with the Orpheus Male Choir
Liana Savard, Director
Barry Yamanouchi, Pianist

8pm Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Amabilis Singers are joined by Orpheus Male Choir, directed by Liana Savard, for a thoughtful Remembrance Day concert. Music includes In Flanders Field by Roger Emerson, The Dying Soldier by Nigel Short, Lux aeterna by Brian Schmidt and We Are One by Brian Tate. Let us take the time to honour those who have, in the past as well as in the present, committed their lives fully to peace and democracy. And let us, through the power of shared music, become ourselves a tangible force in fostering compassion and understanding in today’s world.

New West Christian Reformed Church
8255 13th Ave. [between 1st St. & Newcombe], Burnaby
Parking is available on the street and also opposite the church, on the John Knox School parking lot.
Adults/Seniors: $20 |Children under 12: free
Tickets: Available from all choir members, at the door or by calling 604.433.6538.

Orpheus Male Choir
The Vancouver Orpheus Male Choir is part of Vancouver’s thriving community choir scene. Formed in 1992 for men of all ages who enjoy singing, the choir focuses on popular songs from many eras and lands, including Broadway showtunes, spirituals, sea shanties, and rousing male voice classics. This past May Orpheus toured Ontario, joining up with seven other male choirs for a very memorable performance in Brantford which culminated with over 230 men singing together. The 30 choristers that make up Orpheus ended the 2010-2011 season with a relief concert for Japan and the recording of a new CD entitled, aptly enough, Home Brew.

Liana Savard, Artistic Director
Liana Savard has been an active director, educator and performer of music for the past 16 years. Upon graduating with a B.Mus in jazz studies from Capilano College in 2000, Liana went on to obtain her Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Alberta in Edmonton in 2002. Along with directing the Orpheus Male Voice Choir, she has a thriving vocal studio at the Langley Community Music School.

The Gift of Christmas

with the Lyric Singers Women’s Choir
Nancy Rahn, Director
Betty Suderman, Pianist
3:00pm Saturday, December 10, 2011
7:30pm Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Gift of Christmas
Join us for a Christmas concert that will warm hearts and calm busy lives! Amabilis is delighted to share the stage with the Lyric Singers Women’s Choir, directed by Nancy Rahn. Together we will present a concert of memorable music, including the reflective Thou Shalt Know Him by Mark Sirett, the strikingly classical O Regem Coeli by Victoria, John Rutter’s moving Christmas, Stephen Hatfield’s spirited arrangement of The Virgin Mary had a Baby Boy, along with favourite carols and sing-alongs.

Come and share the musical gift of Christmas with us!

3:00pm Saturday, December 10, 2011
Queens Ave United Church
529 Queens Ave, New Westminster

7:30pm Sunday, December 11, 2011
Shaughnessy Heights United Church
1550 W. 33rd Ave. [1 block west of Granville], Vancouver
Street parking only

Adults/Seniors: $20 |Children under 12: free
Tickets: Available from all choir members, at the door or by calling 604.433.6538.

Founded in 1994, the Lyric Singers bring excellence to the choral tradition, choosing to present a wide repertoire of accompanied and a cappella music, from medieval to contemporary. The 22 experienced choristers are accomplished musicians and hail from a variety of musical backgrounds. Proudly dedicated to the performance of Canadian composers, including Alan Bevan, Eleanor Daley, Stephen Hatfield, Ramona Luengen, Allister McGillvary, Donald Patriquin, Imant Raminsh, Nancy Telfer and Ruth Watson Henderson, Lyric Singers have collaborated with Canadian harpists Rita Costanzi and Heidi Krutzen, as well as Elektra Women’s Choir and Phoenix Chamber Choir. They have produced two CDs, A Scarlet Lilly Flamed and All My Heart Rejoices.

NANCY RAHN, Artistic Director
Born in Vancouver, Nancy Rahn has taught piano and voice for over thirty-five years. With her husband and children she lived in Lennoxville, in the beautiful Eastern Townships of Quebec, for 25 years where she directed the Lennoxville United Church Choir, Bishop’s University Singers and Chamber Choir, and founded and directed Estrie Young Singers Children’s Choir. From 1992 to 1999 Nancy was organist, choir director and coordinator of the piano/vocal program at Bishop’s College School.

The Mozart Requiem

with Shaughnessy Heights United Church Choir and West Coast Symphony
8:00pm Saturday, March 31, 2012
Shaughnessy Heights United Church
1550 W. 33rd Ave. [1 block west of Granville], Vancouver
Street parking only
Adults/Seniors: $20 |Children under 12: free
Tickets: Available from all choir members, at the door or by calling 604.433.6538.

The Mozart Requiem, is one of the most subliminal works in the choral/orchestral canon and the root of intriguing legends, popular movies and on-going musicological research. The Requiem was Mozart’s final masterpiece, left unfinished at the time of his death on December 5, 1791, at the age of 35. In July that year, Mozart had been commissioned by Count Walsegg, an amateur flautist and cellist, to write a mass to be performed annually to commemorate the death of count’s young wife. Mozart was busy with other commitments that year, including writing his opera La Clemenza di Tito, the completion and staging of Die Zauberflöte, as well as a clarinet concerto. Evidence shows that Mozart was not physically or emotionally well at this time: paranoid of being poisoned he felt, much like the Shaffer movie Amadeus suggested, he was composing the Requiem for himself. By November 20 Mozart was bedridden with what is believed to have been rheumatic fever. On December 4 his condition declined severely and by midnight he was dead.

Mozart’s wife Constanze, devastated by the sudden death, was left with an incomplete score of the Requiem. Of its 14 sections, Mozart had completed in full score only the opening Introitus. Constanze asked Mozart’s foremost pupil F. X. Freystädtler to orchestrate the Kyrie. She next gave the score to Joseph Eybler, a close friend whom Mozart respected highly as a composer. Eybler completed the Dies irae, Tuba mirum, Rex tremendae, Recordare and Confutatis, working from Mozart’s vocal parts, bass line and sketches.

Finishing the rest of the score was more problematic. Mozart’s manuscript contained sketches for the Offertorium, but nothing at all for the Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei. Constanze eventually sought the assistance of the copyist Franz Süssmayr. The question which has challenged the musical world since then is how much of the Requiem is actually Süssmayr’s writing – the rather devious composer who wrote out the entire score in his own hand, ignored the contribution of Eybler and forged Mozart’s signature (dated, unfortunately, one year after his death).

The myth, the inconsistencies, and constant new research has made the Mozart Requiem a story superseding that of any Dan Brown mystery…and one which has prompted musicologists to re-write sections of the work themselves, based on manuscript evidence and the general acceptance of Süssmayr’s writing as sometimes heavy-handed and flawed. This, of course, leaves us with little consensus, lots of heated discussion, and the excitement of new editions and recordings arriving on the music scene on a regular basis.

Generally it is the Mozart/Süssmayr version heard in concert halls – the one we have all heard countless times and have grown up listening to. And, despite all the contentious debate, it stands proudly as a deeply moving, subliminal masterpiece.

Amabilis, however, will be stepping out into slightly new territory, joined by similarly fearless musicians which make up Shaughnessy Heights United Church Choir and West Coast Symphony, in a performance of the H.C. Robbins Landon edition. Robbins Landon, a highly respected and oft-published musicologist who specialized in composers of the Classical period, sought to restore Eybler’s contribution to the Requiem, but also leaving untouched Süssmayr’s portions which have so nobly withstood the test of time.

Do join us for this exciting performance of the Mozart Requiem!

Music is integral to the life of the congregation at Shaughnessy Heights United Church and the Sanctuary Choir provides music for Sunday worship as well as for special services during Advent, Christmas and Lent. Its 30 dedicated singers range in age from 20 to 85. The 2010-2011 season saw the choir undertake a very successful tour to Seattle, participating in services at St. James Cathedral and Plymouth Brethren Church of Christ. The choir also joined Phoenix Chamber Choir in a performance of the Fauré Requiem in Holy Rosary Cathedral. The choir last collaborated with Amabilis for Brahm’s Ein deutsches Requiem in April 2009.

The West Coast Symphony, formerly the Vancouver Chamber Players, was originally founded in the early 1970s as an amateur string orchestra. It became a full-fledged Orchestra in the mid 1980s and in 1992 was renamed the West Coast Symphony. The West Coast Symphony Orchestra presents quality performances of orchestral repertoire to audiences throughout the Vancouver region. The orchestra is comprised of professional and non-professional players, music educators, doctors, lawyers, engineers and folks from a host of other professions who come together for the love of making music. Performances are infused with an excellence and genuine passion that often brings audiences spontaneously to their feet.

À la Carte…in North America

A Special Dinner-Concert Event
6:30pm Saturday, May 26, 2012
Bethany-Newton United Church, Surrey

Further information coming soon…