Hearts of Harmony chorus members range in age from their 30s to their 80s — friendship and a love of song is their bond. (Contributed photo).

Red Deer’s Heart of Harmony chorus is Singin’ the Dream

Popular tunes will be performed at Nov. 17 fundraising show

The lure of the song is strong.

Women are driving to Red Deer weekly from as far as Forestberg, Sundre, Carstairs, Stettler and Innisfail to practise singing together as part of the 36-member Hearts of Harmony a-cappella, four-part chorus.

Choral director Sheryl Brook has seen almost a physical transformation happen as some group members, who might arrive in a low mood for a Monday night rehearsal in Deer Park, leave on a high.

An endorphin rush comes with raising your voice in song, said Brook, who’s read that singers’ heart beats can even recalibrate to beat as one when they sing side by side.

The Hearts of Harmony are set to share their musical gift with the community at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at the Memorial Centre. They will perform Singin’ the Dream, a show of popular favourites — from Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah to the Arrogant Worms’ Last Saskatchewan Pirate — with some Christmas carols thrown in.

The theme is dreaming — “the dreams we have when we’re asleep, where things are bigger and bolder and odder than in real life, as well as the dreams and plans we have for our future,” said Brook, who’s led the group for 11 years.

Other tunes include Disney’s A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes, Amy Grant’s I Need a Silent Night, Gordon Lightfoot’s wistful ballad Song for a Winter’s Night, and comedy numbers, like Wintertime in Red Deer.

The show will also feature three quartets from the chorus, and a mixed quintet, including two male guest barbershop singers.

Brooks said the performance is a fundraiser to assist group members in travelling to Surrey, B.C., for a regional competition in April. As part of the Sweet Adelines International group of choruses, musical education is always important, she explained.

“We bring in top-level barbershop vocal coaches to help us prepare, and this year, we’re excited to present a competition package of First World War songs, which will also be featured in the Nov. 17 show.”

Tickets are available at the door or through the Black Knight Ticket Centre.


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