In spring of 2009, an ad-hoc group of singers, led by Juno-nominated composer and director Timothy Corlis (www.timothycorlis.ca), gathered to prepare for the choir’s first performances at Gilmore Park United Church in Richmond and UBC’s Chapel of the Epiphany. This first concert was called “Into Paradise” and was a celebration of our shared love for the earth and for the astounding beauty that surrounds us here on the West Cost. We performed a wide range of music from the popular song “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel to the traditional motet “Sicut Cervus” by Palestrina. Highlights in this concert were Eric Whitacre’s “Cloudburst” and Corlis’ “In Paradisum” featuring guest soloists Willem Moolenbeek and Boyd McDonald. At both venues, our audience offered standing ovations – we took this as encouragement to continue.
The choir is now still growing and still searching for opportunities to reach out across divisions, to nurture hope, to lament the violence in our world, and to share joy through music.
As members of the Vancouver Peace Choir we hope to inspire opportunities for building bridges. Music is our way of sharing a richly artistic and meaningful experience both within the ensemble and with our dedicated audience. We welcome strong choral singers of all different perspectives and thrive on the cultural diversity that is naturally a part of our city. To learn more about who is involved, check out our bios page.
Members audition informally with our director and are placed by vocal section. Each season includes 8-10 weeks of rehearsal (typically on Sunday evenings) and culminates in two concerts in differing venues. Choristers are expected to attend both concerts, and should expect to take music home to practice between rehearsals. For more information on auditioning, please email Brian.
After several concert seasons, word of mouth has been spreading based on glowing reviews. Ideas continue to emerge for further integration of peace action–from moving spoken word pieces in concert to community partnerships outside of performances. To join the choir, or contribute your ideas, feel free use our contact form or email one of us directly.
Brian Wismath is music director of Vancouver Peace Choir, Linden Singers of Victoria, Victoria Choral Society, Victoria Conservatory of Music Chorale, Vox Humana Chamber Choir and interim music director of Civic Orchestra of Victoria. With a rich choral background, Mr. Wismath is in demand as a clinician and has served as director of the University of Victoria Chamber Singers and Tucson Masterworks Chorale, associate conductor of Orpheus Choir of Toronto and Chorus Niagara, and assistant conductor of St. Jacob’s Ungdomskör (Stockholm, Sweden), Ontario Youth Choir and Opera in Concert Chorus (Toronto, Canada).
A passionate advocate for the performance of new music, Mr. Wismath has commissioned and premiered numerous works by composers from around the world. He has prepared choruses for Robert Cooper, Laurence Cummings, Steven Devine, Robert Franz, Jeanne Lamon, Tania Miller, Michelle Mourre, Joey Pietraroia, and Timothy Vernon.
Mr. Wismath began his education in choral music as a chorister in the Toronto Mendelssohn Youth Choir, and after completing a Bachelor of Music at Queen’s University, he received a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Arizona.