Choir celebrates 20 years 

Sea to Sky Singers reunion and concert Oct. 4 and 5

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO - Making beautiful music together The Sea to Sky Singers has had over 240 singers from the region as members of the choir over the years.
  • File Photo
  • Making beautiful music together The Sea to Sky Singers has had over 240 singers from the region as members of the choir over the years.

Over the years, Colleen Coop believes 240-plus altos, sopranos and baritones have sung with the Sea to Sky Singers.

Now that the Squamish-based group, which has members from around the Sea to Sky region, has turned 20, she wants to bring them together for a massive reunion.

"A year ago is when I started thinking about this, I realized that 20 years was coming up and this would be a great way to celebrate. Let's start reconnecting with former members of the choir and that's what we're trying to do," Coop says.

It hasn't always been easy to find alumni.

"When we started we didn't use email, and we had to make a few phone calls," she says.

Six members remain from the class of 1994, says Coop, who founded the group.

"I think back to the very first performance we did and we had close to 70 members in the choir. We did our first performance at Brennan Park (in Squamish) and there were over 500 people in there. It was unreal," Coop says.

Coop fondly recalls many great moments, including gospel workshops and a marriage of two members, with a mock hillbilly wedding at their year-end party.

She hopes many former singers and fans will take part.

"The number of people we'll have there is something we're still working on. We're using our social media to connect and I had about 120 emails in order to connect, but there are still lots of people to connect with. We want everyone to come."

The anniversary homecoming takes place at St. John's Anglican Church in Squamish on Saturday, Oct. 4 and Sunday, Oct. 5, with Coop, the founding artistic director, and current artistic director Veronica McPhee hoping many former performers will turn up to sing.

"We've chosen music that represents the last 20 years," Coop says.

"On the Saturday afternoon (of) the reunion, the guys will do a piece that will feature just them. The ladies will do a piece. And then we'll have a little social time in the evening."

On the Sunday will be two concerts, a matinee at 3 p.m. and an evening concert at 6 p.m. — in between there will be a little open house. There will be a display of our uniforms and different things we've done over the years, pictures and things like that."

The selections include "Rhythm of Life," "We Rise Again" (with McPhee as the soprano soloist), "The Kontakion" (with assistant director Aaron Purdie as soloist), "Dance, Dance, Dance" (with former assistant Shannon Grantham on accordion), "River in Judea" (by the male singers) and "It's Raining Men" (by the female singers).

"It's going to be a short program but we're also going to have a Christmas medley, because 20 years is more than just our spring term," Coop says. "But overall, it is an opportunity to get together and share. We've got some great pictures... there are plenty of fun things to remember."

Coop says any former singers are welcome and she would like to hear from them at seatoskysingers@gmail.com. There is also a Facebook page, STSS 20th Anniversary.

And the reunion will also be the end of an era, with Coop leaving the region shortly afterwards to move home to Manitoba after years away.

"I've always looked forward to singing and creating programs. We have such a great group of people," Coop says.

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