COVID-19 may have slowed the Watsonairs Ladies Choral Group down, but it never stopped them, and they’ll be celebrating that fact at their annual Spring Concert on Sunday.
Choir director May Janzen said they’ve dubbed this concert their “65-plus” concert. This will be the 65th time the group has performed live, but they’re adding a “plus” on the end to recognize all the singing and fundraising they did during the COVID lockdowns.
“We’re so happy to be back together,” Janzen said during a phone interview on Friday. “We really missed each other during the pandemic.
“We didn’t give up on each other during the pandemic, so that’s why we’re calling it the 65th plus,” she added.
The theme for this year’s Spring Concert is ‘Moving Forward’. Janzen said they want to lift the audience’s spirits after a challenging past three years, and that helped inspire their theme.
“We thought that rather than letting ourselves get bogged down by some of the less happy things that have happened in the world these last couple of years, we needed to choose music that would lift spirits, and help us to anticipate our future,” she explained. “The songs that we’ve chosen are more upbeat and anticipatory in fostering a positive attitude.”
The list of songs includes ‘Friendship’, ‘Fill the World with Love’, and ‘Wonderful Day Like Today’. The Watsonairs will also perform their theme song, ‘A Perfect Day’.
The group also plans to recognize the coronation of King Charles and the death of Queen Elizabeth II with a performance of ‘O Christ the Same.’
The song was sung at a Service of Reflection held for the Queen in Belfast, North Ireland. The composer eagerly agreed to send the Watsonairs the music after being contacted by the group.
“He’s thrilled to know it’s being performed in Canada this weekend,” Janzen said.
Sunday’s concert will also include two guess performers courtesy of the Prince Albert Music Festival: pianist Anthony Stergios and vocalist Lydia Bergeron. Stergios will compete at the provincial piano competition after qualifying at the music festival, while Bergeron won the festival’s Watsonairs Ladies Choral Group Scholarship.
The Watsonairs will also announce which four students will receive a Gladys Strom Memorial Bursary. The bursary covers the cost of tuition and registration at music camp. Janzen said the Watsonairs received 16 applicantions.
Proceeds from Sunday’s concert will go towards furnishings and equipment for the Rose Garden Hospice. Janzen said it’s a worthwhile community project and they’re happy to support it.
“It just touches so many lives of people in the area that we wanted to be part of it,” she said.
The Watsonairs Spring Concert begins at 2 p.m. on Sunday at St. Mark’s Church in Prince Albert. Tickets can be purchased from choir members, Canadian Tire, or by phoning 306-960-4140.