Gallery Singers concert to feature national soloist, SSO quartet

For those of you not interested in football, or Roughrider fans waiting for next year, Gallery Singers will be performing at the Dekker Centre Sunday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m.

Appearing with the choir will be soprano soloist Lorraine Reinhardt, who sings professionally in Vancouver. Accompanying the singers will be a quartet of string players from the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, so the evening promises to be three concerts in one — choral singing, solo singing, and a string quartet.

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The 30-voice strong Gallery Singers, under the direction this year of Jan Michael Bourgeois, with Dianne Gryba on the piano, will be performing the works of a number of modern day composers. Highlighting the evening will be selections from John Rutter’s Magnificat, a piece first performed at Carnegie Hall, New York, in 1990.  It is both a rousing and inspiring sacred work, which features a soprano solo to be performed by Reinhardt.

Other works to be performed will include Eric Whitacre’s Five Hebrew Love Songs, composed in 1996 with the help and inspiration of his fiance, Hila Plitmann, who provided the libretto. The piano accompaniment will be provided by the long time musical director of Gallery Singers, Dianne Gryba.   

Another contemporary composer featured in this concert will be Norwegian Ola Gjeilo, who at 23 moved to New York to begin his composition studies at the Julliard School. He is now a professional composer living in New York, and the choir will be singing The Ground, composed in 2008. The choir will also be singing some modern gospel numbers.

All of these works are accessible and fun to listen to.

The soprano soloist, Reinhardt, is from Outlook, and fortunately for music lovers in the Battlefords, one of her sisters sings with Gallery Singers. She has been a choral singer since she was three when she sang with her church Cherub Choir. A music degree from the U of S preceded a professional singing career that started in 1988 with the Vancouver Chamber Choir. She has appeared as a soloist with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Saskatoon Symphony and numerous choirs in British Columbia. Her teaching career was highlighted by 14 years spent in the voice faculty of the Kwantlen University College in British Columbia. In addition to teaching, adjudicating, and performing, Lorraine is also a composer, and at this concert, Gallery Singers, with Lorraine as the soloist, will perform the world premiere of her arrangement of the French Canadian folk song, Un Canadien Errant.

In addition to the singing, both choral and solo, the string quartet, composed entirely of members of the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, will be performing. For many in the Battlefords, this will be your first chance to hear violin prodigy William Boan perform. William won the position of assistant concertmaster for the Saskatoon Symphony at 17 years of age during blind auditions for the position. Currently 20 and attending the U of S and studying music, he was the featured soloist on violin during the Moscow Ballet’s recent performance of The Nutcracker. He placed second overall at the Canadian National Music Festival and first at the 2015 Shurniak Concerto Competion. Also in the quartet are Joan Savage, whose sublime violin playing has been heard before on the stage at the Dekker Centre and who has played with the SSO for 20 years. James Legge on the viola is the principal violist with the SSO, and Scott McKnight, another Saskatoon musician who has performed a number of times at the Dekker Centre, and whose playing is truly ethereal, is the cellist. All four of these accomplished musicians should add a great deal, both to the choral works, but also by performing string compositions for the audience.

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