The St. Albert Singers Guild has travelled all around the world. But in its final concert of the season, music director Criselda Mierau has borrowed inspiration from one of the most precious resources on planet Earth – water.
The Water is Wide, slated for two concerts this Saturday at St. Albert United Church, is a collection of water-themed music that meanders through all genres – country, jazz, spirituals, pop and more.
Once again Timothy Anderson sets the pace as master of ceremonies while visual artist Lewis Lavoie debuts two of his masterpiece original paintings created on the spot during the concerts.
“Can you imagine owning a Lewis Lavoie painting? We’re going to hold a raffle. The tickets are ridiculously cheap and Lewis will paint one at each concert. The names of both will be announced at the evening concert. Even then the people who win the paintings won’t receive them. They have to dry and Lewis wants to take them home and frame them,” said Mireau.
The water-theme for the concert came about in part from Mireau’s passionate curiosity about the world.
“I found a piece a couple years ago that I fell in love with. It was a folk song, I Dreamed of Rain, by Jan Garrett, a California composer-arranger and the arrangement is just stunning.”
Additionally, since February Mierau has travelled to Paris, Spain’s Costa del Sol and Vancouver Island.
“It struck me in flying how much water there is or what a lack of water there is. And after this is done, we’re going to flying to Provence where we spent our honeymoon. And it’s basically arid, but it has this lushness that surprises.”
Combining Garrett’s composition with her personal observations became the cornerstone for this fluid ode to rainstorms, rivers, oceans and even tears.
This unplugged exciting ensemble of about 60 vocalists sing a body of work that ranges from reflective and hopeful to upbeat and happy.
Mierau is soft-pedalling an a cappella version of Under the Sea, the Ladysmith Black Mambazo composition Rain, Beautiful Rain, the poetic Cry Me A River and that old jazz standard Up the Lazy River. At this point the mixed choir is just warming up.
She’s also planned a few loopy, novelty moments with tunes such as Splish, Splash I Was Taking a Bath juxtaposed in an airplane bathroom.
“It’s the unexpected that will intrigue people. You will be pleasantly surprised and inspired by the range of songs and you can see how much is out there that speaks to water.”
The Water is Wide
St. Albert Singers Guild
Saturday, May 9 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
St. Albert United Church
20 Green Grove Dr.
Tickets: General admission is $15. Call 780-418-4184; also available at door.