By Kimberley Hartwig Two Maple Creek talents will be showing off their vocal chops with the Saskatchewan Youth Choir. Maple Creek’s Allison Gordon and Rachel Kay are among the 26 talented young singers aged 15-19 selected to sing with the choir this year. “I was pretty excited and a little nervous,” Gordon said about learning she would be a part of the choir. Gordon first started singing when she was eight. She decided she wanted to try singing while she was taking piano lessons with Heather Macnab, who also teaches singing lessons and is Gordon’s vocal coach. Kay started singing with Macnab when she was around 12 and continues to take vocal and piano lessons with her as does Gordon. After Kay learned about the choir both she and Gordon decided to audition. “I just love the idea of a choir,” said Kay. Gordon and Kay were excited to learn they had made the cut and the fact that both of them were accepted made it that much sweeter. The girls are good friends and are both heavily involved in the local music and theatre scene, often travelling together to events. “They get to travel a bit, they get to sing with kids from around Saskatchewan and get to sing with some of the best choir singers in Saskatchewan and top-notch choral director,” Macnab said. “It will be a good opportunity for them.” In order to audition for the choir, Gordon and Kay had to submit a video audition of them singing a supplied piece as well as a diatonic major scale to show their range. They also needed to send in a letter of recommendation from either a voice teacher, vocal coach or music teacher. The choir sings mostly classical pieces and Gordon and Kay will have the chance to sing songs in English, German and Italian which presents a new, interesting challenge — this will be the first time either girl has sung in another language. “I’m looking forward to learning (the pieces) and getting better at them,” said Gordon. The girls will attend three weekend retreats with the choir, the first of which will take place this weekend in Regina. During these retreats members will get to know each other and their choir director, and of course they’ll sing — a lot. These three retreats help the choir prepare for February when the group will participate in a weekend tour and concert — including a performance at Optimist ChorFest Saskatchewan Gala Concert on Feb. 6 in Regina. “When you’re in a small town it’s pretty hard to get the experience of a large choir and the energy that comes from a large choir, so this will be good for them,” said Macnab. Gordon and Kay are looking forward to the challenge of being part of an elite choir and learning from the talented conductors and piano players they will be able to work with in the coming months. “It’s such a great opportunity,” Kay said.
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