June 15, 2020 Update


Dear Amabilis Alumni, Friends and Supporters:

We wanted to reach out to you and re-connect! We haven’t seen many of you since our February Magnificat concert and so much has happened since.

We hope that all of you have remained healthy, physically and emotionally. It has certainly been a challenge, dealing with the stressors of isolation, layoffs, businesses closing, and our homes becoming both schools and workplaces. Who knew our quick shops for groceries would become half-day outings, complete with line-ups, shortages, protective masks, disinfectant wipes and the need for social distancing?

These last months have certainly taught us not only how much we take for granted, but also how difficult life becomes when contact with family, friends, co-workers and colleagues is disallowed. Isolation has certainly taken its toll in many ways and on many fronts.

As restrictions are lifted, we must be ever so grateful for our health care system, our health care workers, and the calm and effective leadership of Dr. Bonnie Henry. BC seems to be on a good trajectory as we see businesses and schools open and our social ‘bubbles’ expanding.

However, the news for choral singing is not good. All conversations have outlined the great risks of singing caused by the unavoidable proximity of choristers and the inevitable ‘sharing’ of droplets. On a recent BCCF Town Hall meeting, Dr. Michael Schwandt (Medical Health Officer – Vancouver Coastal Health) advised limiting choirs to 6 members sitting 2 metres apart for a reduction in risk – not an elimination of risk. The news via a live ACDA webinar implied a grimmer future: without a vaccine, there is no way for singers to rehearse or perform together safely for the next 18–24 months.

This is heartbreaking news for us, as you can well imagine.

The other critical issue is the limit of 50 people at any one gathering. This absolutely impacts every performing group, whether it be our symphony, our opera, other choirs, live theatre, ballet etc. With a limit of 50 in the audience, performances cannot be financially viable.

So, the Amabilis Board took the time to discuss, at great length, the difficulties that lie ahead: the many unknowns regarding this Co-Vid pandemic, the prediction of a second wave in the Fall, the limiting audience numbers of 50 and, of course, the possibility of not singing for many months. Keeping in mind that the health of our singers and you, our audience, is of the utmost importance, we have decided to be cautiously optimistic in our planning.

photo of Amabilis choir taken in April, 2019

Our 2020–2021 season is set to officially begin in January 2021.

We would like to stay in touch with you as we navigate through these unchartered waters. Feel free to contact us at choral@telus.net. We so miss our weekly rehearsals, the camaraderie, the togetherness, and the chance to learn and perform meaningful music. We are terribly disappointed to have had to postpone our 40th-anniversary concert and, with that, the opportunity to meet up with so many of you who are alumni. Perhaps this forced interruption has made us realize – even more – how important music is for our hearts and for our general well-being.

On behalf of the Amabilis Family, we wish you continued good health and a slow, safe return to a more recognizable life.

With warmest regards,

Ramona
Artistic Director


OUR 2019–2020 ANNIVERSARY SEASON
Celebrating 40 years!

Are you Amabilis alumni?
Please contact us so that we can make sure you are a part of this joyful season!
Amabilispromo@gmail.com

NIGHT OF WONDER

8:00pm Friday, December 13, 2019
2:00pm Saturday, December 14, 2019
New Westminster Christian Reformed Church
8255 13th Ave., between 1st Street and Newcombe, Burnaby

Come, be moved by the stark beauty of Abbie Betinis’ In the Bleak Midwinter, Alan Bullard’s tender The World Has Waited Long, Ian Assersohn’s high-spirited Make We Joy Now in this Fest, and Benjamin Harlan’s sparkling new arrangement of Angels We Have Heard on High.
The programme will also include music by Bob Chilcott, Ian Crawford, Dan Forrest, Shawn Kirchner, Sandra Peter and Will Todd.

Beautiful music, favourite carols and boisterous sing-alongs – let us share with each other the spirit that is Christmas.

Adults & Seniors: $25 | Secondary School Students: $15 | Children under 12: still free!
Tickets are available online at Eventbrite, by calling 604. 897.7258, through choir members, or at the door.

MAGNIFICAT

8:00pm Saturday, February 29, 2020
New Westminster Christian Reformed Church
8255 13th Ave., between 1st Street and Newcombe, Burnaby

Erin Sutton, soprano
Andrea Siradze, violinist and string ensemble leader
Lin Kim, organist
Ingrid Verseveldt, pianist

Amabilis is thrilled to present Magnificat by the young Norwegian composer Kim André Arnesen. The Magnificat, also known as the Canticle of Mary, is taken directly from the Gospel of Luke and has been a source of inspiration for countless composers over the eras, including Palestrina, Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Bruckner and Penderecki.

Kim Arnesen’s setting was conceived as a prayer for the sick and the poor, out of hope for those who struggle, and as a musical reflection of Mary, who herself was poor and of humble means. Scored for choir, soprano solo, strings, piano and organ, this seven-movement forty-minute work is a remarkable, heartfelt journey supported by beautiful melodic writing, radiant harmonies and exquisite tenderness.

Rounding out the programme will be the stunning new work by Dan Forrest, The Sun Never Says, Martin Sedek’s intimate I Sing of a Maiden and Pärt Uusberg’s glorious Ave Maria.

Please note: This concert will be sung without intermission.

Adults & Seniors: $25 | Secondary School Students: $15 | Children under 12: still free!
Tickets are available online at Eventbrite, by calling 604. 897.7258, through choir members, or at the door.

Image: Our Lady of Guadalupe by Pristine Cartera-Turkus
Used with kind permission of the artist
https://pristine-carteraturkus.pixels.com/

IT’S A PARTY!
Celebrating Our 40th Anniversary

8:00pm Saturday, May 9, 2020
New Westminster Christian Reformed Church
8255 13th Ave., between 1st Street and Newcombe, Burnaby

We’re 40 years old!
Join us for an exuberant, high-octane evening of music-making with present and former members of the Amabilis family. Come share in our joy, meet up with old friends, and travel down memory lane with us!

The present Amabilis choir will get things rolling with fabulous music by Carl Orff, Kim André Arnesen, Jake Runestad, Sam Pottle and Jonathan Dove, followed by a few musical toasts – as befits the occasion! – with the help of Jonathan Rathbone and the world of opera.

Together with Amabilis alumni, the concert will conclude with long-standing favourites of ours: Cantique de Jean Racine by Gabriel Fauré, Mozart’s beloved Ave Verum, The Storm is Passing Over arranged by Barbara Baker and a final blast-from-the-past with Hall Johnson’s arrangement of Ain’t Got Time to Die.

Adults & Seniors: $25 | Secondary School Students: $15 | Children under 12: still free!
Tickets are available online at Eventbrite, by calling 604. 897.7258, through choir members, or at the door.

IF YOU ARE AMABILIS ALUMNI AND WOULD LIKE TO BE A PART OF THIS CONCERT,
PLEASE CONTACT US AT Amabilispromo@gmail.com

Required rehearsals for participating alumni:
Wednesday, April 29
Wednesday, May 6
Friday, May 8 – Dress Rehearsal

Amabilis is a registered non-profit charitable organization and able to issue tax receipts.

www.AmabilisSingers.org
General Information and auditions: 604.437.9200
4420 Rumble St., Burnaby, BC V5J 2A3