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Into the Deep (longing)

Sea to Sky Singers present spring concert in the acoustic confines of mining museum

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What: Sea to Sky Singers spring concert

When: Friday, May 7, 7:30 p.m. & Saturday, May 8, 3 p.m.

Where: B.C. Museum of Mining (Friday) & St. John the Divine Anglican Church (Saturday)

Cost: $12 adults, $10 students & seniors

Since the B.C. Museum of Mining ceased 70 years of operation in 1974, the mill concentrator building has largely stood silent and empty, a reminder of a resource-based economy of days past. But this Friday night the impressive structure will resonate with the sound of song as a local choral group performs in the confines of the historic building.

The Sea to Sky Singers have been together for almost 15 years. Today, the group has grown to include almost 40 adult performers from the Squamish area, who put on two large concerts each year: one at Christmas time and one during the spring season.

"It started as a small group of people that wanted to sing together and grew large enough that they hired a conductor and that was Colleen Koop," explained choir director Veronica McPhee.

Koop stepped down from the position seven years ago, with McPhee stepping in to fill her shoes.

"We like to choose a wide variety (of music) to match sort of our personalities, but also the audiences that are coming to see us, so we have a lot of classical things, some jazz, some pop, some folk songs," McPhee explained.

But this weekend, the group is putting a different twist on their spring concert. Dubbed "Deep Longing," the performance is rooted in a concept that revolves around the concept of "longing" - longing for love, longing for travel. And the entire two-hour concert will be staged within the confines of the mining museum.

"I've been interested in having a concert there for a while, and so when I started of thinking of something that would work, I started exploring different themes that would kind of match the surrounding, so I wanted to do some mining songs and that kind of thing, and then I thought about all the things that happen when you're a pioneer and you have to leave your home," McPhee explained.

The choir then went on to develop the theme's breadth and depth from the perspective of the pioneer lifestyle.

"When you travel, then you invariably end up leaving someone or some place behind," McPhee pointed out.

Thematically, "longing" is what emerged, but musically, this concert is all over the map. While there is a lot of Canadian repertoire, they've just returned from a joint concert in Seattle and decided to also feature some American-composed pieces.

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