Songs Strings & Steps presents
Vancouver Bach Choir
Alison Nystrom, Soprano; Ingrid Mapson, Alto
John Bacon, Tenor; Chad Louwerse, Bass
Conductor: Calvin Dyck
Saturday, December 6, 7 p.m.
Gateway Community Church
2884 Abby/Mission Highway, Abbotsford BC
The Messiah – Miraculous, Masterful, Majestic, MagnificentHandel’s ‘Messiah’ comes to Abbotsford
By Rosemary Phillips
Abbotsford’s popular and much-loved musical director Calvin Dyck can’t help but be excited. “It is a dream come true,” he exclaims passionately, “to conduct Handel’s ‘Messiah’ in Abbotsford with some of the best professional talent available, for the greatest oratorio ever written!”
On Saturday, December 6 at 7 p.m. at the new Gateway Community Church on the Abbotsford-Mission Highway, Calvin will be directing the Vancouver Bach Choir and professional soloists from near and far: Alison Nystrom, soprano; Ingrid Mapson, alto; John Bacon, tenor from England; and Chat Louwerse, bass.
“We also have a professional orchestra of colleagues of mine from Vancouver,” continues Calvin. “I’m thrilled with the quality of the musicianship. I’ve had a chance to rehearse with the Vancouver Bach Choir and it’s like driving a Cadillac. They are so experienced and have sung the ‘Messiah’ many times.”
Miraculous music: Handel’s ‘Messiah’ is a translation of text into beautiful choral and orchestral sounds. It was written in just 18 days, at a time when Handel was at the peak of his musical powers. He was in a state of deep depression and yet his miraculous composition is a celebration of life and spirit; it is about prophesy and fulfilment, suffering and death, resurrection and redemption.
Over the last 260 years the ‘Messiah’ has become a tradition, an important part of the Christmas season around the world, holding an extraordinary grip on musicians and audience members alike.
Masterful musicians: Calvin Dyck, a prominent violinist, teacher, adjudicator and director, is well-known in Abbotsford for his popular Songs Strings & Steps shows. The Vancouver Bach Choir, one of the largest choral organizations in Canada, has been performing since 1930 and offers concerts in Vancouver and throughout the Lower Mainland. Alison Nystrom, soprano, is noted for her expressiveness and has performed across North America and Europe. She currently teaches voice at Trinity Western University and Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Langley. Ingrid Mapson, mezzo soprano, has toured with groups in Western Canada, the US and Bahamas, played roles with Theatre Under the Stars, and was recently selected as a finalist for Canada’s Got Talent. UK-based Canadian tenor John Bacon has established himself as a singer of exceptional musicianship, warmth, style and character. He has performed throughout Europe, North America and Australasia. Canadian bass-baritone Chad Louwerse is an active oratorio singer and recitalist who made his European operatic debut with L’Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg.
Majestic: Hallelujah! The passion, power and emotion of this chorus traditionally draws the audience out of their seats and onto their feet, just like it did for His Majesty, King George II of England during a performance in London. In those days, if the king stood, everyone stood – and so it has been ever since.
Adds Calvin, “Handel’s famous musical telling of the timeless message of Christ’s birth, death and resurrection, continues to move audiences with such majestic songs as For Unto Us a Son is Given, the Hallelujah, and I Know that my Redeemer Liveth.”
Magnificent: Come celebrate the true meaning of Christmas and all its splendour in this most magnificent concert. Tickets are $29 for adults, $25 for seniors, $15 for students, plus tax and fee, and are available at House of James and King’s Music.