Nelson's Allison Girvan is the soloist in a unique international virtual choir experience to be streamed (with animation) on Dec. 21. Photo: Louis Bockner.

International virtual choir project features Kootenay soloist

Allison Girvan is the featured soloist in The Hope of Light Returning to be streamed on Dec. 21

Submitted by The Light of Hope Returning project

A women’s choir from San Francisco, a vocal soloist from Nelson, another women’s choir from Vancouver, an animation artist from Syria, instrumentalists from the San Francisco Opera Company, and text by an award winning British writer of fantasy for children and teens – this unlikely international combination of artists will present The Light of Hope Returning, an American Solstice Folk Oratorio by Shawn Kirchner online on Dec 21.

The soloist is Allison Girvan of Nelson.

Unique in the landscape of virtual choir projects, The Light of Hope Returning is a combined effort of WomenSing of the Bay Area, California, and Elektra Women’s Choir of Vancouver.

It includes arrangements of beloved traditional carols along with an equal number of newly written carols, several of which feature texts by Newbery Honoree author Susan Cooper. The work reflects the rich variety of American musical tradition, featuring folk and gospel styles, Appalachian songs and spirituals, and the colors of fiddle, hammered dulcimer, bluegrass-style piano, and jubilant jazz saxophone.

Offering a visual counterpart to this soundscape is the stunning animation of Kevork Mourad. Celebrated New York-based visual artist, Mourad specializes in live performances combining video and hand-drawn elements, as well as multi-layered paintings. Some of his many notable collaborations include Yo Yo Ma and The Silk Road; Handel’s Israel in Egypt for the Los Angeles Master Chorale; interactive stage set design for Beethoven’s Fidelio, Korea National Opera; and Seeing Through Babel at the Asia Society in New York, an installation where one can walk into and around the piece.

The Light of Hope Returning poignantly reflects the current state of global uncertainty, while at the same time ultimately trusting in the cycle of the seasons and the hope embodied by the eventual return of light.

To view The Light of Hope Returning at 6 p.m. on December 21, go to

Trail Daily Times