The B.C. Boys Choir performs Sunday (May 1) at the Port Theatre.

The B.C. Boys Choir performs Sunday (May 1) at the Port Theatre.

Choir showcases power of music

By Rosemary Phillips

What power music has.

“Music has the ability to transcend language and cultural practice,” said Tony Araujo, artistic director of the British Columbia Boys Choir, whose many members, drawn from throughout the Lower Mainland and central Vancouver Island, come from various backgrounds and cultures.

“Where conventional language fails us, music gives us another language, a new way of looking at things, of sifting through what life hands us, with hope for the future.

“With choral music we recognize the power of text linked with melody to not only move the senses but to move the spirit, as a catalyst for transformation, to help us recognize something extraordinary – our potential for personal growth and excellence – and live it.”

Araujo speaks not just about the effects on the choristers but also on the audience.

“There’s an expression I often use – ‘I don’t choose the music, the music chooses me’. There is something dialogical about music, particularly when we listen with the heart.

“If we listen deeply and allow the music to flow, we can get to the point where we are no longer playing, singing or listening to the music; it is coming through us, playing us, working us. Some call this the ‘goose-bump’ effect.”

When the B.C. Boys Choir joins with local youth choirs from Aspengrove School, Dover Bay School, the Nanaimo Youth Choir and Parksville and District Musical Association Youth Choir at the Port Theatre for The Power of Music Sunday (May 1), 2 p.m., – with more than 130 young voices raised high in song – there may very well be ‘goose-bump’ moments.

The songs were chosen with that theme in mind, said Marla Mason, conductor of the Vancouver-based choir.

“The songs chosen support the idea that music has the power to promote and affect so many things in our lives – peace, healing, reconciliation, joy, love and much more.

“Because part of our mandate is to teach boys how to sing with good technique together in a choral setting, we choose pieces that have wonderful melodies and textures that help support the vocal range and choral teachings that we incorporate into each rehearsal.”

Songs include If Music be the Food of Love; For the Beauty of the Earth; My Heart Soars, based on text by Chief Dan George; I Believe in the Sun; and more.

“Choral music is about the experience, whether rehearsing, practicing, performing or listening,” said Araujo.

Tickets $24; $20/seniors; $10/youth under 12.

For tickets or for more information, please call 250-754-8550 or visit

Nanaimo News Bulletin