Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
March 15, 2010
Women's choir offers music of the heart
SPECIAL TO THE WCR
EDMONTON - Listening to a concert of Ariose, an Edmonton women's choir, I felt I was touching a bit of heaven. Why this feeling? To listen to Ariose is to be surrounded by a sea of angelic voices, all singing music of the heart.
Though Ariose is not a Catholic choir, much of their program consists of Church music. At this concert, the first piece was Regina Coeli. Before the intermission Psalm 51, "Have mercy upon me, O God," was performed.
Ariose Women' Choir is an award-winning choir of 25 singers from every walk of life, all of whom enjoy the challenge of exploring and performing women's choral music from many styles and periods.
In 2008, Ariose was awarded first place in the Equal Voices Choir (Female) in CBC's National Radio Competition for Amateur Choirs. Ariose has six times been a finalist in this national competition, and was awarded second prize in 1996, 2000, 2002 and 2006.
Formed in 1995 by Dr. Marilyn Kerley in Edmonton, Ariose strives to expose its audiences to a wide variety of women's choral music - much of it unaccompanied - allowing the choir to fill a unique role in Canada's rich choral landscape.
Kerley, who is a choral director, music educator and adjudicator, has taught throughout the school system and directed numerous choirs.
She is the director and the driving force behind Ariose. Marilyn and her husband Hugh are committed Catholics, who find time to live their faith by volunteering at the Marian Centre, an inner city soup kitchen.
I have been to three of Ariose's concerts. Each has been exquisitely performed. At every concert, my spirit was nurtured, enlivened and touched. Twice I heard Ariose perform a Magnificat that was unforgettable. This is music of prayer and of the heart.
I am writing because this musical jewel is not well known nor widely advertised and each concert I've been to has been sparsely attended. The music is made up of rarely heard, beautiful pieces; the performance is top notch.
Ariose performs two or three times a year. The final concert of the season will be Saturday, April 17 at 7:30 pm at McDougall United Church.
Entitled A Canadian Opus it will feature works by Canadian composers. Magnificat will be again performed. If the concert is like the ones before, it will bring joy to the listeners and glory to the Lord.
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