In the past few decades, there has been an explosion of interest in the physical and mental health benefits of singing with others. Study after study has reinforced what singers already know: that joining with others in song makes people feel happier, less stressed and less alone. The result has been a proliferation of community choral groups all over the world.
Here in the Gorge, choral singing remains a popular pastime and so once again, the Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association has invited a number of choirs to come together for The Gorge Sings II. On the programs are the CGOA Voci Choir (now in its fifteenth year), Canticum (a new small ensemble), the award-winning HRV Chamber Singers, the CGOA Youth Choir and GALS, which stands for the Gorge A Cappella Lady Singers. Also on the program will be the newly formed Choral Union from the Columbia Gorge Community College.
One of the highlights of the concert is the world premiere of a new choral piece written by Joan Szymko. Based on a text by Wendell Berry, “Circle of Lovers” was commissioned for the Voci choir by CGOA, as part of its annual MacMillan Prize for female choral composers. Based in Portland, Szymko is one of America’s most respected and often performed choral writers.
In addition to the choral performances the audience will get to join the choirs for an extended singalong. Last year’s audience sing was a much-loved highlight of the concerts.
Performances: Feb 21 @ 7:30PM / Feb 23 @ 2PM