Island Soul Choir: Be Your Own Light!

Sunday, June 8th 2:30 pm at the Port Theatre Nanaimo with special guests Dawn Pemberton and the Patrick Courtin Trio

After sold-out concerts last Fall, Island Soul Choir is returning to The Port with a brand new program of spirituals, soul, pop, blues and jazz. Choir director Karla Mundy has selected beautiful and powerful melodies and vocal arrangements, with a variety of styles, tempos, grooves and traditions, that focus on irrepressible joy.

Joy is something the choir is all about. “Our members just keep coming back for more and new members keep joining, because this music is so much fun to sing and the camaraderie of the group brings real joy to our lives,” says Penny Mitchell, the choir’s president. “As a result, our choir continues to be strong, vibrant and meaningful.”

Island Soul Choir consists of a unique range of singers from all over Vancouver Island, a true island-community choir of over 150 non-auditioned singers who satisfy just one prerequisite: they love to sing. The choir’s repertoire is another unique feature: they sing gospel, spirituals, world music, blues, pop, soul, R&B… basically any type of music that touches, moves or inspires the soul. The choir regularly brings audiences to their feet, singing, clapping and even dancing along with the music.

Dawn Pemberton has deep musical roots that take her powerful voice from gospel and soul to jazz, funk and world music. Vibrant, genuine and soulful, she has become a staple of the Vancouver music scene as a vocalist, teacher, facilitator, adjudicator, choir director and “go to girl” for live performances and studio sessions. She currently directs the Youth Choir and Voice Ensemble at the Sarah McLachlan School of Music, Roots ‘N’ Wings Women’s Choir and teaches masterclasses and workshops all over Canada. A passionate educator and performer, Dawn approaches music with a sense of adventure, quirkiness, and serious groove and shapes it into her own dynamic package.

Patrick Courtin Trio consists of drummer James McRae, bassist Andrew Cullen and pianist Patrick Courtin, who have been playing together for about 5 years. Andrew and Patrick met in the Jazz Studies program at Vancouver Island University, and then met James, a veteran of the Vancouver Island music scene.
 James is a versatile drummer who has played in many different musical situations and writes his own music. Andrew is finishing his Degree in Jazz Studies, and has played with many local greats over the years including Phil Dwyer, Pat Coleman, Steve Jones, Lee Ellefson, Myron Makepeace, Buff Allen and Ken Lavigne. Patrick is classically trained and received his Bachelors’ Degree in Jazz from VIU. He is active in the Vancouver Island musical community as a performer, piano teacher, clinician, accompanist and musical director.

Partnering with Island Soul Choir for this concert are NanGo Grannies and Oceanside Grandmothers to Grandmothers. These two volunteer organizations will be selling homemade and artisan crafts in the theatre’s lobby before the concert and during intermission, in support of The Stephen Lewis Foundation to help grandmothers in 15 sub-Saharan countries in Africa raise grandchildren orphaned by AIDS.


Tickets are on sale at the Port Theatre and website.FMI visit the choir’s website at

Adults $22.50 | Children 12 and under $5 | eyeGO $5



Posted in Arts and Entertainment, Community Activities Articles, Letters to the Editor, Local Events, May 2014

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