Victoria Harmony Choir
Email the Victoria Harmony Choir at: email@example.com
Victoria Harmony Choir
Dr. Garry Froese, conductor
Iryna Graifer, pianist
Angelika Morris, president
Victoria Harmony Choir History
German singing in Victoria dates to 1861 when the first Victoria Singverein was founded. The Victoria Harmony Choir was established in 1961 with 40 members and its founding conductor, Mrs. Gretel Adam. Practices were held in the Norwegian Hall, and focused on a repertoire of German folk songs and Lieder. Concerts and fundraising dances were held in venues throughout the city. By Spring 1962, the choir had joined the Nord Pazifischer Sängerbund (NPSB; North Pacific Singing Federation) to participate in the song festival held in Vancouver that summer. Thus, the Victoria Harmony Choir became the second Canadian Choir to join this federation of German language choirs. In 1967, Canada’s centennial year, the Harmony Choir hosted the 21st North Pacific Choral Festival which brought 200 singers and their guests to Victoria. The concert was held in the MacPherson Theatre and a choir competition at the former Crystal Gardens. Choir members also fondly remember participating in the German Song Festival in Berlin in 1976.
In 2001, celebrating the NPSB’s 100th anniversary, the festival was again held in Victoria. Close to 500 singers and 1000 enthusiastic followers attended the concert that was held at the University of Victoria. The mass choir was conducted by our former director, Dr. Angelika Arend, whom we wish to thank for her many years of dedication to our choir.
Dr. Garry Froese has been the Victoria Harmony Choir’s director since the fall of 2016. His congenial, effective teaching methods have resulted in improved voices among many of our singers, and our 2019 Christmas and spring concerts were a resounding success. Pianist Iryna Graifer has been with the choir for more than 10 years and this will be her fifth Sängerfest accompanying the choir with her fine musicianship.
Each year, the choir invites one or two young soloists to take part in our concerts. In 2019, we were fortunate to have Elizabeth Gerow perform for us in the spring concert before heading to England to further her music education. Another talented young soloist, Anjulie Djearam, age 14, sang at our Christmas concert. She included the well-known Laughing Song from Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, to great acclaim. As much as the audience enjoys our music, they also anticipate the coffee and cake social that follows our performances.
The choir’s president is Angelika Morris. On behalf of the Victoria Harmony Choir members, she thanks the AVC Melody Choir and the Concordia Choir Vancouver for hosting and organizing the NPSB Sängerfest 2020. Best wishes for a successful event!