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Konektis concert in Virden's Aud Theatre features Carnegie set

Konektis Thursday evening tour visits some of the performers' home communities.

Konektis filled Virden Auditorium Theatre with vibrant chorale music on Thursday, March 2. The Brandon choir is preparing to sing in New York City’s Carnegie Hall and they brought a set of six Canadian compositions to the Aud.

Virden’s Michelle Chyzyk, the choir’s founding conductor, introduced professional musicians that she shares the stage with: conductor Marla Fontaine, assistant conductor Clint McLachlan and accompanist Justine Burke.

She also introduced local performers. Singers among Konektis’ 40 plus voices are Darrell Corbel, Dean Muchinsky, Todd Plaisier, Katie Hepp, Jayenna Draper, Daelyn Fefchak, Evan Terin, Dylan Southam, Rachelle Lesy (now of Brandon) and Dane Leslie.

Chyzyk spoke of what the choir means to her. “I’m the lucky person that got to make my dreams come true in 2016 when I said, ‘let’s get together; let’s make a choir of exceptional musicians…’”  Introducing the upcoming New York performance she said, “Things keep getting better and better.”

For the first of the six-piece set of the Carnegie Hall repertoire, after the gentle sounding of the tonic chord the choir burst into a beautiful Spiritual from the early 1900s, “Let Us Cheer the Weary Traveller.”

A commissioned piece for the New York concert by Sarah Quartel, ‘The Wind is My Shepherd’ also began a cappella for several bars before the gentle breeze of a piano accompaniment joined the voices. Their song rose and fell as one multifaceted voice with a soprano hitting an exceptional note.

Introducing the next selection, Chyzyk said, “We have the opportunity in New York to collaborate with some other professional musicians.” They will perform ‘Children of God’ written by Cory Payette, about an Oji-Cree family whose children are taken to a residential school in northern Ontario. “In New York, Corey Payette will be our soloist.” Braeden McBurney, a choral conductor and a voice major was the soloist in the Aud and Virden’s Darrel Corbell played acoustic guitar. Chyzyk noted, “And Darrel gets to play guitar at Carnegie Hall as well.”

A Malaysian inspired piece “Singkap Siaga”, a French-Canadian song “Garde Ton Reve”, and the popular folk song “We Rise Again” rounded out the preview of Konektis’ performance in New York City.

Throughout the Aud concert 17 pieces of music featured all three conductors, numerous solos, sometimes with percussion and instruments.

“Rock Island Line” with soloists Kristen Nerbas and Mike Diehl was a complete change of pace near the half-way mark.

As the concert drew to a close, soloist Clint McLachlan sang “I Love You/What A Wonderful World.” Aron Accurso and Rachel Griffin featured in the final song, “You Are Enough.”

Konektis planned to continue their Thursday evening tour this past week in Minnedosa. They perform in the Carberry Community Hall, March 23, before heading to New York City for the Carnegie Hall performance on April 1.

Back in Manitoba, Konektis will wrap up the season with a Brandon performance on April 19 in Knox United Church.

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