Holiday Arts Guide: 5 choirs to help you to get your choral on

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      Vancouver Chamber Choir

      (At Dunbar Ryerson United Church on December 1 and the Orpheum on December 16)

      In its first holiday concert, the esteemed choir celebrates the Nativity story through European carols and other works. Joining conductor Jon Washburn is organist Bryn Nixon. A couple weeks later, head to the Orpheum to travel back in time to A Baroque Christmas: Bach and More, as the VCC, led by guest conductor John William Trotter, delves into early-music Yuletide songs.

      Chez Nous: Christmas with Elektra

      (At Dunbar Ryerson United Church on December 2 and Highlands United Church in North Vancouver on December 3)

      The all-female choir centres its program with Benjamin Britten’s mesmerizing A Ceremony of Carols, accompanied by harpist Vivian Chen. The rest is a serene mix of new works and classics; listen for the world premiere of a suite of carol arrangements by Canadian composer Laura Hawley.

      Vancouver Bach Choir

      (At the Orpheum on December 3 and December 9)

      The whole 400-member choir, ranging in age from five to 75, kicks off the holiday season with its traditional Christmas With the Bach Choir, accompanied by the A Touch of Brass ensemble and putting the singers’ collective lung power to all your favourite traditional carols. Then, the following Saturday (December 9), the core 90-member ensemble joins forces with soloists and members of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra to present a rousing, roof-raising rendition of George Frederick Handel’s masterpiece Messiah.

      Good Tidings! A Good Noise Gospel Christmas

      (At Christ Church Cathedral on December 15 and 16)

      The season’s most soulful concert finds the 90-voice choir performing gospel holiday favourites and new arrangements alongside the lush vocals of Canadian jazz vocalist Maureen Washington.

      Christmas with Chor Leoni

      (At St. Andrew’s–Wesley Church on December 15 and 18, and West Vancouver United Church on December 16)

      The city’s top men’s choir mashes it up, mixing seasonal works by pop artists Tori Amos and Ron Sexsmith with more classical fare and a sing-along. This year, the guys have even promised a bit of doo-wop in the mix.

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