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Pacific Baroque Festival’s 15th Anniversary Season

The Victoria Children’s Choir performed Vivaldi’s beloved “Gloria” under the gifted hand of violinist Marc Destrubé and the Pacific Baroque Festival Ensemble on Saturday, February 9 at Alix Goolden Hall.  The choir has a long history of bringing baroque music to its audiences, and has been a part of the Pacific Baroque Festival for more than 10 years.  

Vivaldi’s Gloria was discovered among several volumes of church music under a pile of manuscripts in the late 1920’s. This work didn’t receive its first modern-day performance until 1939 and was presented in a heavily-altered version by the Italian composer Alfred Casella; he added instruments and cut sections in what he referred to as an elaborazione. The first publication and performance of the original version we know today was not given until 1957 in New York City.  Although it is often sung by a mixed voice choir and separate vocal soloists, the fact that the solo sections only call for soprano and alto voices suggests that it was written for performance by the girls at the Ospedale where Vivaldi was charged with the musical education of orphaned girls. Our performance with the Victoria Children’s Choir and soloists from within the choir, brought us much closer to the sound and spirit of a performance in Venice almost 300 years ago. The Victoria Children’s Choir was pleased to also perform in the opening night concert for the Pacific Baroque Festival series on Thursday Feb 7 at 8:00 pm in Christ Church Cathedral. The small ensemble was made up of some of our Concert Choir singers who collaborated with the world-renowned young organist, John Walthausen and the St Christopher Singers to present Buxtehude’s grandest work for organ, his festive Te Deum. 

Testimonial from PBF attendees Douglas and Helen

As visitors from Alberta, we were privileged to attend all the concerts in the 2019 Pacific Baroque Festival.  This is the fifth year we have attended the festival and each time we have been deeply moved by the music. 

This year, the complete festival was superb.  Further, in particular, we enjoyed the powerful, professional performance of Vivaldi’s “Gloria” featuring the Victoria Children’s Choir and the Pacific Baroque Festival Ensemble.  Congratulations to the Victoria Children’s Choir and its gem of a director, Madeleine Humer, for giving this wonderful gift of music!

Clearly, the choristers individual commitments to excellence, the hours of rehearsing, the quality coaching, teaching and role modelling have resulted in melding such a cohesive, professional choir of young people.   This is a wonderful asset and legacy for Victoria!

We hope that there will continue to be a long, productive collaboration between the Victoria Children’s Choir and the Pacific Baroque Festival that gave us such joy this year!

Thank you, again, and keep up this excellent work!

Would you please convey our appreciation to your choristers, Choir Director, staff and board.

Best regards,

Douglas and Helen


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