Take Me to the Water: A Cultural Exchange between Youth Choirs, in Kelowna

May 16-19, 2019

Coastal Sound Children’s & Youth Choirs from Coquitlam BC, are thrilled to collaborate May 16-19 with Okanagan Children’s Choir and the new Okanagan Youth Choir, based in Kelowna.

The choirs will be performing at schools around town while they are visiting, including some public performances at the Kelowna Art Gallery, Kangaroo Creek Farm and First United Church on Saturday, May 18th.

Diana Clark, Artistic Director of the Coastal Sound choirs, chose Kelowna as a tour destination because of the opportunity to collaborate with Okanagan Children’s & Youth choirs.

“Choral music brings people together, and creates community. Kelowna conductors Taylor Bone and Francis Chiasson have gained a reputation for their outstanding work with young singers, and we wanted to get our singers together to collaborate, to nurture the idea that we are all united, and can learn from each another,” says Clark.

While visiting the Kelowna area, Coastal Sound singers will gain deeper understandings of their province and will have opportunities to connect with locals through song, in places of cultural and historical significance. For Clark and her singers, this connection to place, people and history is an important objective of the exchange:

“It’s not just about singing songs on tour. It’s about intentionally and purposefully creating opportunities for profound experiences for these young artists, using choral singing as the means to do so,” says Clark. “We need to explore our own identities and cultures, so that we can then be engaged, invested and contributing citizens. At Coastal Sound, we help people of all ages make these explorations and connections through choral singing.”

Coastal Sound singers were inspired by the idea of being near Okanagan Lake, so they gathered music that represents a connection to water. In Sail Away you can almost feel the wind catch the sails as the choir takes off; Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat has the choir animated and acting; all 4 choirs join to sing Take Me To the Water a spiritual. “There will be a song for everyone. We are singing a wide and wonderful variety of music, including Lady Antebellum’s I Was Here; Royal Canoe’s Walk Out On the Water; and a new work by Indigenous composer Deanna Gestrin, with text by Chief Dan George, composed especially for the choir.”

Catch Coastal Sound Children’s & Youth Choirs performing public concerts in the area:

Kangaroo Creek Farm–Saturday, May 18th 11:30-12:30 under the gazebo

Kelowna Art Gallery–Saturday, May 18th 3:30-4:30

First United Church–Saturday, May 18th 7pm

Hear the Coastal Sound Children’s & Youth Choirs and Okanagan Children’s & Youth Choirs at 7pm on Saturday, May 18,

2019 at First United Church, 721 Bernard Avenue. Admission is by donation.