amabilis choir 2010


The Amabilis Singers were originally formed in 1980 as The Douglas College Community Choir. In 1989 the singers packed their bags, severed their collegial ties, and became an independent community choir. The group’s West Coast roots served as inspiration for the new name: the Amabilis Fir (also known as the Pacific Silver Fir) is a species indigenous to coastal forests. The botanical name Amabilis means “lovely”, which the choir was quite content to assimilate as a descriptor!

Over its long history, the ensemble has fluctuated in size from well over 120 to its present 55. Although based in New Westminster, its singers faithfully travel from all corners of the Lower Mainland for weekly rehearsals. The choristers represent all walks of life, including accountants, college instructors, teachers, students, IT specialists, government employees, nurses, self-employed entrepreneurs, surveyors, and retirees in search of a rewarding musical challenge.

Upon the retirement of Founder/Director Diane Loomer in 1996, Anne Wilson Unger led the Amabilis Singers for a happy decade. In 2006 Ramona Luengen was named Artistic Director, ushering in a renewed communal effort to consistently improve and undertake more challenging works.

The Amabilis Singers have performed music of many musical periods and styles, including large works such as Mozart’s Requiem (2012), Carmina Burana, in celebration of the group’s 30th anniversary in 2011, Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem (2009), as well as everything in between – from spirituals and opera choruses to a cappella folksongs and 21st century choral repertoire. A recent highlight was the group’s Bach Project (May 2013) which included J. S. Bach’s remarkably dramatic motet Jesu, meine Freude.

Enthusiastic and eager to learn all types of music, this group of singers has, from its inception, always demonstrated a very special spirit of camaraderie and joie de vivre that not even the most difficult music can stifle!

Exciting plans are underway for a tour to Italy in the summer of 2015 and with it, of course, comes the  inescapable and somewhat daunting demand for imaginative fundraising. A cornerstone of recent fundraising events have circled around coffee sales. We are proud and privileged sellers of our very own, full-bodied AMABILIS blend, roasted especially for us by Republica Coffee Roasters in Fort Langley.