Cariboo Festival Society president Ann Smith welcomed the audience, acknowledging it is the 61st festival.

Cariboo Festival kicks off with choir concert

Tradition of choir concert offers an evening of enjoyment

The Evangelical Free Church was alive with the sounds of music Monday evening.

With the 61st Cariboo Festival underway in the lakecity until April 19, organizers used the end of the first day of the festival for a non-competitive evening featuring local choirs.

“We are proud to be here tonight,” Cariboo Festival Society president Ann Smith said as she welcomed the audience.

“This choir concert has become a tradition and it is always a joyful time.”

Smith said presently the society is comprised of 12 volunteers — all women — who organize the arts festival.

“We wouldn’t mind it if a few men wanted to join the society.”

Through donations, sponsorships, entry fees and the society’s recycled bottle account at Amanda’s, the society launches the festival each year, she added.

Six choirs took to the stage, including Angela Sommer’s Angelkeys singing groups including her Children’s Choir, Coda Choirs for nine to 17 years old and Just For Fun women’s choir.

Sommer’s Angelkeys Children’s Choir’s five little girls started off the evening, with some great action songs, including Ed the Invisible Dragon and We are the Dinosaurs, who by the way, were responsible for “flattening the Earth.”

As Sommer invited all three choirs up to sing together at one point for a mass choir, she recalled growing up in Europe where everyone sang together.

“We were kids and we got to sing with the adults and it was fun,” she said.

Together the mass choir performed Witch Doctor and Lollipop, with both songs inspiring the audience to sing along.

One of the highlights of the night was when the Just For Fun Choir sang a rendition of Say Something with re-written lyrics penned by choir member Renee Lozeau.

Lozeau is a member of the local chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse Canada that supports child abuse victims when they have to go to court.

Sommer said the Just For Fun Choir is funded by the Women’s Contact Society and other anonymous donors.

“We live in a great community,” she said of the generosity, noting donations pay for the music scores.

The evening closed off with the Cariboo Men’s Chorus and Quintet Plus.

The men’s chorus sang a collection of well-known songs, including What a Wonderful World and On the Street Where You Live from My Fair Lady.

Quintet Plus finished off the evening with songs such as George Gershwin’s Summertime and the traditional spiritual song, Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child.

Dates and adjudicators biographies are available on the festival website at cariboofestival.ca.

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Angela Sommer directs the Just For Fun choir.

Angelkeys choir director Angela Sommer.

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