Nearly 200 singers coming for Chorfest 

Amongst legions of snowboarders, skiers and partiers gathered here for the TWSSF celebrations, a contingent of almost 200 kids is set to descend on the town as part of the first ever Whistler Children's Chorfest.

The event, which is a project of the B.C. Choral Federation, provides an educational, fun experience for kids between the ages of 9 and 12 . This year, Whistler has agreed to play host to the event.

Janet Hamer is one of the conductors of the Whistler Children's Chorus, which has been in existence for almost 25 years and boasts 17 intermediate members.

"It's an amazing opportunity to get to sing with 193 other kids," Hamer said.

Our local children's chorus is just one of many groups participating in the two-day Chorfest, others are coming from Calgary, Campbell River, Pemberton, Vancouver, Victoria and White Rock to take part in the event, which offers workshops with two clinicians: Elaine Quilichini, director of the Calgary Girl's Choir, and Sarona Mynhardt, the director of the White Rock Children's Choir who specializes in African music.

The groups learn four mass choir songs and work with the clinicians to rehearse the numbers as a large group on the first two days of the Chorfest: Friday, April 24 and Saturday, April 25. Later, on Saturday evening, each choir will perform a few numbers, and then the entire group will perform the mass choir songs together.

"It's a very powerful experience to sing with that many people - it's quite amazing, actually," Hamer said.

A similar event, the annual children's Whistler Music Festival, attracts 500 high school aged choir students and 1,500 band members and is set to take place from May 7 to 10 in Whistler.

"That's really something to see - 1,500 kids all playing the same thing!" Hamer said with a laugh.

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