BRIAN BAILEY/FOR THE SUN
We’re ready! Members of the 2012 Western Manitoba Youth Choir wave from the lawn of the Riding Mountain Conference Centre at Clear Lake, where they spent two weekends in September preparing for this year’s tour. It kicks off this Saturday evening in Souris.
Following two intensive weekend rehearsals at beautiful Clear Lake, the Western Manitoba Youth Choir is set to hit the stages of Westman to wow the folks in many of their home towns.
The 52-voice choir, which is drawn from 17 Westman communities, will perform nine concerts in four days, starting this Saturday and concluding Tuesday evening.
The tour will include evening concerts at Souris, Virden, Strathclair and Brandon, a church service in Kenton and school concerts at Minnedosa, Neepawa, Forrest and Brandon.
Conducting the talented young singers are Rick Heppner Mueller of Altona and Korey Peters of Randolph, with Glenda McConnell of Souris accompanying.
Active as a guest conductor and choral clinician throughout Manitoba, Heppner Mueller is a youth choir veteran, having directed the 2003 edition and again in 2004 for the choir’s 25th anniversary.
He teaches music at Mennonite Collegiate Institute in Gretna, where he directs the school’s concert choir, chamber choir and vocal jazz groups. He also directs their annual musical theatre production.
Meanwhile, from 2006-2011, Korey Peters was choral director and taught English and physical education at Garden Valley Collegiate in Winkler.
Since then, he moved back home to Randolph to join the family corporation, which is currently transitioning to third generation ownership of a large grain and hog operation.
At present, he chairs the Prairie Voices board and directs the Steinbach Mennonite Church Choir.
He, too, is a youth choir veteran, having co-directed the Western Manitoba Youth Choir in 2009 for its 30th anniversary.
Glenda McConnell, who graduated from Brandon University with a bachelor of music, studied as a piano major with Dr. Lawrence Jones, and accompanied majors for their recitals.
After graduation, she accepted an early years music and band position at Souris School, where she taught for 35 years.
McConnell is currently organist at St. Paul’s United Church in Souris and serves on the Souris and District Arts Council.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 11, 2012