G.V.C. choir program

Garden Valley Collegiate
Winkler, Manitoba

By Tanya F. (Grade 11)

Choir is a marvellous way to show one's singing talent, to extend what one knows and to know that one has something that will last a lifetime.

Mrs. Loretta Thorleifson is the director of the three levels of Choir at Garden Valley Collegiate. The Junior Choir is for grade 9 students and only lasts one semester. It is the only choir course that takes place during the school day.

The Intermediate Choir is for grade 10 students, but those from higher grades can also join. The third level is the Senior choir, which is offered to grade 12 students. They also meet two days a week throughout the year. Students who are cut from the Senior choir are still eligible to join the Intermediate choir. So anyone at G.V.C. who wants to sing can sing. Mrs. Thorleifson reports she is also trying out two vocal groups and that these are going quite well.

The activities that Mrs.Thorleifson undertakes with her choirs are quite fascinating. All G.V.C. choirs go to the ChoralFest, and they sing at the Christmas concerts. Intermediate and Senior choirs sing at Spring concerts and go to Winkler Fest, which is held in March. They also do one or two church visitations on Sunday mornings. The Junior Choir sings at two different schools during the exam period.

Mrs.Thorliefson will get an expert to come to the workshop that is held at G.V.C. This person will help the choir improve in areas where they have trouble. They also go on tours, which alternate between a big tour and small tour. They will go on a tour in 1998 to Minneapolis; in the previous year, they went to the Interlake Region. The Vocal Jazz groups will be going to a Jazz festival in March, as well as going to the Forks.

The G.V.C. Choir has been quite successful. Mrs.Thorleifson says, "Students see a lot of good things happening and that motivates them to keep going." What has made this year's choir distinctive from earlier years, the director reports, is its balance. It is the best balanced choir Mrs. Thorleifson has had. It is a smaller choir than last year, but it has a lot of instrumentalists, piano players, and people who can read music.

Mrs.Thorleifson makes her musical selections from the 700 different pieces of music which she has collected over the years. She attends workshops where new music is presented, and she gets demo tapes from publishers. She also listens to many other choirs and takes note of the music she likes.

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