What the Musicians Say – Pacific Baroque Festival

Emma Gillespie, 14 years. VCC Concert choir

I am in the Victoria Children’s Choir. We are working on a Bach motet for the Pacific Baroque Festival. I have never sung Back before and I really love it. Bach was a musical genius.

Look in any Bach piece and you will find patterns clearly echoed in the music of today, in all genre’s. One section of the piece we are working on has a very jazzy feel to it, it’s a lot of fun. The song is in two choirs, and when you are singing it the two choirs often echo each other and the way they are intertwined is neat to hear.
One thing I especially love about Bach is that, unlike many other composers, his life matched the devotion to God that his music spoke of. He ‘walked the talk’ so to speak. There is a quote by Bach that says “I play the notes as they are written, but it is God who makes the music.” I love that.

Pacific Baroque Festival

Pacific Baroque Festival

Another piece we are working on for the Pacific Baroque Festival is by Telemann and called ‘Der Schulmeister.’
I think it will be super fun to watch and we have loved working on it. As well as doing the music, we get to incorporate some acting into it! I know the audience will love it.

I am also looking forward to seeing some of the other music in the festival. I have never been to watch it before, but I have heard it is all wonderful.

Bruce Lowden, MD, (a very senior tenor). St Christopher Singers

The wonderful thing about singing with Victoria Children’s Choir is that they’re so awfully good.  Really, it seems strange to even call them “children” which makes one think this is a very junior group, just a bunch of kids singing Bach.  Nothing could be more wrong.  With a lifetime of choral singing and lots of Bach, I’m still wondering how I get to sing with these wonderful young committed and enthusiastic artists.  This is an ensemble of very young singers, to be sure, but everyone is already worthy of Bach and everyone is part of an ensemble which is expertly prepared, disciplined, accurate and polished.  No “kids choir” this.  These bubbling young folks “get it” better than many adult choirs – and consistently.

Ben Groom, UVic student. St Christopher Singers

Working with Madeleine Humer and the Victoria Children’s Choir for the Pacific Baroque Festival two years running has been an absolute honour. Being asked to contribute to such a pure, polished and perfected sound compliments me as a singer to an unparalleled extent. These singers don’t just perform some of the most difficult music ever written, they convey their excitement, emotion and enthusiasm through it. And they do so completely naturally, creating a wholly unique experience for musical contributors and audience members alike. These young musicians exude such a boldly infectious enthusiasm, it ignites excitement in those performing with them, as well as the audience. There is nothing like singing alongside children who have mastered the art of performance to this degree.

Paul Luchkow, violinist.  Pacific Baroque Orchestra

February brings different things to mind for different people.

In some parts of Canada, people think of February and know that there may be a number of months of bitter winter left to endure.

If you live in the South Coast of BC, perhaps you have already seen the signs of spring: Crocuses pushing themselves up from the earth; buds on the trees ready to explode at any moment. Just a little warmer now…

And, if you are a lover of Baroque music, your thoughts may also turn to Victoria’s Pacific Baroque Festival, a celebration of beautiful music, played on period instruments by local specialists and guests of international renown.

One of the wonderful things about a festival is that it brings performers together that don’t work together on a regular basis, to play a lot of music in a short amount of time. Although most of us have been colleagues and friends for many years, this is our chance to catch up with old friends, and gain new ones–all within the context of making and sharing great music. This very concentrated period of work (or play?) leads to very rich relationships that we cherish throughout the year and that extend to our audience as well, as we get to know the people that come to hear our music, year after year.

We’re really looking forward to this years festival and trust that you will enjoy listening, as much as we do preparing and performing!