived in Germany and later throughout Europe.
“It was a great experience as a child and then as a teen and young adult performer which I still cherish today.”