AURA Chamber Choir was formed in 1979 by its director Imant Raminsh and co-founder Valerie Witham. Its accompanist for the past 30 years has been Marjorie Close. AURA is a registered not-for-profit society, dedicated to the performance of fine choral music.
Based in Vernon, BC, AURA draws its 40 members from the Okanagan and Shuswap areas.
AURA’s repertoire extends from the Renaissance to the twenty first century and includes motets, choral art songs, folksongs and spirituals, as well as extended works with professional orchestra and soloists. The choir takes special pride in performing works by its conductor, Imant Raminsh, who is an internationally recognized composer.
In 2006, AURA along with choristers from Kamloops, Vernon and Richmond performed Raminsh’s Magnificat and Missa Brevis under his direction in Carnegie Hall, New York City.
AURA is a member of the British Columbia Choral Federation. Both Imant Raminsh and Marjorie Close have been recognized by the federation with awards for their contribution to choral music. In May of 2008, the choir was invited to sing as a core choir at Chorfest in Vancouver. The event celebrated both the 150th anniversary of British Columbia and the 30th anniversary of the BCCF with a concert devoted entirely to works by BC composers. Raminsh’s setting of Psalm 104 I Will Sing Unto The Lord, previously commissioned by the BCCF was the concert finale, performed in the Chan Centre by the massed choir.