Get ready for a musical roller coaster as people won’t have to wait until the summer fair in Carman to see the Sonatrice Singers.
Join the group for a musical adventure later this month when this 30-voice women’s choir takes you on a musical roller coaster ride at their annual spring concerts. Under direction of local musician Brenda Doell, the choir has selected songs themed around ‘visiting the fair’ for its April 25 and 26 concert, so you’ll be uplifted by tunes that ‘Accenttchuate the Positive,’ will ride trains with ‘Choo Choo Ch’Boogie’ and the sizzling ‘Steam Heat,’ enjoy a medley from the Broadway musical ‘Annie’ and quieter tunes for reflection such as ‘Tomorrow is a Chance to Start Over’ and ‘The Arrow and the Song.’
The program is mix of sophistication and fun with oldies sure to evoke memories such as ‘Unchained Melody,’ ‘Cry Me a River’ and the samba ‘Tico Tico,’ plus familiar favourites ‘Tell My Ma’ by the Rankin family, ‘Java Jive,’ ‘Golden Slumbers’ by The Beatles and Elton John’s ‘Your Song.’ The Sonatrice Singers will also be performing several of these songs as guests of Animato at a fund-raising event April 12 for Katie Cares in Winkler. This year’s concert also features guest artists both nights. Thursday night Sonatrice welcomes Winnipeg teen buskers Kelly Hems and Halumu Takenaka, both grade nine students at Churchill High School and involved with the band program playing in concert and jazz bands.
“Halumu plays bass and violin as well as the ukulele. Kelly plays tuba and trombone, as well as ukulele, ocarina, recorder, and drums,” said choir member and Hems’ grandmother Linda McKinnon.
The young men busked at the Forks for the first time last summer and play Celtic and classical music as well as popular tunes, she said.
“Halumu came to Winnipeg from Vancouver about two years ago. He is from Japan and his family came to Canada after the tsunami there.”
On Friday night, the 18-member Carman Elementary School (CES) Grades 4 and 5 extra-curricular choir will add their youthful voices to the women’s choir in a performance of African Song, “Siyahamba” and the rousing “I Am Song — Je suis Chanson.”
“Singing creates community and connections between students in other classes and grades,” said the students’ choir teacher Melissa Spraggs, who is a member of Sonatrice.
The CES choir enjoys singing together at lunch breaks, and are challenging themselves by learning to sing in parts and other languages, she added. Sonatrice concerts will also welcome back experienced bass guitarist Bob Marginet and drummer Dan Deurbrouck this year. Their accomplished accompanist, Audrey Myers, is a founding member of the choir which in 2017 celebrated 45 years together.
Both concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Carman Community Theatre in Carman Collegiate. Tickets are priced at $15 for adults and $6 under age 17, and are available from Sonatrice members and at BenefitsRx Pharmacy. The Carman Handi-Van is available for transportation.
By Anne Hamilton and Lorraine Stevenson