Vocal ensemble Vocal Intent performs at the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre on Jan. 6. The sextet consists of Sylvain Brochu, tenor, Jon Eriksson, baritone, Tom Kellough, baritone and bass, Jen MacInnes, soprano, Tina Wesseling, alto, and Elizabeth Scott, soprano and alto. The group performs mostly a capella, with occasional instrumental accompaniment and has been singing together for 12 years. Scott was introduced to singing by her musical mother who had Scott and her sister singing three-part harmony early on. “She taught us to sing,” says Scott of her mother. “She put us in the church choir, so I was singing from a very young age.”
Scott credits Brochu with bringing together the various members who have varied degrees of musical education, but all share a love of singing. “I jumped at it,” says Scott of Brochu’s invitation to join the group. “I thought it was a great idea. It’s been such a nice fit between all the members.” Vocal Intent’s repertoire is an eclectic mix of sacred, Renaissance, choral, pop, jazz and folk music. “When you’re singing just with voice and you can hear each other, it transports you,” enthuses Scott. “When it works, it works so well. I’m sure it’s why I have such good health. Singing is very good for you.” None of the members is a professional musician or singer, so finding a common rehearsal time among six schedules can be challenging, but when preparing for a concert, they meet once a week. “It’s a real gift to have found these people and be singing with them,” says Scott. “I wish we could meet more often.”
Their concert on Jan. 6, Songs for a New Day, is a celebration of the New Year featuring their usual eclectic mix of music, with each member choosing a few pieces from their repertoire, along with some new music. Works by Kim Arnesen, Eric Whitacre, Rajaton, Pentatonix and The Beatles are just some of the pieces audience goers will be treated to. The concert is by donation to make the performance accessible to everyone. “Hopefully [the audience] will find it enjoyable and be uplifted,” says Scott. “And that this joy we get from singing together can be transmitted and [they] feel inspired to sing themselves more in this new year.”
Vocal Intent performs Songs for a New Day on Sat., Jan. 6 at 4:30pm at the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre in Sechelt. Admission by donation. All welcome.