Philharmonic joy

By Daorcey Le Bray

Two years ago, I planned a terribly romantic date at some downtown outdoor event. Sadly, activities of that type fall short on the romance factor when it’s-30 degrees, the event is canceled and you end up in a Subway scalding your lips on coffee with nothing to say and nothing to do.

According to the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra’s Vanessa Goymour, that needn’t happen again.

“Holiday Fest,” she says, “is perfect for a holiday date.”

A warm, indoor concert full of traditional sing-a-long Christmas music with a mega-choir and soloists? Much better than my original date. Much better.

As Manager of Outreach and Education at the CPO, Goymour has been working for months on the “one night only” concert full of traditional Christmas music Sat.,Dec. 6.

This isn’t your regular 65-member symphonic show–Holiday Fest invites eight high school choirs from around Calgary. Led by the energetic Rosemary Thomson, Resident Conductor and Chorusmaster, the students will combine to create an über-choir of 306 choristers. Add in Mount Royal College vocal soloists Dana Sharp and Sarah Woods and a full orchestra and you can get a pretty unwieldy crowd.

“Simply put, it’s going to be massive,” says Goymour. “There’ll be close to 400 artists on stage at the same time.”

But for Goymour, the large group of people just helps to create the cozy feeling of old-fashioned Christmas caroling, minus the sub-zero temperatures. With so many people united by singing familiar carols, Holiday Fest will hopefully capture the essence of the seasonal spirit.

“This concert will be full of holiday cheer,” she explains. “There’s nothing like singing along with an orchestra as accompaniment in a full Jack Singer [Concert Hall].”

Holiday Fest is on Fri., Dec. 6 at 8 p.m. in the Jack Singer Concert Hall. Tickets can be purchased through TicketMaster. Student pricing and rush tickets are available.

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