THUNDER BAY, ON ---- May May 9, 2010 ---- Sunday May 2nd Dulcisono Women’s Choir presented “Northern Lights,” a joint concert with the Otava Finnish Men’s Choir at Hilldale Lutheran Church, Thunder Bay, Ontario.
The evening brought forth several pleasant surprises. The first was on entering the church parking lot. It was full and overflowing. Clearly this choir has learned a few things about enticing audiences at a time of year when it is difficult to sell tickets to concerts.
The second surprise is realizing how well Susan Marrier; director of this choir can bring out the talents of her singers. She recognizes that many of her singers have made singing an avocation if not a profession. Choir rehearsals are quite technical and this means hard work for the women of dulcisono, but the results are worth it. The choir is highly trained and the choristers enjoy satisfaction of being able to sing like professionals at least twice a year.
The choir has a great deal of musical depth. The director can count on members such as Heather MacLeod and guest Kevin MacLeod to add variety by applying their instrumental and vocal talents to the programme. There were nine soloists drawn from the ranks of the choir during the course of the ninety minute concert.
The Otava Finnish Men’s Choir led by Anja Haavisto shared this concert with Dulcisono. Otava is a traditional Finnish choir that concentrates on folk and religious music of Finland. At times pitch was a little challenged but that is not really that important in their performances. You could sense their pride at being involved with a successful concert featuring Finnish music in a modern Finnish church right here in Thunder Bay. What we heard Sunday night was a genuine Finnish men’s choir and their presence in Thunder Bay makes our cultural life a little brighter.
The theme of the programme was “Northern Lights” thus having the two choirs combine for an evening's entertainment made all kinds of sense. The music was entirely from northern countries, Swedish, Estonian, and of course Finnish composers graced the concert bill.
After the intermission Dulcisono concluded the concert with music by Canadian composers. Elanor Daley is a perennial favourite of this choir, and sure enough her arrangement of “Un Canadien errant” led the second half. Over the years this choir has become refined, capable, and has developed a sense of purpose beyond song. One thing I like is a commitment to sing modern music. This created a nice contrast with the traditional music of the Otava. Dulcisono's presentation of modern music is refreshing and it develops a better understanding of older music old music as well. On the programme eleven songs were written within the past 40 years.
When people live a life immersed in music, their lives also involved with other musicians. Music is a tie that binds, a tie that grows, and one that opens the doors to ever-new possibilities. Dulcisono has discovered a cultural niche in Thunder Bay and turned it into a wonderful success. We can expect more of the same next season.
Arts Editor: LakeSuperiorNews.com