Dale Rasmussen sits at a baby grand piano at Gordon Head United Church where he leads Monday night rehearsals for a new jazz/contemporary choir

Soulful choir starts at Gordon Head United Church

Director Dale Rasmussen has led choirs for 13 years, most recently in Kamloops

Draped in a background of stained-glass filtered light from the Gordon Head United Church, Dale Rasmussen plays the keys of a baby grand piano.

First a regular chord progression, then one “spiced” with minor keys, as he explains the transformation of an old standard to a “new standard.”

Rasmussen is leading a newly organized regional choir that is yet to take an official name, but is already rehearsing jazz, contemporary and standards on Monday nights at the church.

“We have a group going and we’re still taking auditions,” Rasmussen says.

“It will be 25 to 40 people, which will also break into smaller ensembles and soloists.”

Leading a choir is Rasmussen’s passion. He has led similar choirs for 13 years now, most recently a six year stint with the High Country Singers in Kamloops. Prior to that Rasmussen lead four choirs in Vancouver. He relocated to the Mount Douglas area recently with his partner and is eagerly joining the many successful choirs of Greater Victoria.

“It’s been the better part of a year and I’m still learning about the diversity of the great music scene here,” Rasmussen said. “I’ve seen a lot of great choirs in town.”

A former jazz student of Capilano College and longtime gig musician, Rasmussen has been in love with harmony singing since childhood. His choir combines jazz and harmony with a high energy feel, providing many opportunities for singers to express themselves.

“For me, I want to lead a choir that uses the Great American Songbook but does it with soul, or use soulful standards we know from artists such as Ray Charles, Leonard Cohen or U2,” he says.

“I don’t want to say we’re this or that, I want to leave the door open, but know that we’ll have a theme of singing in jazz fashion, sometimes we’ll be really swinging.”

Rasmussen leads one other choir, as he makes twice-monthly visits to Mayne Island.

That group, though full of talented and fun singers, is an open group, he says.

Here in Saanich, auditions for ”reasonably experienced” singers are welcome for September.

Rasmussen will audition another intake of singers in January.

To contact Rasmussen, phone 778-533-0406 or visit dalerasmussen.com.

reporter@saanichnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Head of Greater Victoria builders warns of changing construction climate

VRBA director Casey Edge also questions Saanich’s commitment towards housing affordability

Saanich police are looking for a man who exposed himself Saturday night

The incident exposure happened at the intersection of Feltham Road and Shelbourne Street

Readers Theatre returns to Victoria’s Emanu-El

Born at Congregation Emanu-El’s 2013 Arts Festival, Bema Productions is back for its fifth season

Victoria-bound plane slides off icy Edmonton runway

Crew, passengers had to disembark via bridge stairs

VIDEO: Hundreds gather in Victoria as part of global Women’s March for equality

‘End Violence Against Women’ march theme for 2019

Students seen mocking Native Americans could face expulsion

One 11-minute video of the confrontation shows the Haka dance and students loudly chanting

2019 Canadian Whisky Awards’ big winners announced

Awards held in conjunction with Victoria Whisky Festival

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

12 poisoned eagles found in Cowichan Valley

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

May plans next move in Brexit fight as chances rise of delay

Some say a lack of action could trigger a ‘public tsunami’

Most Read