The sounds of hundreds of voices will echo through the Royal Theatre on Sept. 8 during the inaugural performance of The Great Canadian Sing.
Anyone who loves uplifting and inspirational music and likes the idea of being accompanied by an 18-piece orchestra – led by local musical icon, keyboardist Karel Roessingh – is invited to attend, says Oak Bay resident Jill Ann Siemens, the event’s producer and founder.
A former longtime instructor at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and the woman behind award-winning singing groups The Canadian Tenors and Tenore, Siemens has assembled a roster of talented performers for The Great Canadian Sing. They include Tenore, the piano-violin duo of Roy and Rosemary, and vocalists Charlotte Martin, Stephanie Greaves and Diane Pancel.
|Victoria-based vocalist Stephanie Greaves is among the featured performers for the inaugural Great Canadian Sing concert. Don Denton/Black Press|
Siemens sees the concert as a way to bring people together in a positive way and have them connect even more directly to the music.
“I’ve found that whenever I went to Canadian Tenors concerts, people would always start humming under their breath at the choruses. People just love to sing,” she says.
When Siemens began looking into the concept of a mass concert singalong, her research found that 3.5 million Canadians sing in choirs, a figure that helped inspire her to create this new performance event.
The list of songs to be performed includes 10 compositions that were voted on by the public, who selected them from a list of well-known inspirational songs. While most of the 10 songs, ranging from “Amazing Grace” to “Hallelujah,” will be led by the various performers, the audience will take the lead on a couple of the numbers.
While Siemens chose to focus on more spiritual music for this inaugural concert, she says the next will feature songs from Broadway and film.
Audience members will find the lyrics for songs in the 3 p.m. show on Sept. 8 in their programs, making it easy to sing along, she adds.