The Richmond Singers CD Collection
This, our second recording, is a collection of favourite songs from the choir’s forty year history. Each song captures a moment in time with all its joyous and sometimes poignant memories. The selections show the diverse tastes of the choir, the ability to sing different genres and the legacy created by each director. Say It With A Song was the signature concert-closing number of director Mavis Weston. At our 40th anniversary concert we invited former members to join the choir on stage to sing this song for the grand finale. I was unprepared for the outpouring of alumni from the audience. It was a shared emotional moment for all, evoking the collective memories of Richmond Singers past and present.
In this recording we are joined by three longtime members of our musical family: Ingrid Stitt, Christopher Haas, and Stephen Johnston. All are fabulous musicians. Cameron Wilson’s superb violin and fiddle playing is a newer treat for us, having joined us for one previous concert. I personally enjoyed working once again with talented and ever-positive sound engineer and artistic producer Jonathan Quick, a man I studied with at UBC School of Music and became reacquainted with during the recording of Savory & Sage, the choir’s first CD. This time we worked together as husband and wife.
Some choir members were new to the recording experience but quickly adapted to the drill. Stand motionless before and after singing especially on a squeaky riser, confess to errant notes and stifle that cough even if it means holding your breath to ensure that perfect take. Otherwise, relax and imagine singing to a full, adoring audience. You, our listeners, are that audience and we are thrilled to share with you The Richmond Singers 40th anniversary favourites. . . .
It has been such a pleasure to work with these amazing women for the last five years. This is a community of women who sing for the pure joy of it, and as an organization have been sharing that joy with others for the past 36 years! Our most recent concert, “Savory and Sage: Folksongs of the Americas and British Isles” provided us with a rich choice of beautiful songs with which to show off the choir.
We are very proud to be performing pieces on this CD arranged by two of our local composers: Brian Tate and my Vancouver Chamber Choir colleague, Larry Nickel. For this programme we were fortunate to collaborate with some fabulous guest instrumentalists: Rebecca Blair on Celtic harp, Liz Hamel on recorder and Jessica Deutsch on fiddle, added great flavour to the folk songs. We also had the privilege of working with two other talented and very supportive musicians: Steve Johnston on bass, and Chris Haas on percussion.
We have chosen to combine the best of the live and recorded tracks for the CD so that you, our audience, would not miss any great moments. This also allows us to present the Richmond Singers Ensemble (tracks 9 and 13), a small, unconducted group associated with the mother choir, which spreads joy on a regular basis in care facilities and in community events throughout Richmond. The Ensemble has just been nominated by the Kinsmen Adult Care Centre for the “Volunteers are Stars” Constellation Award in the Group category!
There are a great many people to thank in putting a CD like this together, not least of whom is Edith Turner, President of the Richmond Singers and the board for successfully handling millions of details, and Donna Bossert for all the graphic design work. I am grateful to Jonathan Quick, our recording engineer, for gently and expertly steering us through our first recording experience. On behalf of the whole choir I would like to thank you, our audience, for being so supportive of our singing throughout the years. It is a joy to sing for you. We wish you much enjoyment from this CD, and from the words of “Riversong”: “Let your heart be glad!” ...