Welcome to Magee Choirs and Orchestra

Music Notes late fall 2018 Edition

Steeped in another fabulous year, the first two months have been a whirlwind of amazing growth and incredible coming together in the Choral and Orchestra department here at Magee. Starting off in September, we hit the ground running as usual and by the end of September, three weeks in, the chamber choir performed seven songs memorized at the Music Department Welcome Night. It was a wonderfully attended event, where our Music Society provided all the food and invited anyone who wanted to come, who was part of the music department and their parents, to join us and hear the wonderful Sr. Jazz Band, the String Orchestra and the Chamber Choir. There was lots of food, laughs, and great music. Thank you to the Magee Music Society for helping to make this evening a success.

Then October was retreat month as every choral group got a retreat starting with the Concert Choir day retreat at Shaughnessy Heights United Church. What a fabulous day of having fun bonding and playing and rehearsing. By the end of the day, we had learned 3 pieces from start to finish and were having so much fun laughing and doing crazy activities that helped us start the year off in the right way. Then the Chamber Choir had their annual retreat to Whistler at which we learned through a lot of trust exercises that we are able to emote and feel each other’s joy and pain and that together, we can create unparalleled beauty that has the potential to change not only our audiences, but also, ourselves. Following that, the Evolution Choir had a very illuminating day retreat at which we learned a lot about each other and got a lot of work done and the next day, the string orchestra had a retreat which included a workshop with the fabulous Borealis String Quartet.

Late in October, the Chamber Choir had the opportunity to perform for our incoming grade 7s and their parents and this is really something that we really feel is important for us to be a part of as so many stories of why students have chosen to come to Magee have started with these same elementary students seeing us at an event like this or one of our performances at their schools.

We had a fantastic fundraising event also late in October in our first of two document Shredding events. This was a very successful and fantastic community event where people can have their sensitive documents shredded by donation right in front of their eyes in a huge “Shredwise” truck. We thank everyone who came out to support this event. Our next shredding event will take place on Sunday May 5th, 2019.

November is upon us and it is time for our first major concert of the year, our annual Fall Concert at the Pacific Spirit United Church (former Ryerson) where we will hear performances by the Concert Choir, Symphonic Band, Evolution Choir, String Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and the Chamber Choir. The admission is by donation and the concert begins at 7pm on Tuesday, November 6th. Another wonderful thing about this particular concert, beyond the fabulous music, is that all the proceeds from this concert go into a scholarship for Magee Music Students – last year we received $1000 in scholarships from the Pacific Spirit Concert.

Fundraising is a big part of our program, as it is a way for students to help themselves earn money to subsidize their trips and events with the music department. This year we are taking the senior groups on a fabulous trip to Finland, Estonia, and Latvia – an unbelievably amazing musical journey to some of the most musically rich modern countries in the world. One of these fundraisers is happening now and will conclude on November 13th and that is our partnership with the delectable Purdy’s Chocolates. Please consider helping our students out by purchasing Purdy’s Chocolates which will be picked up December 11th, just in time for the winter holiday season. You can buy it directly from students or online at www.purdysgpp.com and the group number is 35369.

On Friday November 16th, we will be hosting again our annual Magee Chamber Choir Invitational Festival at 7pm. We will welcome 4 wonderful choirs from St Thomas More Collegiate, North Surrey Secondary, Lord Byng Secondary, and Burnaby Central Secondary. We also will welcome the fabulous Dinah Helgeson as our esteemed adjudicator and will be doing some on stage clinics for each of the groups. And then the next morning she will spend some time with our chamber choir for a couple of hours.

Then on November 21st, we will be hosting our annual Stringviational concert at which we welcome Jamieson Elementary, David Lloyd George Elementary, Killarney Secondary and our special guests, the wonderous Borealis String Quartet. This is always an incredible concert where we see and hear wonderful groups from elementary, through secondary, to professional – and we get to witness not only amazing performances by all groups, but also to see all levels of string orchestra music, as well as a performance by the Magee Symphony Orchestra.

After that we are into full on Holiday season as we kick off our first Christmas concert with the Vancouver Welsh Men’s Choir on Saturday December 8th. Always a sold out concert at Shaughnessy Heights United church, if you want tickets, it is advisable to get them early!

Then December 12th we are hosting our annual senior’s tea in our atrium from 1:30-2:30 at which we will have the wind ensemble and chamber choir performing and tea and goodies for our local seniors. Anyone is invited to come who is of that generation for an afternoon of wonderful music and great company.

The Chamber Choir will do some community service as they sing at St Stephen’s Service on Sunday morning on the 16th and will also sing at the Pacific Spirit Church Seniors Luncheon as well. They will also do an elementary school Christmas tour to bring some musical joy to our feeder schools .

Finally the last week of December, we will begin with the little Night Music Concert with Chamber choir on Monday the 17th, our Junior Christmas concert on Tuesday the 18th, and finally our Senior Christmas Concert on Thursday the 20th – all these concerts begin at 7pm.

We do hope to see you at one of our many events and hope that you can take advantage of our fundraising program with Purdy’s too.

Thank you very much for your continued support of the Magee Music Department and we wish you all the best in the coming season!


Greg Quan

 Artistic Director of Choirs and Orchestra