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See us perform in the Pacific Baroque Festival

Why should you be purchasing tickets for the Pacific Baroque Festival Concerts, which begin in just 2 weeks?

Well the best reason is to make sure you are there to watch our young singers perform music that is 300 years old with an excitement and energy usually reserved for the newest song being streamed online! But also to have a chance to be mesmerized by Gregorian Chant, music that has been on this earth for over 800 years.

Two weeks tonight, Thursday Feb 7 at 8:00 pm in Christ Church Cathedral, a small volunteer Concert Choir ensemble will alternate 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 at this year’s first night of the 15th Anniversary Celebration of the Pacific Baroque Festival.

And on Saturday Feb 9 at 8:00 pm in the Alix Goolden Concert Hall Vivaldi’s famous Gloria will be presented with our own Concert Choir singers!!

Antonio Vivaldi was an Italian Baroque musical composer, virtuoso violinist, teacher, and priest. He lived and worked in the cosmopolitan city of Venice, which was similar to a London or New York today, and had social media been active then, he would definitely have been regarded as a world star! (In fact there is a Web browser named after him, which brags about speed). The Gloria was written sometime during the 30 years he taught at one of the four orphanages set up for girls in the city. It has been regarded as one of the finest choral pieces written in that era, usually performed using adult choirs singing soprano, alto, tenor and bass. But recently musicians began questioning why the solos are only for soprano and alto, and more performances have been staged using what is most probably the original setting for upper voices only. 10 years ago the VCC and the Pacific Barque Orchestra gave one of the first performances in North America for sopranos and altos, certainly using children’s voices instead of adults!

More Festival information found on

And if you are interested…

Vivaldi lived in a hot, humid city and suffered terribly with asthma his whole life. In the movement Summer from his orchestral work “The Four Seasons”, one can feel the stifling stillness of the muggy heat, and the strain of panting to breathe.

At the age of 25, Vivaldi was ordained into the priesthood, and was soon nicknamed il Prete Rosso, “The Red Priest” referring to the color of his hair, a family trait.

The four orphanages supported by the Venetian Republic at this time were the centres of Venetian musical life. Their purpose was to give shelter and education to children who were abandoned or orphaned, or whose families could not support them. Girls formed orchestras and choirs, and employed the best musicians as teachers. The ensembles and soloists were so renowned in the 17th and 18th centuries that they attracted tourists and patrons from around Europe. For this reason, many wealthy families sent their daughters to receive an education there, and it must have been difficult for many of these young women, who after achieving fame for their musical prowess as soloists in concerts and the opera, were removed and married off, thus ending their independence and careers.

-Madeleine Humer Artistic Director


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