ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Spicy pad Thai heats up the
InterVarsity Choral Festival
prepares to hit the high note
Disc of the Week
This is Bad Taste, no
literally - it sucks
Hoobastank crawls into sickly
Boys cry, too, y'know
InterVarsity Choral Festival prepares to hit the high
By Christina McKenzie
How many Western students does it take to drown out the sounds of police,
fire and ambulance sirens rushing down Richmond Street?
That is the number of people involved in the UWO Choir who, at a rehearsal
last Tuesday, overwhelmed the outside noise while preparing for this
weekend's InterVarsity Choral Festival.
Western will host this year's Choral Festival on Sunday, Feb. 10 at the
Dundas United Church.
"What initially began as a competition 53 years ago has, in recent times,
morphed into a sheer celebration of music," said UWO Choir VP-internal
In 1949, Western was among the original participants in the IVCF. The
school still takes part enthusiastically in the festival, along with
choral ensembles from McMaster, Queen's, Trent, the University of Ottawa
and the University of Toronto's Hart House, he said.
Husk, a fourth-year psychology student, has been working closely with Liam
Birch and Dionne Dornford, the chief organizers of the event, as well as
with UWO Choir president Alessandra Trapani.
Husk is also an active member of the choir that, contrary to assumptions,
consists of more than students from the faculty of music.
"Although the choir predominantly consists of [music] students, it is for
anyone who likes to sing for leisure. In the choir are students in
science, engineering and there are even a few staff members," he said.
Organizer Liam Birch has been with the choir for seven years and said the
diversity of its members is largely responsible for the choir's success.
"The best thing about the choir is that the members don't have any
expectations, which leaves people free to put in what they are comfortable
with and do what they want to do – sing," he said.
Alessandra Trapani also noted the dynamic of the choir. "Because we are
from different faculties, we are a very social group with a common
interest in music, who also have a lot of fun."
She stressed the importance of members assisting and coaching each other
and described the atmosphere of the choir as "very positive."
With Western hosting the festival, the choir is energized to "show [the
public and Ontario student bodies] what we've got," Birch said.
Dionne Dornford, the UWO Choir chair, said the IVCF serves a number of
purposes. "The [festival] allows our choir to venture out into the
community in order to broadcast its talents to others."
As director of the choir, Paul Williams will be making a guest appearance
during the performance as the conductor for the mass selection. The
repertoire chosen for the Choral Festival is mostly from classical
The mass piece, John Taverner's "Two Hymns to the Mother of God," will be
sung in unison by the 200 voices of the participating choirs as the
The UWO Choir also performs during the Christmas season and in early
spring, as well as casual performances at the locations of sponsors, such
as the Fanshawe Market Loblaws and Chapters.
On behalf of the choir members, Husk described the Festival as a weekend
of "choral enrichment" and an opportunity for London's public to indulge
in the vocal resonance of the UWO Choir.
The InterVarsity Choral Festival takes place on Sunday, Feb. 10 at the
Dundas United Church. Admission is free.