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Singing in the spring at the Yukon Arts Centre

Whitehorse Community Choir readies for annual performance
The Persephones on stage at the Yukon Arts Centre in December 2022. Part of the Whitehorse Community Choir, the group is set to deliver its annual spring performance at the Yukon Arts Centre April 28 and 29, before a May 5 performance in Atlin, British Columbia. (Courtesy/Whitehorse Community Choir)

The melodic voices of the Whitehorse Community Choir will be heard throughout the Yukon Arts Centre and in Atlin at the Globe Theatre when the choir presents its annual spring concert.

Titled ‘Stay With Me’, the performance is focused on the importance of staying connected with one another.

As the choir highlights on its social media pages about the event: “… the last few years have pulled us apart and made us aware of how quickly the space between us can expand. How can we bridge the gaps? How can we come together again?”

For this spring’s concert, interim choir co-directors, Lorène Charmetant and C.D. Saint worked to find that theme in a variety of music for the three groups that perform under the Whitehorse Community Choir name. The big choir is the largest of the groups, a non-auditioned open choir with about 60 members, while the Persephones is a 25 member audition group and the Chamber choir has about 15 members who audition to be part of that choir.

Charmetant and Saint began working with the choir early in the year when long-time director, Barbara Chamberlin took a sabbatical for the term.

The spring concert is one of two annual performances for the choir with the other one happening during the Christmas season in December. During the years when restrictions were in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the performances were held virtually or as smaller in-person presentations depending on the restrictions at the time. The 2022 holiday performance in December marked the first time for a full in-person performance without COVID-19 restrictions being in place.

It was following that concert, over the winter break that efforts began to find just the right music for the spring 2023 performance.

“It’s a process that has a lot of different parameters,” Charmetant said in an April 17 interview.

Choosing the music for the show got underway with a search for songs around the theme of staying together. It was then a matter of finding songs from that list that suit the soprano, bass and tenor voices that make up the choir and navigating between songs that are more challenging and those that are more accessible for members to perform.

“It’s been such a great learning opportunity,” Charmetant said of both selecting the music and working with the choir since the new year.

As she pointed out, while she has worked with a variety of choirs in her career, each group has its own unique qualities making working with each choir a different experience.

After selecting music over the winter holiday break, weekly rehearsals began on the wide variety of music to get set for the spring performance.

Some of the songs will be well-known by many, while others might serve to introduce the audience to lesser known tunes. There are songs of different tempos, moods and in English or French.

Beautiful Dreamer by Stephen Foster, Le Point Mirabeau by Lionel Daunais and When the Earth Stands Still by Don Macdonald are part of the much longer list of songs that will be performed.

Joining the choir and its directors on stage will be musicians Dave Haddock on bass, Lonnie Powell on drums and Toby Moisey on flute along with Barry Kitchen and Cheryl Wishart as accompanists.

Tickets for the April 28 and 29 Yukon performances, including an option to view the performance online between May 5 and May 19, are available at Meanwhile, tickets for the Atlin performance on May 5 are available at

Contact Stephanie Waddell at

Stephanie Waddell

About the Author: Stephanie Waddell

I joined Black Press in 2019 as a reporter for the Yukon News, becoming editor in February 2023.
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