Dr. John Hooper is the new conductor of Island Voices. Photo supplied

Dr. John Hooper is the new conductor of Island Voices. Photo supplied

Island Voices welcomes new conductor

Dr. John Hooper to lead mid-Island based choir

This spring will be a time of transition for Island Voices chamber choir.

The choir has been severely affected by COVID-19, but as founding member Jo-Anne Preston said, “we are alive and well and looking forward to a bright future.”

That future includes a new conductor, as Dr. John Hooper begins his tenure at the helm of the established choir.

When former musical director Jenn Forsland announced she was leaving, the choir knew it would be a challenge to find someone with such strong conducting skills and such passion for choral music.

“I was surprised at the quality of the candidates who applied,” said Preston. “we are so very pleased to welcome Dr. John Hooper into our choir community.”

Hooper comes to the Island via Edmonton, where his conducting career was centred at Concordia University. He conducted the concert choir and community chorus, and founded Sine Nomine, a choir composed of Concordia alumni. He taught many music courses, as well as administering the school of music.

Recently, Hooper conducted the chamber and concert choirs at King’s University – also in Edmonton. He has conducted international music exams for the London College of Music for many years, and has been a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator at international ensemble festivals such as the Singapore Youth Festival.

“[I am] passionate about developing chamber choirs, getting to know individual singers – as musicians and as people – and connecting them to each other and to those who listen to them,” said Hooper. “I envision a strong future for Island Voices, building off its solid foundations and the strong commitment of its singers.”

Hooper and the choir members are eager to begin working together, in whatever form health regulations allow. Possibilities for April include more of the popular VIP nights hosted at Coastal Black Winery, a video recording, or a mini-concert of some sort.

“When planning for the future in times of COVID-19, the key is definitely flexibility,” said Hooper. “We will do what we can this spring, and hopefully, we can all have a more normal singing experience in the fall. I’m already working on a program for late November!”

Hooper is also very keen to make musical connections and looks forward to future partnerships in the community. He can be contacted through Island Voices’ website (www.islandvoiceschamberchoir.bc.ca) or at islandvoiceschamberchoir@gmail.com

But it is not right to welcome the new without saying good-bye to the old. Since its founding by the late Frances Keen in 1997, Island Voices has been committed to “singing excellent music excellently.”

Forsland departs after leading the choir with energy, creativity, skill and patience for the last six and a half years,. Under her direction, the choir grew, both in size and in quality, and the choir will be eternally grateful.

“My tenure with the choir has been rich and rewarding,” she said. “I am grateful for our collective growth. A change in directorship marks the start of new opportunities for me and the choir. I am excited for the next chapter in the story of Island Voices and I look forward to hearing the choir sing with John as conductor. I continue to be a devoted fan and an avid supporter of the community and their beautiful music.”

Campbell RiverComox ValleyMusic

Just Posted

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

COVID cases in the Bella Coola Valley have dropped to just four active cases (file photo)
Expanding social circles fuelling North Island COVID-19 spike

Comox Valley COVID spike the result of ‘a series of multiple social gatherings’

Stephen Nutt, left, and mom Julia Mewhort. (Submitted photo)
Mom worries about treatment delays after son’s drug death in Parksville

Stephen Nutt died from fentanyl laced with methamphetamine and heroin while in supportive housing

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Nanaimo Courthouse. (News Bulletin file photo)
Motorist sentenced to two years for dangerous driving causing death on Gabriola Island

William Goosman pleaded guilty last fall in connection with incident that killed Jay Dearman

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti ‘unacceptable’ says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Stock photo
COVID-19 cases reported at Nanaimo’s Mountain View, Aspengrove schools

Public and independent schools report exposures of virus Feb. 16, Feb. 18-19 respectively

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

Most Read