Hymns and gospels will get their night on stage as the Fountainview Academy Orchestra and Singers return to Whistler.
The private Christian boarding school located outside of Lillooet is holding a free concert at Millennium Place on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. They are also performing earlier in the day at the Pemberton Community Centre, at 1:30 p.m.
"It's Christian music, a lot of favourite old-time hymns like 'It is Finished,' an old gospel song, and there are songs like 'Champions Love' and 'Blessings' by Laura Story," student Adison Wood says.
One of 60 singers in the Fountainview Academy choir, Wood says there are just 85 students in total at the school; the choir and orchestra are an important part of what it offers to them.
The singers, like the school itself, are Grades 10 to 12.
"It's really awesome. Our music program is a big part of the learning process at Fountainview. Every student participates in some way in the music program, either in the orchestra, choir or both," Wood says.
Using hymns as their choir's source of musical inspiration is important to the academy because it touches many lives, he adds. It doesn't matter whether they are devout Christians or not.
"The music program has been going on for over 15 years, and many of us can say we've seen myriad times people being impacted by inspiring Christian music," Wood says.
"It's really thrilling to be a part of it. Every year we are blessed with good singers."
Their tours have included concerts around Canada, the U.S., and Europe. The Whistler concert comes ahead of a December tour in California.
"We call it a tour in Whistler, but it's more like local performances because it's over a weekend. We're doing a couple of concerts," he says. "Our big tours are 18 days long."
Wood says on a personal level, singing is an effective way for him to get his message out.
"At Fountainview we believe that the message should be clear and we want every listener to hear that message. I think that is what touches many people's hearts, who we are singing about," he says.
He recalled one tour in Europe, when the choir had performed at a train station with other musical groups.
"We had people coming through tunnels at rush hour and hearing the music. It was really amazing to see that even while people were on their way to work, we had brightened their day," he says.
"Some people were smiling from ear to ear. It's very positive and uplifting. Music can create so many different atmospheres and we as an orchestra and choir want to create a feeling where our listeners can take it to heart."
Interestingly, the school also has a farm attached, which is an important part of the students' experience, too. Wood says at one time, their fields were the biggest suppliers of organic carrots in B.C.
For more information visit www.fountainofmusic.ca.