Langley choirs raise their voices for wildfire fundraiser

Choirs in five communities not hit by wildfires are hosting concerts in support of the Red Cross.

The Fort MacMurray fires last year put an idea in the head of Brigid Coult of the BC Choral Federation – choral groups using their vocal talents to raise funds to help fire victims.

“Somehow it never came together that year,” she said.

The ember of that idea grew into a flame this year when the B.C. wildfires caused so much devastation to so many communities.

“This year we heard from our own singers and choral supporters in areas affected by the fires,” said Coult, the project manager for the concerts. “Our beloved former President Dennis Tupman lives in the Cariboo and his family had to be evacuated, and board member Rachel Casponi and her family had to run for it. At that point I decided it was time to push, and presented the idea to the BCCF board.”

Now Lower Mainland choral groups are performing concerts this weekend, including one Sunday in Langley, to raise funds for the Red Cross wildfire relief efforts.

“I would hope that the Light Up the Fires event, which has caught the imaginations of quite a lot of people, and got choirs inspired to sing together, will bring in more than $10,000,” she said.

Light Up the Choirs has corralled choral groups for performances in Vancouver, the TriCities, North Vancouver, Richmond and Langley. Admission is by donation to all the shows. The Langley concert starts at 7 p.m. in the Willoughby Christian Reformed Church, 20525 72nd Ave.

The communities impacted by wildfires can’t hold concerts.

“So MetroVancouver has been the focus, with five concerts taking place over three days, and including singers from more than 25 choirs,” she said.

The Langley event is being hosted by Langley Chorus, whose conductor, Anita Comba, serves on the BCCF Board. It will include offerings from the young (Trinity Western University Chamber Choir), the old (the Senior Opus Singers), a men’s choir (First Capital Chorus Barbershop Choir), a women’s choir (Opus One Women’s Choir) as well as the mixed voice Langley Chorus.

“Each choir will sing in turn, and everyone will join in the national anthem and something else to wind the evening up,” Coult said.

To find out about the other shows, go to the federation website at bcchoralfed.com.

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