Airdronian ready for first official directing challenge
Thursday, Aug 14, 2014 11:18 am
Airdronian Patrick King has long wanted to stand in front of a choir to direct singers as they make beautiful music. Now he’s finally getting his chance, as he was hired on Aug. 5 to direct the Calgary Italian Choir.
The Airdrie native will start his new position in September. Currently, the 31-year-old works as a substitute teacher with Rocky View Schools.
The job was posted on the Alberta Choral Federation job board website and King said he applied, had an interview and auditioned for the group in July.
“I was quite excited because this will be my first time starting (with a choir) from the beginning of the season,” he admitted. “Some people think with this sort of group, having to teach them from scratch, it might be too much of a challenge but I’m looking forward to it.”
King said the choir he’ll be conducting has a long history in the Calgary arts community as they gave their first performance in 1997. They typically perform traditional Italian songs. It is an adult non-auditioned mixed choir open to those of Italian descent and anyone else interested in singing. They rehearse once a week at the Calgary Italian Club and give performances throughout the year at seniors’ homes, Heritage Park in Calgary, and other events and venues.
King said he has big plans for the choir.
“They’re a bit of a higher age group of members. I want to expand the choir, trying to get some younger people so it can last quite a number of years into the future,” he said. “I’m also going to talk to them about bringing in some smaller instrumental groups (as guest performers.) I would like to help them branch out a bit (in what they perform.)
Despite there being a lot of native Italian speakers in the choir, King said he isn’t worried about encountering a language barrier with his new group.
“Actually, I (took) some Italian in university, and I’ve also conducted a mini opera in Italian,” he said. “I keep on building on those skills, learning more and more Italian.”
King is quick to point out the goals he has as director.
“I want to bring in some younger members, simplify some of their repertoire and maybe expand it a little, and see if I can’t do something to broaden their image, or get them a little more well known,” he said. “A lot of them don’t actually read music so I want to teach them some of that as well.”
He has another goal a bit closer to home that would see him conduct an instrumental group.
“Next Canada Day (I want) to bring a marching band to the parade,” he said. “I want to see if I can’t get together a large group of music students from middle school to high school.”
King would like to hear from anyone interested in joining the choir or the marching band and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org