Pandemic Projects

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nanaimo Sings! Board and Planning Committee was committed to staying in touch with singers.  To that end, two projects were done.  The first, Celebrating Nanaimo Sings! is a video comprised of music and images from Nanaimo Sings! festivals since our inception in 2007.  The second, was a virtual choir performance entitled Keeping Calm and Singing On

Made in Nanaimo: Celebrating Song and Partnership

The COVID-19 pandemic side-lined Festival 2021.  It was a difficult time for Nanaimo Sings! as an organization as well as for its member choirs.  We are thrilled to be again planning for a Nanaimo Sings! event to foster community through song.  While choirs have been rebuilding, the Nanaimo Sings! organizers have developed a compendium of seven new songs to sing as we mark choral resurgence in our community.  We plan to premiere this new music in the spring of 2023.  It will be the first live Nanaimo Sings! event since 2018 and we are excited about that!

The Inspiration for this Project

Choral singers form part of a synergetic relationship with those who compose music and those who arrange it.  Compositions provide momentum for arrangers who, inspired by the music, use the fundamentals of composition to produce choral arrangements. Choral singers, inspired by skilled directors, breathe life into those arrangements with their performance.  It’s a reciprocal association of symmetry and connectedness.

Made in Nanaimo – Project 2022

Through a search in early 2022, seven songs written by Nanaimo singer/songwriters were discovered and chosen to be arranged for Nanaimo Sings! choirs.  Four talented Nanaimo-based musicians were commissioned by Nanaimo Sings! to create choral arrangements of these songs which singers are learning now in preparation for performing them early next year. The Made in Nanaimo project is a tangible demonstration of the synergy that exists with composers, arrangers and singers.  It is a salute to the power of song and partnership.

Our Made in Nanaimo Partners

Singers:  Our member choirs are shown on the home page.  Click on their photos to learn more about them!

Composers and their Songs:  Click here for information.

  • Omabuwa Edward-Dede (Buwa) – Love is Love
  • Steve Elder – Singing in Harmony
  • Gary Fjellgaard – Somewhere on the Island
  • Bruce Gerrish – Tonight
  • Trish Horrocks and Andrea L’Heureux – Colliery
  • James McRae and Dave Clark – Singin’ On
  • Rick Scott – Angels Do

Arrangers and their Arrangements:  Click here for information.

  • Patrick Courtin: Singing in Harmony
  • Trish Horrocks: Colliery
  • Nico Rhodes:         
    • Angels Do
    • Love is Love
    • Singin’ On
  • Kenton Willhem: 
    • Tonight
    •  Somewhere on the Island

Our Consultant and Mentor

We have been privileged to benefit from the expert experience and mentorship of Willi Zwozdesky.  Willi is widely known and respected as a choral arranger, conductor and music producer.  He is the Executive Director of the BC Choral Federation and the Artistic Director of the Vancouver Men’s Chorus. 

Willi has served as a consultant for our work on this project and a mentor to the arrangers of the music. Click here for Willi’s bio.

Click here to register for Made in Nanaimo

When we premiere these new arrangements, it will be a spectacular demonstration of Nanaimo’s talented and diverse music community of singers, composers and arrangers. Information about this event will be posted as the planning unfolds.