A cappella music filled the halls of The Fernie Arts Station this past weekend as they hosted their spring performance.
The hour-long performance drew in a large audience on both Friday and Saturday evenings (May 22-23).
In fact, Fernie choir director David Pasivirta said that on both evenings there were between 80-90 guests attending the show.
“It was really well attended,” he noted, adding that having two shows rather than one this year was really beneficial. “Last spring when we had our first concert, we only had one and The Arts Station was kind of bursting at the seams.”
With the audience packed into The Arts Station during this year’s spring performance, guests had a chance to listen closely to a mixture of unique music, ranging from renaissance music to Latin pieces and spiritual songs.
“I try pretty consistently to have a varied concert so that both the singers and the audience are engaged,” Pasivirta said, adding, “It seemed to work, we had lots of good feedback.”
The music director joked that the positive feedback included the request of an encore performance, one that the choir did not have planned.
Despite not having an encore song, the choir successfully performed 13 songs, which included three solo pieces.
Winning a gold medal for her Royal Conservatory of Music performance in addition to claiming the Best Italian Performance title during the East Kootenay Performing Arts Festival, singer Jael Wong-Fehringer captured the ears of Fernie Choir’s attendees.
“We thought, Jael’s such a good singer, we should share her with the world,” Pasivirta said of her performances. “We had more solos this time than we ever have before.”
In addition to Wong-Ferhringer’s solo, artists Casey Brennan and Heather Boyd sang a song entitled “City Called Heaven.”
While the solo performances offered a break in the typical structure of the program, Pasivirta said his focus is on growing the a cappella community.
“The whole purpose of the community choir is to include anyone and everyone,” he said, noting that some individuals join the choir without any singing experience. “They learn and grow.”
The process of learning and growing in something Pasivirta cherishes.
“That’s more important to me than singing perfectly,” he said. “It’s about community.”
Pasivirta said he plans to turn the Fernie Choir into a non-profit society in the upcoming months.