Malaspina Choir 2015-2016 Choral Season  

Final Concert: 

Gloria! Saturday, 7:30 pm, May 14, 2016

Previous Concerts & Participations

In Remembrance , Sunday, 2:30 pm, November 15, 2015

Sing-along Messiah , Sunday, 2:30 pm, December 13, 2015

     Nanaimo Sings! Choral Festival , October 16, 17 & 18, 2015.




Saturday evening, May 14,  2016, 7:30 pm

St. Andrew's United Church,  311 Fitzwilliam Street, Nanaimo

small gloria poster


Antonin Dvorak's Mass in D and John Rutter's festive anthem Gloria are featured in this concert.  Although from different periods and in contrasting musical styles, these compositions are wonderful expressions of both composers' deep personal faith and exuberant joy of life. 




Choir: Mass in D Major Antonin Dvorak

Dvorak's Mass was written in 1887 for the consecration of a country chapel on the estate of Josef Hlavka   architect, founder of the Czech Academy of the Arts and Sciences and personal friend of Dvorak.

In Dvorak's own words, "It could be called: faith, hope and love for God Almighty, and an expression of thanks for this great gift, for having been given the opportunity successfully to complete a work in praise of the Highest, and in honour of our art," as written to Josef Hlaka, a friend who commisisoned the work. It  is 'an intimate but inspired work that breathes the air of the Bohemian  countryside  with its little Baroque churches , and reflects the simple lifestyle of the rural Bohemian people.'   

Dvorak  uses  modest resources  to express  that simplicity - just  organ accompaniment  and choral music  with no complexity of parts. He later orchestrated the accompaniment at the insistence of his publisher.  The music is intimate  and sincere, with no trace of ostentation. The Mass reflects the composer's humble faith, piety and love of life - a most eloquent testament of his relationship to God and to nature. 


Victoria Brass: A selection 

Gabrieli, G.  Canzona per Sonare No. 2          
Bruckner, A. arr. by C. Garner Christus Factus est        
Susato, T. arr. J. Iveson Three Renaissance Dances - La Mourisque ,
Ronde Mon Amy, Basse Danse Bergeret   

The Victoria Brass is an exciting and entertaining brass quintet based in Victoria, BC. The group features some of the West Coast of Canada's finest musicians, showcasing the stirring sound and repertoire of the classic and contemporary brass quintet. Click here for an interesting article by Kathryn-Jane Hazeabout the role of brass in concert
Victoria Brass







Victoria Brass: from left to right: David Michaux (trumpet), Stevan Paranosic (trumpet), Alana Despins (horn), Brad Howland (trombone), Robert Fraser (bass trombone)

  Orlando di Lasso: Matona Mia Cara

Chamber Choir

Orlando di Lasso is considered one of the greatest composers of polyphonic music of the Renaissance. This madrigal never fails to delight.

 Gabriel Faure: the Dolly Suite

Piano Duet: Peter Orme and Sharon Wishart: 

The Dolly Suite, Op. 56, is a collection of pieces for piano four-hands by Gabriel Faure. It consists of short pieces written or revised between 1893 and 1896, to mark the birthdays and other events in the life of the daughter of the composer's mistress.

Peter Orme

Peter Orme, organist

Born and raised in England, Peter's love of liturgical music led to an Organ Scholarship at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and then the Royal Academy of Music, where his mentors included Peter Le Huray, Arnold Richardson, and Sir David Willcocks. In 1969, he became Director of Music at Ridley College in Ontario, where he also taught in the music departments at Brock and Wilfrid Laurier Universities.

He has performed numerous organ recitals and accompanied choirs in England, Canada, Bermuda, and the United States. In Toronto, he was Chorus Master for St. Anne's Music and Drama Society, which has performed the Gilbert and Sullivan canon for over fifty years.

Here in Nanaimo he was the Music Director at St. Paul's Anglican Church for 10 years where he established a traditional Anglican choral programme, a highlight of which was the annual Christmas Festival of Lessons and Carols. He performs regularly with local musical groups on Vancouver Island, including the Island Consort, and Malaspina Choir. He is currently Music Director at St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church.

Sharon Wishart

Sharon Wishart Sharon Wishart is a well-known member of British Columbia's musical community as an educator and as a performer. She was the official accompanist for the B.C. Festival of the Arts for 10 years, regularly accompanies singers and instrumentalists and was the Musical Director at St. Paul's Anglican and Gabriola United Churchs. She has also sung with various small orchestras and choral societies in B.C., including the Nanaimo Symphony, Mount Benson Symphony, and Parksville Musical Association and performed as accompanist or singer in such concert series as Morning Musicale, Vancouver Mozart Society and the Victoria Art Gallery. Sharon also appeared as both accompanist and vocalist with Vancouver Opera Association, in the chorus, and on tour. She accompanied Academy West, one of our finest BC Youth Choirs, including a performance at the Sydney Opera House while on tour in Australia. In May 2013, Sharon was honored to receive the BC Choral Federation's Joyce O. Maguire Award for long-term excellence in choral accompanying.

Gloria John Rutter with Peter Orme, Organ and Victoria Brass Ensemble

Originally commissioned for Mel Olsen and his choir and first performed in Omaha, USA  on 5 May,1974, one cannot listen to John Rutter's three-movement "Gloria" and come away unmoved. It is by turns touching and thrilling, alternating soaring vocal lines with contemporary harmonies, catchy rhythms. The incisive, punchy, syncopated brass opening lingers memorably, setting the scene for some spectacular vibrant singing.

Rutter is one of the most prolific and popular choral composers of our time. Choirs around the world love performing his lovely melodic, lyrical and expressive music. The Gloria, in three movements, is somewhat different from his usual style.  It is a dynamic, celebratory, festive work with brass, percussion and organ accompaniment.  The first and last movements are fast, exciting and rhythmically complex with constantly changing meters and a brilliant brass fanfare-like introduction and interjections. The middle movement provides a slow, sustained and expressive contrasting interlude with choir, soloists and organ.  


Tickets now available from the Port Theatre or online here




In  Remembrance

Sunday afternoon, November 15, 2015, 2:30 pm

St. Andrew's United Church,  311 Fitzwilliam Street, Nanaimo

  1. In Remembrance poster Malaspina's fall concert falls on November 15, a few days after Remembrance Day.  In commemoration of Armistice Day and the 70 th  anniversary of the end of WWII, the choir's concert is dedicated to our war veterans with music reflecti ng the themes of war and peace. The concert's title is  iconic and self-evident. It is also the title of one of the movements from a  Requiem which is the featured work on the program.  Composed by contemporary Canadian composer Eleanor Daley the work uses texts from the traditional Roman Catholic requiem mass, biblical psalms and contemporary poetry . The composition blends liturgical-type chant with a modern musical style fused into reflective, expressive, very beautiful music. The first half of the concert also includes an excerpt from German composer Felix Mendelssohn's  Elijah , French composer Gabriel Faure's  Cantique de Jean Racine  and Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi's  Beatus Vir .

The second half of the concert is somewhat lighter in tone but still keeping to the theme of war and peace.  Popular WWII songs White Cliffs of Dover , I'll Be Seeing You and Waltzing Mathilda plus Canadian composer Paul Halley's humorous Soldier Wont You Marry Me? are featured and the concert ends with Oscar Peterson's jazzy Hymn to Freedom .

The choir is delighted to have as its music guests soprano soloist Skye Donald, the Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra under their director Karl Rainer and Nanaimo's award-winning Nanaimo Youth Choir directed by Marian Smith.

Special Guests :

Skye Donald, soprano

Skye Donald, soprano

Vancouver Island born and raised, Errington coloratura soprano Skye Donald is a well-known local singer. She has appeared locally in recital series with Vancouver Island Opera and Nanaimo Opera, as a soloist for the Parksville & District Community Chorus, Malaspina Choir and Island Consort, and regularly at St. Stephen's United Church where she serves as the choir director. In June 2015, she presented a solo recital of Arie Antiche in Qualicum Beach. In 2013, is appeared in the role of Buttercup for ECHO's 2013 production of HMS Pinafore. A former student of Sharon Wishart and Erica Northcott (Douglas College, New Westminster), Skye has a mature dramatic coloratura voice and natural acting ability. This fall, Skye will be providing solos for the Island Consort, Malaspina Choir (Eleanor Daley's "Requiem"), and the Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra (Alessandro Scarlatti's "Cantata Pastorale Nitivita di Gesu Signore"). She will also be starring in Nanaimo Opera's first-ever production as the Mother in "Amahl and the Night Visitors".

  Nanaimo Youth Choir

Nanaimo Youth Choir

Nanaimo Youth Choiris an auditioned, community choir for youth ages 5 to 19. Founded in 1992 by Marian Smith, we are a  division of the  Nanaimo Conservatory of Music.   Since its beginning, the Nanaimo Youth Choirhas p erformed frequently at community and competitive events, and has received numerous local,r egional and national awards.


Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra

Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra

T he Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra is a community-based string orchestra numbering approximately 25 musicians. Members include experienced professionals, dedicated amateurs and talented young musicians. The age range of the membership spans about 70 years, from mid-teens to the mid-80s. Although all the NCO musicians are passionate about playing music, there exists a variety of backgrounds in the group--lawyers, nurses, business executives, teachers, electricians, realtors, computer geeks, dental hygienists.

 - click here to see the proposed concert program.

Adults $20, Students $10    $5 Children under 12 free

Veterans admitted free upon presentation of Veterans' card at the door

  Tickets may be purchased at the Port Theatre Box Office:

in person, by phone 250-754-8550 or online

Also available from choir members and at the door  


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  Sing-along Messiah

Sunday afternoon, December 13, 2015, 2:30 pm

      St. Andrew's United Church,    311 Fitzwilliam Street, Nanaimo


Sing-along Messiahs are a tradition in many communities and Nanaimo is no exception. Our sixth annual performa nce is your opportunity to be a chorister with the Malaspina Choir as we sing Handel's transcendent  Messiah under the direction of Lionel Tanod. The Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra provides the accompaniment. Our soloists are Andrea Rodall, soprano; Julia Morgan, mezzo-soprano; David Brown, tenor; and Steven Price, bass. Exalt the glory of the Lord, tell good tidings to Zion, behold the Lamb of God, sing Hallelujah. And if you're not a singer? Well, you can enjoy being surrounded by this incomparable music and hear the trumpet sound. We continue our tradition of sharing proceeds from the concert with a local charity, this year Nanaimo's Haven Society . If you would like to know what choruses we're singing, follow this link .


p.s. Bring your score to the concert if you have one; we will have scores available for purchase at the door for $10.

Guest Artists:

Andrea Rodall, Soprano

Andrea Rodall received her BMUS with distinction in vocal performance from the University of Calgary in 2003, and she is currently in her first year of graduate school at the University of Victoria, studying vocal performance with Anne Grimm. She has sung the soprano solos in several works, including Haydn's Creation and Handel's Messiah with Parksville and District Community choir, and in Malaspina Choir's Sing-a-long Messiah. Andrea has also enjoyed playing Maria in The Sound of Music, Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls, Adele in The Champagne Ball (Die Fledermaus), and Flora in La Traviata. She has sung in the chorus with Pacifice Opera Victoria and Vancouver Island Opera, and has presented several recitals since moving to the island, in Parksville, Nanaimo, Ladysmith and Duncan, with the wonderful Sharon Wishart at the piano. Andrea is so pleased to join the Malaspina Choir for another season in the Sing-along Messiah.


Julia Morgan, Mezzo-Soprano

Julia Morgan, mezzo-soprano

Mezzo-soprano Julia Morgan has a burgeoning career in opera and recital. While her petite frame can deceive the eye, she has a large caramel-like voice which exudes the many colours and emotions necessary for operatic roles, oratorio, and art song. A few of her favorite core operatic roles are Dido, Carmen, Hansel,  and Cherubino. Some of her local Premieres were Florrie in Tobin Stokes' opera Rattenbury, Lilah in Leslie Uyeda's opera When the Sun Comes Out, and short operatic works with Essential Opera. Ms.Morgan's true passion lies in performing recital repertoire. She has studied with some of the world's most respected song interpreters from Vancouver,  England, Austria, and Italy. Much of her recital work has centered on German Lieder. Ms.Morgan signed with MSR Classics in 2012 and released a CD of German Lieder with them that  year. Ms.Morgan revels at the opportunity to sing with an orchestra and looks forward to joining the Malaspina Choir for this year's Sing-Along Messiah.


David Brown, Tenor

David Brown, tenor

David Brown began his musical career in England at the age of seven, and for many years sang with the choir of St Matthews Church, Northampton,  a well-known choral church in England. Benjamin Britten, William Matthias and others composed pieces for this church. He was fortunate during this time to be able to sing at the Albert Hall, St Paul's Cathedral and Kings College, Cambridge. He has sung in choirs across Canada during his career as a metallurgist, including choirs in Burlington, Ont., Prince George, Vancouver and White Rock. More recently he has retired to the Yellow Point area of Vancouver Island and has been active in the Malaspina Choir as well as being a founding member of the Island Consort. He also does solo work for various choirs, including with the Victoria Civic Orchestra, the Mid-Island Choir in Parksville and the North Island Choir in Courtenay, and played the part of Pish Tush in the Mikado at the Port Theatre. David continues to enjoy singing with the Malaspina choir and any Oratorio solo work in choirs from Victoria to Courtney. He is also learning to play the Ukulele for blues and folk music.

Steven Price, Bass

Steven Price, baritone/bass

Baritone, Steven Price has earned a place for himself on the stages and in the concert halls of Canada, the United States and Europe. With his versatility, rich tone and commanding stage presence he has received praise from audiences and critics alike. His operatic repertoire ranges from the works of Mozart and Rossini to those of Puccini and Bizet. He is called upon to perform oratorios by composers such as Handel, Orff and Mendelssohn. Steven's encouraging manner with soloists and choristers of all ages is highly regarded and he is sought after as a vocal and choral adjudicator and clinician.  Steven lives with his wife and his four children in Victoria. He teaches Musical Theatre and Drama at Oak Bay High School.


     and the  Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra


   Adults $20, Students $10   $5 Children under 12 free


  Tickets may be purchased at the Port Theatre Box Office:


in person, by phone 250-754-8550 or online

Also available from choir members and at the door


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Nanaimo Sings! Choral Festival

Malaspina Choir performs Saturday, October 17, 2015, 8:30 pm, at St. Andrew's United Church, 311 Fitzwilliam Street

Tickets for mini-concerts are $10.

We perform again at the Gala Concert, Sunday, October 18, 7 pm, at the Port Theatre

Tickets $20 (reserved seating) through the Port Theatre Box Office

in person, by phone 250-754-8550 or online

Follow this link for more information about Nanaimo Sings! Choral Festival

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  updated February 15 2016