Last Wednesday (January 14), the Peterborough Singers had a blast during sectionals for the Soul II concert. Though sectionals involve what Artistic Director Syd Birrell calls “note bashing,” they are always a lot of fun. And it was especially uplifting to be rehearsing the wonderful music that the choir will offer at Soul II: Roots and Rights on Saturday, February 23.
In honour of Black History Month, the choir is exploring the songs that provided the soundtrack of the civil rights movement, music that allowed people whose voices were often suppressed to express themselves with passion and commitment and hope –with soul. Featured guest soloists Aadin Church and Divine Brown will join the Singers to perform music ranging from gospel songs such as Mahalia Jackson’s “City Called Heaven” and Albertina Walker’s “Hallelujah” to the contributions of Ray Charles, Aretha, Ben E. King, and Stevie Wonder. This music lifts the spirit and inspires – and what a joy it is to practice.
So it was no wonder that sectionals last week were not all about serious work. And the fact that they are held at choir members’ homes (thank you Pam and Syd and Christie), certainly make the experience a more intimate one. There may or may not have been drinks and puppies involved.