The University of Regina's Chamber Singers will soon be able to add another feat to their list of accomplishments. As part of the cross country Olympic torch relay, the choir has been selected to perform "There's a Light," the official anthem at the 2010 Winter Olympics Torch Relay Ceremony on January 9, when the Olympic torch passes through Regina. The torch relay presentation will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Regina Sportplex, 1717 Elphinstone St.
The Chamber Singers, under the direction of Dr. Aaron Mitchell since 2007, have performed in some of North America's great concert halls including Carnegie Hall in New York. They twice won first prize in the mixed choir category at the National CBC Amateur Choral Competition, as well as first prize in the chamber choir category at the International Eisteddfod in Wales. Comprised of about 30 singers and specializing in the performance of a cappella choral repertoire, they were recently invited to perform at the national convention of the Association of Canadian Choral Communities, a biennial convention featuring some of the top choirs from across Canada. The group is also preparing to release a CD recording.
In addition to conducting the Chamber Singers, Mitchell also leads the Concert Choir and the University Orchestra, frequently combining forces for choral-orchestral works. As far as rehearsal time goes, Mitchell notes that the Chamber Singers rehearse for two hours a week. "Two hours is about half the time University choirs of the same caliber rehearse. This means we have to work hard and fast," says Mitchell. He adds that the choirs are composed of talented, dedicated members of the University and Regina community.
"When I was hired here as Director of Choral Activities, I knew I had to focus on recruitment and increasing awareness. Many students on campus told me they didn't know that the University had a choir or that they could join." Mitchell uses a variety of advertising and media to help get the word out to students, as well as to members of the community, who are able to participate as space is available. And it seems to be working - participation in the choirs is up nearly 70 per cent since he came.
To see the choirs in action, visit http://www.urchoirs.com/ for upcoming concert information.