(Conductor, Robert Dueck leading the West Ottawa Ladies Chorus at the Christmas 2018 concert. Photo: Tom Chmara)
Conductor Robert Dueck is planning to hand out a basket of Wintertime Cheer at the West Ottawa Ladies Chorus concerts on December 6 and 7th. This will be the last time that Robert, who lives in Stittsville, will be conducting his choir in a Christmas concert. He is planning to move out west later in 2020 or early 2021 and although he will still be directing the choir for next Spring’s concert, this is his last Christmas concert and it promises to be a wonderful event.
(An earlier Christmas concert performed at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in 2015. Photo: Stittsville Central)
As always, Robert’s music choices are varied and musically interesting. The concert begins with a rousing carol called “Awake, Awake: A Joyous Noel”. There follows a variety of different types of music from gospel pieces such as “Baby, Born in Bethlehem” to a sprinkling of Tchaikovsky in “Nutcracker Jingles” and the intricate harmonies of well-known composer John Rutter when the choir sings “Nativity Carol” and the beautiful “Candlelight Carol”. There will also be a Celtic element to the program with instruments and lilting rhythms. The audience gets a chance to participate in several sing-along numbers as well. The choir’s valued accompanist, jazz pianist Peter Brown, plays all the music from classical to pop with amazing sensitivity and aplomb.
(WOLC Conductor Robert Dueck and Peter Brown accompanist. Photo: Stittsville Central.)
The West Ottawa Ladies Chorus was founded by Robert Dueck in 2012 with just 12 singers. Under his watch, the choir has grown to an average of 40 singers, all of whom are personally auditioned by Robert before being invited to join. He sets high standards and expects singers to be committed to knowing their music and eager to pay attention to the changes in shading required for excellence in singing.
Practices are once or twice a week, depending on a choir member’s availability. These are enjoyable times with lots of laughter and hard work and there’s a social time once a month when a few choir members bring treats and enjoy coffee and chats after the practice. The Chorus does sing-outs at retirement homes and community events as well as offering public concerts at both Christmas and in the Spring.
This year’s concerts will take place at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Kanata. Times for concerts are Friday, December 6 at 7:00 pm and again on Saturday, December 7 at 2:30 pm. Advance tickets for $15 are available locally at Brown’s YIG and at other retail outlets listed on the WOLC website. Tickets at the door are $20 and online purchase is also available. Children under 12 are free. www.westottawaladieschorus.ca.
(The members of the 2019 West Ottawa Ladies Chorus marking their last performance under Conductor Robert Dueck at Brown’s YIG. Photo: John Bottriell)
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