AURA Spring 2023

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AURA’s upcoming Spring 2023 Concert

Spring: the season of Nature’s awakening, and the season of love for all mortal beings!  AURA Chamber Choir celebrates this “amorous and fair season” with Songs of Nature, a potpourri of European choral music that spans five centuries. 

The title of our concert is taken from a set of partsongs by Czech composer Antonin Dvorak that celebrates the wondrous beauty and spirituality of the natural world.  AURA will perform three selections from this set, and four of his Six Moravian Lyrics, a lighthearted but touching glimpse of village romance.  Both sets will be performed in English. 

The program’s featured work is by Dvorak’s greatest fan and booster, Johannes Brahms: the Liebeslieder Waltzer (Lovesong Waltzes), op. 52.  In this set for mixed chorus and piano four hands, Brahms brilliantly pours the passion of the Gypsy musicians he heard in Viennese cafes into the vessel of the waltz and brews a drink that burns with the intoxication of love in all its forms: blissful and sweet, desolate and bitter, and so much more besides.  At the keyboard we have AURA’s award-winning pianist Marjorie Close and special guest Terry Logan, noted voice teacher and choir director in her own right. 

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine drags on, AURA has committed to performing a Ukrainian piece in every program until Ukraine prevails.  For Songs of Nature, Dr. Pitt‑Brooke has prepared an edition of Kyrylo Stetsenko’s SON (A Dream), a partsong that recounts a prisoner’s dream of “a happy summer time” that crumbles in a bitter awakening.  Many thanks to Vernon Proms impresario Natalia Polchenko for her help with Ukrainian pronunciation.

And AURA will delight in celebrating founding director Imant Raminsh’s 80th birthday with a performance of his chorus “The Peace of Wild Things” under his own direction. 

For details of the performance venue and time, please see the concert poster above.

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A little bit of AURA history!

This photo from approximately 1988 suddenly appeared on my cell phone photos this morning. Looks like it was from a newspaper upcoming concert advertisement (notice the museum credit at the bottom).

Perhaps my memory isn’t quite as bad as it sometimes seems…. I still remember the names of all these wonderful singers who contributed so much to our early history!

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Dr. Terry Pitt-Brooke

AURA Chamber Choir has chosen a new Artistic Director:  Dr. Terry Pitt-Brooke.
Charged with renewing AURA’s mission as a first-rate amateur concert ensemble and developing innovative, exciting and entertaining repertoire, Dr. Pitt-Brooke has brought deep vocal and musical insights to bear, with exciting results. 

Pitt-Brooke’s academic résumé is impressive.  After undergraduate studies in Composition at the University of Toronto, he studied Conducting under Jon Washburn in Vancouver and took a Master’s Degree at University of Wisconsin-Madison,where he studied under legendary choral conductor Robert Fountain.  He comes to AURA having completed a DMA in Choral Conducting (with a minor in Orchestral Conducting) at the University of Arizona. 

Since returning to the Okanagan, Dr. Pitt-Brooke has become an integral part of the music fabric of the area, being involved with the Vernon Proms, conducting two choirs, and working with Opera Kelowna.  His past experience as conductor and educator with school, church, community and professional choirs, and as a singer in the Vancouver Chamber Choir, has made him uniquely qualified to take on his new role as Artistic Director of Vernon’s AURA Chamber Choir.

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DECEMBER 2022

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AURA Chamber Choir presents, Noels Anciens et Nouveaux

Under the direction of our conductor, Dr. Terry Pitt-Brooke, Aura presents its fall 2022 program at All Saints Anglican Church on Saturday December 3rd at 7.00pm and Sunday December 4th at 2pm. Tickets are available at Wentworth Music, from choir members and at the door.

The program of seasonal music features French composers Cesar Franck, Francis Poulenc and Guillaume Costeley along with Bright Angels Sing by Ukrainian composer Kyrylo Stetsenko.

The wonderful harmony of Hector Berlioz’s Shepeherd’s Farewell will bring a great smile to your face.

We will conclude the program, accompanied by a small chamber orchestra and Marjorie Close on the pipe organ, with Charpentier’s Messe de minuit pourNoel. Composed in 1690, the editor H. Wiley Hitchcock says “… the mass is without question the most charming, especially since most of its music is based on noels or French Christmas carols” and “The carols … give the Mass its predominant character of tunefulness, simplicity and sweet jubilation.”

Don’t forget to bring your sing-along voice to enjoy four carols with the choir!

We look forward to seeing you there.

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AURA will enjoy the summer and look forward to the fall season.

News alert ! Looking ahead to AURA Chamber Choir’s 2022 Fall Season – concerts are planned for  December 3 (evening) and December 4 (afternoon) under the direction of Dr. Terry Pitt Brooke

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AURA is back… Live and in person!

Under the direction of interim conductor Dr. Terry Pitt-Brooke and accompanied by Alex MacArthur, AURA will present a varied program of choral music at Peace Lutheran Church, Vernon, BC on Saturday April 23, 2022 starting at 7:30pm and Sunday April 24, 2022 starting at 2:00pm. See the poster below for details.

The concert features choral selections of music ranging from Praetorius, Monteverdi, Mendelssohn, Vaughn Williams, Massenet, Hindemith and Barber to  Eric Whitacre’s “Five Hebrew Love Songs”.

The choir is eagerly looking forward to performing once again for your pleasure after two years off stage, doing our part to keep each other Covid safe.

In this regard, AURA will continue to follow Public Health Requirements for Masking and Vaccine Cards to enter the concerts.

For further information, press the “Contact Us” button on our home page.

SPRING 2022
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AURA makes a physically distanced recording!

Well, it has been too long since we have posted to our public web site. Of course there have been no rehearsals and no concerts to inform you about and It doesn’t help that I’m not much of a talker.

But now it is different…. we do have something to talk about.

Over the last few months, about half the choir agreed to attempt the recording of a piece we had rehearsed before the Covid-19 virus began roaring through the country. This is not an easy process. It requires great attention to detail as each singer performs their part, individually recording it in a digital format. These individual recordings are then mixed together to form a complete piece. It is a very complex process to say the least.

So, attached is a link that will allow you to download our performance of The Rose – Ola Geilo.

We hope that with vaccinations ramping up and cases slowly declining that we will be able to talk with you again this fall about AURA’s plan for re-starting rehearsals so that we can enjoy fine choral music with you again in person.

In the meantime, we wish you good health.

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Spring concert update

AURA Chamber Choir Spring Concerts, April 3 and 4 – CANCELLED and POSTPONED

It is with deep regret that the AURA Spring Concerts scheduled for April 3 and 4 have had to be cancelled for now because of the COVID-19 health advisories. We do hope and plan to perform the music at a later date, probably not in June but in the fall. Check AURA’S Facebook and website for updates.

If you have already purchased a ticket, you may exchange it for a refund from the person who sold it to you.

 

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