Cowboy singer Jim Reader sings a song about the trail drive with Notre Dame’s Grade 4 and 5 Choir Sunday afternoon. Reader and his school friends closed the first half of the Pro Coro Canada concert at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre. See story and photos pages 6 and 7. – Stephen Dafoe Photo.
Stephen Dafoe Photos
Morinville – It may seem a little odd to start a music show off with a couple songs about death, but Pro Coro Canada and friends did precisely that. Beginning their musical journey in Renaissance Italy, the professional choir, one of Canada’s foremost, travelled a road that took them and special guests along the road through a number of musical genres.
The two-hour performance at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre saw Pro Coro Canada share the stage with choirs from Notre Dame Elementary School, Sturgeon Composite High School and Camilla School.
The performance began with two pieces by Claudio Montverdi, Lasciatemi morire and Si ch’io vorrei morire, the latter sang with the Sturgeon Composite School Choir. Pro Coro conductor Trent Worthington praised the school choir and their music teacher Darwin Krips for being able to learn the complex piece. Although morbid in title, the two numbers were uplifting in that the singers’ were able to demonstrate the true range the human voice can produce.
From the music of Renaissance Italy, Pro Coro moved the show to contemporary pop music by performing an a capella version of Bruno Mars’ song Count on Me, a number they were enthusiastically joined in performing by Notre Dame’s Grades 4 and 5 choir. Pro Coro and Camilla School provided the next two numbers int he show: Rocky Mountain and Sansa Chroma.
Notre Dame’s choir closed the first half of the Sunday program by accompanying cowboy singer Jim Reader in an introductory number to his set which filled the second half of the performance.
Reader, whose music career extends back three decades, sang songs of a time when a rancher’s handshake meant something, the days when men and women tough in spirit and determination came to settle the west. The singer / songwriter was joined by Pro Coro Canada and musicians Josh McHan on upright bass, Ron King on mandolin and John Calverly on fiddle.
The concert drew an audience of approximately 200 and was brought to town with the assistance of Servus Credit Union and the Canada Council for the Arts.