Remembering Red Deer’s music maven Sadie Braun

Memorial concert is June 4 at Gaetz Memorial United Church

The late Sadie Braun in Renaissance costume (photo submitted).

Having directed the Red Deer Chamber Singers for 40 years, Sadie Braun knew exactly how she wanted to be remembered.

Before passing away at age 93 last November, she left instructions for a musical memorial to be held in her name.

“In lieu of a funeral, she wanted a concert,” said her daughter, Sharon Braun, who took over directing the Red Deer Chamber Singers.

Therefore in accordance with her mother’s wishes, the In Memory of Sadie Braun concert is being planned for 3:30 p.m. Sunday, June 4, at Gaetz Memorial United Church in Red Deer.

Sharon noted her mom left specific directives for which music she wanted played. “She pretty well organized the whole thing — what she wanted, whom she wanted…”

Franz Schubert’s Mass No. 2 in G Major will be performed by the 25-member Red Deer Chamber Singers.

They will be accompanied by a chamber orchestra of six strings players from the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Claude Lapalme. Dale Dickau will be the organist, and soprano Alisa Harris, tenor Lynden Nystrom, and baritone Robert Mast will perform vocal solos.

Another Schubert composition, Sanctus, is also on the program. Sharon Braun will conduct the second half of the concert, featuring traditional and contemporary choral selections from composers Randall Thompson, Stephen Chatman and others.

Since this is a celebration of her mother’s life, Sharon said former Red Deer Mayor Morris Flewwelling will also recall a few stories about Sadie Braun, as master of ceremonies.

Although she imagines it will be an emotional day, Sharon hopes to see many past members of the Chamber Singers at the concert, as well as others in the community who were touched by Sadie’s musical contributions, including her piano playing.

Sadie Braun arrived in Red Deer from her native Manitoba in about 1973. Despite being a married nurse with three young children, she promptly dove into the city’s music scene as director of the former Waska-Sues.

By the early 1980s the group’s name was changed to the Red Deer Chamber Singers and male members were admitted. The Singers became popular for their dessert-night and spring concerts, including an annual performance of Renaissance madrigals in period costume.

Tickets to the memorial concert are $20 at the door. Funds will be collected for the Sadie Braun Scholarship, funded by the Red Deer Chamber Singers, and given out each year to a Red Deer College student who excels in piano playing or singing.

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