Police chorus seeks new members

Police presence in chorus has been diminishing in recent years

The Greater Victoria Police Chorus travelled to the Okanagan in May to perform a series of concerts. The chorus is recruiting new members

The Greater Victoria Police Chorus is looking for a few good men, and women, to bolster its ranks.

The chorus regularly performs across the South Island, singing at churches, retirement homes, Legions and various community events.

“We have up to two performances a month, from September through May,” said acting president Brian Dunning, adding they regularly perform during Police Honours Night at Government House as well as Remembrance Day services and Christmas concerts.

“Mostly we perform around the South Island.” The chorus has also performed in Nanaimo and completed a successful tour through the Okanagan in May.

The Greater Victoria Police Chorus was formed in 1984 as a way to promote fellowship in the area’s police departments, bringing together members from police departments in Saanich, Victoria, Oak Bay, Esquimalt, Central Saanich and the local RCMP detachments.

“There are still members with us now who started 32 years ago,” said Dunning.

The police chorus has performed at hundreds of concerts in support of a variety of causes.

“In those 32 years we’ve been around, we’ve raised over $2 million for charity,” said member Barney Pratt, adding the chorus charges only a modest fee to help cover their costs.

But the years have witnessed a drop off in chorus members from the police departments.

“We noticed the proportion of police and Code 3-related members was diminishing. We’ve got a lot of older members, we’ve got a few members who are in their 80s. The fact of the matter is we’re losing some of our police content,” said member Gerry Bliss, adding just six of the 30-some members of the chorus are former police officers.

“We looked at the demographics and thought there must be at least a couple of thousand retired police officers in the Greater Victoria area.”

The chorus is inviting any police or former police members with a love of music to come out and give it a try.

“It involves one night a week for a two-hour, or two-and-a-half hour practice at the Ukrainian Culture Centre,” said Dunning.

“And anybody that joins should be able to sing,” adds Pratt.

To find out more about the chorus visit the website victoriapolicechorus.org.

 

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