Mid winter is the time when each of us wait with dread for the temperatures to plummet, a time when we stay hunkered down in our cocooning mode and avoid venturing out onto icy streets.
But not the West Ottawa Ladies Chorus—they are singing and swinging getting ready for spring. The chorus has undergone some changes this year, one of which is they have a new accompanist Lanark-based jazz and blues pianist/singer Peter Brown.
Having Peter has led director Robert Dueck to draw on his expertise and plan a concert that will feature jazz and swing numbers. ‘All Nature Sings and Swings’ concert, April 30, will present songs, as the title suggests, about nature and the choir will definitely be moving to their rythmns. To round out the performance the choir will be joined by Carleton Place Offbeats adding their unique style to the evening.
“Having Peter at the piano and drawing on his knowledge has encouraged the choir to push their limits and bring the music to life. Peter has toured with Canadian blues legend Dutch Mason, American blues artist Sherman Robertson and with former Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor, and was the keyboardist for Mumbo Jumbo Voodoo Combo for 17 years. For many years, he has served as pianist/bandleader/arranger for the Mississippi Mudds theatre company in Carleton Place, as accompanist for the Townsingers of Carleton Place and as pianist for the Stone Fence Theatre Company in Eganville and currently performs with the The Rockerfellas,” said Dueck.
Every Wednesday, the choir practices at a senior’s residence where they have a rapt following that are already clapping and cheering on the chorus. Melodies from the Maritimes and across Canada as well as well-known Broadway numbers have the residents tapping their toes. One of the chorus members just might do a little tap dancing too.
So the dreary days of winter give way to expectations of spring, to welcome a burst of new life as the voices of the West Ottawa Ladies Chorus prepare to sing and swing in April.