|Spirit's Call Choir - Excerpt from Winnipeg Free Press Article - June 15, 2005|
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in Winnipeg Free Press on June 15, 2005
"Choir Heeded Spirit's Call to Record CD"
The 145 voices of Winnipeg's amateur choir Spirit's Call have not let a little thing like talent stop them from recording their music for posterity.
The group's debut CD, Together in Harmony, will be launched at 2 p.m. on Saturday at The Forks.
"Singing is our birthright," says Margaret Tobin, one of the choir's founding members and its program director.
"When people find their voices, they find themselves. We sing for joy and for causes that bring harmony to the world."
The story of Spirit's Call Choir is familiar to many Winnipeggers. The group grew from nine people who attended a workshop in 2000 at the St. Norbert Arts Centre.
They first flexed their vocal cords "chanting for self-expression," Tobin says. It felt so good they decided to turn into a regular thing.
Several of the first choir members had been told early in life they were better off not singing outside the shower.
"Everyone can sing," says Tobin, a social worker and University of Manitoba associate professor and counsellor.
"The key is to listen. You also have to know your range and sing inside it."
There are a few differences between Spirit's Call and other community choirs. One is its ecumenical nature -- it has no religious affiliation. Another is that absolutely anyone can join, whether their vocal talents are major or minor.
"I was always told I had a very loud voice," says city councillor Jenny Gerbasi, who joined the choir three years ago. "I was kicked out of my school choir in Grade 3. I remember sitting outside on the school steps while everyone was practising. It was humiliating."
Under director Lyle Eide, the choir gave its first full-length public concert at a benefit in 2003 to support refugees in Winnipeg. They enjoyed the experience so much that they have given several concerts since, all to appreciative audiences. They rehearse weekly at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 603 Wellington Cres.
The CD consists of 13 numbers from different cultures and traditions taped live at concerts in late 2004 at Bethel Mennonite Church and St. Boniface Hospital Chapel.
"What they do has really grown on me," says the CD's producer, Dan Donahue. "They sing for all the right reasons."
The CD will be available for $20 at Saturday's launch under the canopy at The Forks. The choir, with both Eide and new director Michael Kurek leading the way, will do two half-hour sets at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
After that the group goes on summer hiatus. Prospective new members can leave their names with Dawn Lazar at 488-0495 or attend the first rehearsal Sept. 11 at the Unitarian Church. The CD is available at the Lion and the Rose Gallery, 452-5350.
For MEDIA INQUIRIES about Spirit's Call Choir contact
Heather Emberley at 204-284-7137 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heather is our new Public Relations contact as of September 2004.