The Richmond Singers - 50th Anniversary
Half a century of singing is a lot of music. We are the Richmond Singers and we are celebrating our 50th Anniversary. This is our story. It started at the very beginning. A very good place to start.
A small ad in a local newspaper, attracted the attention of a dozen women who were interested in forming a community choir. With a director and accompanist in place the Richmond Singers choir was born. Now six directors, three accompanists and five decades later, we are still going strong. Singing for ourselves and our audiences.
We began performing concerts locally, and were soon singing and winning at Kiwanis Music Festival. Over our 50 years, we have sung indoors and outdoors in all seasons and all weather. In churches, concert halls, gardens, shopping malls, community centre’s, and care homes. We have shared the stage with other choirs, outstanding soloists and talented musicians from violinists to bell ringers.
We have changed themes with every concert. And changed our costumes almost as often. The Richmond Singers grew in size and popularity and requests for daytime performances in smaller venues increased. In 1989, the Richmond Singer's Ensemble was formed in order to meet the need for a small choral group to perform in locations, not suitable for the larger choir. These dedicated volunteer singers donate their time and talent for as many as 35 performances in a year.
Giving back to our community is something the Richmond Singers do willingly. And over the years we have freely participated in many civic events, festivals, and charitable events.
The Richmond Singers have occasionally taken our show on the road. Our first trip was particularly memorable. In 1974, 40 singers rode in an unheated school bus through a snow storm to Linden, Washington. In an unheated concert hall with a seating capacity of 800, they sang to an audience of 20 people.
Well, neither that nor bus breakdowns could deter us. We have since sung in Whistler, Kelowna, Victoria, Squamish Qualicum and Gibson's Landing. There have been three, especially notable trips. In 2003, we were the BC representative at Unisong in Ottawa, where we sang independent concerts and rehearsed the common repertoire daily. The finale concert saw 350 singers from 11 Canadian choirs perform with the orchestra in the National Arts Centre on Canada Day.
Our most distant travel was to Festival 500 in Newfoundland in 2009, where we performed independently, attended workshops and sang in an incredible international mass choir of 1200. On the side, we saw puffins and icebergs and sampled scrunchions and screech. Some of us even kissed a cod and became honorary Newfoundlanders.
We attended another International Festival in Powell River in 2016. Kathaumixw united choirs of all ages from around the world in friendly competition. We didn't win for our singing, but we were told that we were the best dress choir there.
Every concert requires many hours of work. Rehearsing music is obvious, but there's also learning choreography workshops, fundraising, creating programs and advertising, choosing costumes and the setting up and taking down of equipment. There's always a lot of fun behind the scenes. And even at our parties, we sing, sing, sing.
We appreciate the support we have had over the past 50 years. After adapting to singing virtually we can now look forward to entertaining you in person very soon. Please check our website for notices about when that will happen. And now the story of the Richmond Singers, continues .