On Thursday, May 17th I had the good fortune of being able to attend the annual St Patrick Regional Secondary School “Spirit Alive” concert at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC, a terrific venue. Many years ago when I was still in high school, I was lucky enough to sing on that stage with the St Patrick Senior Concert Choir several times. In two days, I’ll be on that same stage accepting my Bachelor’s degree from UBC.
I’ve been to all but one of the St Patrick concerts at the Chan since I was in the choir back in high school. The one time I missed, in 2005, I was in New Zealand. Hopefully I will again one day manage to attend, but not likely for several years now that I’m off overseas again, indefinitely.
This year was, in my opinion, probably the best choir concert I’ve yet attended. At the very beginning the doors all around the concert hall opened quietly and young men in tuxedos and women in green dresses silently entered all around us. They stood behind us, they stood in the aisles, they stood above and below (there are 3 levels of seating in the concert hall), and with one single and very brave student on the stage directing them, they began to sing.
After a really well-performed opening song, the famous choir director (who was also my teacher for English 11), Tony Araujo, took the stage to direct the singers who had infiltrated the seating areas.
I won’t spend a long time describing with verbose adjectives and adverbs all the great talent that was displayed in the concert, but I’ll post a few of the better photos I shot that night from the very top balcony, only a couple of metres from the back of the entire hall. The great thing about the Chan Centre is that it was built so that you can hear virtually the same sound no matter where you sit, meaning we got a great view and a great listening experience.
St Patrick Senior Concert Choir (not auditioned)
Spirit Alive Men’s Chorale (an independent community choir, which happens to be all St Patrick alumni)
St Patrick Chamber Choir (auditioned)
Close-up of my baby sis, she’s a great singer :-)
St Patrick Senior Concert Choir with members of the orchestra, led by the concertmaster of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra.
Soloist, John Tarlit, really talented and with great stage presence. Imagine performing a solo to a packed house, surrounded by a 90 person choir and a 22 person orchestra! Talk about pressure!