LSM Newswire

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Victoria Philharmonic Choir - Family Christmas Carol Sing-Along Concert

Music Director: Peter Butterfield

Guest organist: Nicholas Fairbank

Tuesday, December 22, 7:00 pm, Church of St. John the Divine

1611 Quadra St., Victoria, BC

It’s the essence of a Christmas celebration: entire families from babies to grandparents together in a lovely old church, singing beloved and familiar carols along with an excellent choir and majestic organ accompaniment.

For VPC music director Peter Butterfield, it’s all about creating a joyous musical experience that’s family-friendly and accessible. “If little children want to come up front and help me conduct, I make that happen,” he says.

The audience gets to sing along on traditional pieces such as O Come All Ye Faithful, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, and See Amid the Winter’s Snow, as the 40-member Victoria Philharmonic Choir adds gorgeous harmonies and soaring descants.

The choir, on its own, will perform some more complex and perhaps less familiar short works, including: “Of the Father’s Love Begotten”, with text by a 5th century Roman poet and a vocal line that recalls plainchant; the Basque hymn, “The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came”, Morten Lauridsen’s mystical setting of “O Magnum Mysterium”, a four-part unaccompanied setting of Blake’s “The Lamb” by John Tavener (the contemporary composer, not the 16th century one!) and “The Shepherds’ Farewell”, from L’Enfance du Christ, Op. 25, by Berlioz.

Guest performer is Nicholas Fairbank, prize-winning organist and composer.

Peter Butterfield began organizing family sing-along carol concerts with his choir, VancouverVoices, at St. Helen’s Church in Point Grey about 5 years ago, and they’ve quickly become a hugely popular – even sold-out – event.

While there should be some tickets available on concert night at the door of St. John the Divine, it’s advisable to purchase advance tickets from Ivy’s Books, Cadboro Bay Books or Long & McQuade Music in Victoria, or Tanner’s Books in Sidney.

Tickets are $20 adult, $15 student/senior. Children 12 & under will be admitted free with an adult, but MUST have their own tickets.

More information:

Hi-res photos of VP Choir & Peter Butterfield may be downloaded from the website media page, or e-mailed to you.

Media contact: Sherry Lepage, volunteer publicist 250.598.6433 or

And in other news… We can now confirm that the Victoria Symphony Orchestra will be playing the Victoria Philharmonic Choir’s performance of Bach’s monumental sacred work, the St. Matthew Passion, on March 27, 2010 at St. Andrew’s Cathedral. Soloists will be announced in the New Year.



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