A new community choir is in the works.
Dave Pasivirta, a music teacher at Laurie Middle School, is organizing a new Cranbrook Community Choir and is inviting adults of all abilities — beginners to experienced vocalists — to come out to an inaugural practice at 7 p.m. at St. Aiden’s Orthodox Church on Thursday, January 19.
Pasivirta was one of the forces behind the creation of the Cranbrook Community Orchestra, which is now being headed up by Dean Smith.
Now, Pasivirta is focusing his passion for music towards the choir, which is not an unfamiliar venture as he continues to run a choir based in Fernie that he started four years ago when he used to live there.
“I treat it like a group voice lesson,” said Pasivirta. “I teach anybody who wants to learn how to sing. It’s not the kind of choir where you have to know how to sing to join. It’s the kind of choir where if people like singing and want to know more about it, that’s the place for people to come and sing.
“It’s not about being good, it’s about learning and making progress and developing community along the way.”
Pasivirta is a music teacher and has the chops for it; he holds a Bachelor of Arts in voice and a Masters Degree in Interpretation and Values, along with his Bachelor of Education.
“Singing’s a little bit different because you don’t have an instrument, it’s a little bit more vulnerable,” said Pasivirta. “So I try to make it really clear that it’s okay to make mistakes.
“You’re allowed to make mistakes. Some people are afraid to come out and make mistakes but that’s how you learn.”
The plan is to tackle all kinds of music such as pop, spirituals, renaissance, Latin, rowdy pub music, East Coast folk music and everything in between.
“It’s stuff that keeps an audience and a choir interested and is good for teaching,” Pasivirta said.
He hopes to team up with the Cranbrook Community Orchestra after learning they did Handel’s The Messiah as part of their Christmas concert, noting that the inclusion of the choir would add another element to the performance.
There’s no cap on the size of the choir, but Pasivirta is hoping for a minimum of 20-30 people. The first practice will be on Thursday, Jan. 19, at St. Aiden’s Orthodox Church at 7 p.m. with weekly meetings on Thursday at the same time to follow.