What the ULeth Choir is Doing this Spring

Written by Benjamin Wiebe

This month, I reached out to the directors of the University of Lethbridge Singers Choir to get a sneak peek into the events they have planned for the new year. Director Dr. Janet Youngdahl and assistant Jaimee Jarvie have been working with the auditioned choir for as long as I have been a student at the UofL, and I have had the pleasure of working with them previously as a member of the choir. In this interview, they spoke about the impact the choir has on the community, the various events occurring throughout the spring semester, and how people can get involved with the choir. Below is our conversation.

Benjamin: What events do you have happening that people can come to watch?

Dr. Janet Youngdahl: Our first exciting event is a fundraiser for the food bank called “If Music Be the Food of Love.” That will be held at Southminster United Church on February 15th at 7:30 p.m. We will be joined by special guest, Ryland Moranz, who is a fabulous folk singer making a huge name for himself. Ryland was a former student at the University of Lethbridge and now works as a folk singer/songwriter. He’s worked with Leeroy Stagger and recently completed an Australian tour of his solo music. He is definitely worth coming out to see!

We will also hear from U of L Conservatory Choirs, U of L Jazz Combo, string players, piano soloists, and a massed choir of more than one hundred singers performing two exciting, very rhythmic, and engaging pieces.

Jaimee Jarvie: We put on a fundraiser for the Food Banks last year, and it had such good energy! It’s going to be an incredible night. It supports the U of L Food Bank, the Lethbridge Food Bank, and the Interfaith Food Bank.

Benjamin: How can people support those food banks through this event? Are they bringing food to the door?

Dr. Janet Youngdahl: You can either bring food or cash!

Benjamin: What time does “If Music Be the Food of Love” start?

Dr. Janet Youngdahl: It’s February 15th at 7:30 p.m. at Southminster United Church. Last year, we were packed, so we suggest arriving early to get a seat! We were thrilled to raise over $3,000 in support of the Food Banks last year.

Benjamin: Oh, that’s awesome. What other events do you have going on after that?

Dr. Janet Youngdahl: We’re singing in the Lethbridge and District Music and Speech Arts Festival. We will be performing in a session with other community choirs on March 20th at Southminster United Church.

Jaimee Jarvie: The session is from 6:00-9:00 p.m. and includes performances by the U of L Children’s Choir, U of L Alegre Singers, U of L Incanto Choir, U of L Singers, U of L Sing for Joy Choir, and the U of L Ventus Women’s Choir. It costs $5.00 to enter, and you will be treated to wonderful performances by the choirs and adjudications by Dr. Joy Berg.

Dr. Janet Youngdahl: We then have our end-of-semester concert, which is the same week, on Saturday, March 23rd, at 7:30 p.m., in the U of L Recital Hall.

Benjamin: And just to remind me, I’m pretty sure that students at the University have a discounted rate or free admission to certain events happening in the Recital Hall.

Jaimee Jarvie: Yes. Each student has one free ticket. If they log on to the University’s online box office and select a student ticket, it will come up at zero dollars!

Benjamin: So they can use that to come and see what’s happening in the music department, and that’s as many times as they want throughout that week for distinct events.

Dr. Janet Youngdahl: Each student gets one free ticket per event. There are many ensemble concerts and drama events that they can attend for free as a student of the University.

Benjamin: And if, hypothetically, someone was excited, heard about this, and said, “I don’t just want to watch, I want to be a part of the choir.” Is the choir accepting people to join?

Dr. Janet Youngdahl: Funny you should say that. I accepted a new student into the choir last Wednesday. Increasingly, we have students from across campus in different disciplines join our choir. It is not just a choir for music majors. It’s a university choir! The only prerequisite is that you enjoy singing!

Concluding Remarks

It was a pleasure to interview Dr. Janet Youngdahl and Jaimee Jarvie. Their excitement for these events shines through in speaking with them – whether it’s the positive community impact the Uleth Singers Choir can have through events like “If Music Be the Food of Love” or the genuine achievement the choir displays through their End-of-Semester Concert. As a choir alumnus, I can attest to the community within the choir – it’s welcoming and informal and a safe place for risk-taking. If you are a singer with formal training, there is a place for you in the choir – and if you have no experience, it’s a place for you as well. It’s well worth the time to check out for singers and listeners alike.

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