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Choral Evolution’s concert blends pop classics with a twist in Sooke, Victoria

Concerts in Sooke on May 3 and 4 and May 5 in Victoria
Artistic director Gordon Miller will conduct Choral Evolution’s performances of Unplugged - A Choral Twist on classic hits at Holy Trinity Church on May 3 and 4 in Sooke, and May 5 at James Bay United Church. (Choral Evolution/Contributed)

Pop goes the chorus.

Although Choral Evolution’s upcoming concert, Unplugged, A Choral Twist On Classic Hits, is devoted in its entirety to pop music, not all audience members may plug into what classic tune is being served up right away.

“Suite: Judy Blue Eyes by Crosby, Stills and Nash sounds exactly like you would expect it to,” said Gordon Miller, artistic director for the Choral Evolution’s 45 members. “But some other tunes may take the listener a moment or two to recognize because we’re using different motifs, including mash-ups.”

An example of that from the show is taking a song like Gravity by John Mayer and combining it with Elton John’s Rocket Man so it becomes a blended choral piece, Miller explained.

“I find it really interesting that the choir has really focused on taking on more challenging repertoires,” he said. “And this choir’s skill level has grown to the point that they can execute these kinds of challenges. I’m particularly proud of this extraordinary group of singers and how they have grown.”

Several decades are represented in the selection of pop tunes for the show, which should appeal to all ages and tastes in pop music.

Choral Evolution will be accompanied by Gabe Lagos on piano, Jeff Poynter on keyboard, and Andre Cloutier on guitar for Unplugged.

The concerts will be Miller’s last with Choral Evolution after two years as artistic director.

“Choral Evolution has strived to bring our best forward from the beginning and Gordon has helped shape that future,” said Choral Evolution president Sherry Walters. “His gentle, respectful way of conducting works to encourage and bring out the best we have been. For Gordon, singing is more than the opening of the mouth; he has taught us to open our minds and let the music flow through us, and it is a pleasure to work with him.”

With assistance from Gabe, Choral Evolution’s collaborative pianist, Miller shares his musical artistry and makes the music come alive, Walters added.

Unplugged takes place Friday, May 3 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, May 4 at 2 p.m. at Holy Trinity Church at 1962 Murray Rd.

There’s also a performance at 2 p.m. in Victoria on Sunday at James Bay United Church at 511 Michigan St.

Tickets cost $25 and are available at, or at the door.

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About the Author: Rick Stiebel

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