2SLGBTQI+ Calgary choir to perform live with special guests
It’s a long time between live performances for the members of Calgary’s One Voice Chorus.
Cass Bessette, artistic director of the 2SLGBTQI+ choir, said their upcoming performance at St Stephen’s Anglican Church this weekend marks the group’s first performance to a live audience since 2019.
“For a lot of us musicians who really haven’t had a chance to perform live in two years, it’s going to be a huge sigh of relief,” they said in an interview with CTV News host Ian White on Thursday.
Bessette said the fact that the performance is taking place at St Stephen’s has added meaning for the group.
“St. Stephen’s is an affirmative church, so they accept people of all sexualities and gender identities, so it’s very important for us to work together in spaces like this,” Bessette said.
The other benefit is that St. Stephen’s is a spectacular place to hear live music.
“The space is so beautiful and the sound,” they said. “You know, when you’re at a concert and you’re in a dimly lit church at night, there’s just something magical about it.”
Saturday night’s concert is called The Great Clear Twilight. Bessette said in addition to the choir, some special guests will perform with them.
“I don’t want to give too many spoilers, but our audience is in for a real treat,” said Bessette.
“(We have a) cellist who joins us, as well as a bassoonist who I know is an unusual combination – choir and bassoon – but we also have a guest dancer, a contemporary dancer, who joins us in one of the will accompany pieces.”
The chorus, Bessette said, will turn the show’s theme — winter is a dark time — on its head.
“Actually, I want to focus on finding the light in the dark,” they said, “so we have a lot of tracks that focus on community issues and healing through nature — we’re doing a track called ‘Earth Song’ by Frank Ticheli It basically means celebrating the beauty of the earth and acknowledging that there is a bit of darkness there, but focusing on conquering the darkness.”
One Voice is also happy about new members. They hold 1 p.m. open rehearsals every Monday night at 7:15 p.m. at the Calgary Unitarian ChurchSt Street and 16 Avenue NW where everyone can come and participate or just watch.
And if you’re interested in joining the group, there’s a small meet-and-greet – but Bessette stressed that potential singers don’t need to have much musical experience.
“We’re not looking for Maria Carey,” they said. “It’s just figuring out who you are and how you fit into the choir. All are welcome. We are very inclusive.”
Show time is Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at 1121 14 Ave. SW The group asks you to wear a mask. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.