Message from the German Canadian Business Association:
Dear Members and Friends of the GCBA,
We are sad to inform you of the passing of our Honorary Member Arthur Dussa. “King Arthur” as he was affectionately known, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family just before Christmas. Predeceased in February 2014 by his loving wife, Erica, Art will be dearly missed. We were lucky enough to have Arthur attend our Christmas event on December 1st where he enjoyed the party in the company of fellow members who always appreciated his good humour and wit. We are grateful for the memories. A Celebration of Life is planned for February.
Written December 25th, 2015 by Cora Schupp
New Westminster, BC
Dedicated to Helga Belluz
The choral tradition has gone on for thousands of years. It is in every continent, every culture and almost every religion. A choir has heralded Kings, passing of Monarchs, and the beginning of Festivals. The combined energy of dozens of voices raised up in song has a tremendous effect on the audience, and also reflects this power back into each other.
Many singers are active in their communities and like to volunteer. They are also charitable givers, and support the arts and other performers, not just music, but also theatres and museums.
The sense of camaraderie and bonding has long been documented, as well as the health benefits of deep breathing, good posture, and memory retention. Every good math teacher knows their best students are also musicians, as both endeavors seem to affect the same part of the brain!
Now I will explain the structure of a choir. You need a conductor and accompanist, of course, and within the members themselves, a president and vice president, and a few executives thrown in to manage the practicalities.
Traditionally, there are 4 sections; the Sopranos, which carries the melody line and are usually female, and the Altos, which harmonizes with the Sopranos and are also usually female. Then there are the Tenors who are on the upper part of the male section (although we have two tenors who are female) and then the Bass who give the whole choir its foundation.
No, not the gruesome but fascinating TV show, but the Star performers (well maybe in their own minds.) However, there is no room for Diva’s in a choir. Sometimes there are solo bits, but most of the time it is teamwork to keep the sound high and pure. “Blend, blend, blend,” as Mary Kay used to say.
Sopranos in the opera world get to be the sweethearts, the young ingénues, and the impassioned lovers.
The Alto’s on the other hand, get to be the evil Step Mothers, the wise sages, the warrior women – you get the picture. I am an Alto, and am happy to be so – I think our parts are much more challenging as we do harmony – melody is easy. We are the “unsung” heroes (pardon the pun) of the choir world. I couldn’t even find a suitable picture of an Alto on Google but this image will suffice.
The tenors are the counterparts to the Sopranos; they also harmonize, but get to be the other half of the young sweethearts couples, the unrequited lover, and the hero’s of legend. They are handsome and vigorous, sometimes reckless but always charming. How can you resist such a manly man?
The Baritones and Bass
They are the counterparts to the Alto’s – Wizards, Fathers-in-law, and evil Wardens. Well that is what gives music such drama, after all. The Bass also gives the strong foundation on the total musical sound, to build the notes on. A wobbly Bass section makes the whole choir precariously weak.
In my personal journey, I have always loved to sing. Growing up in Ontario in the 1960’s, when our childish voices were tested in class, the best singers got a canary sticker, the medium got a bluebird and the worst got a robin. Can you imagine doing that to a child today? I got a bluebird.
Years later I took singing lessons, fooled around on Karaoke with my friends and always had a blast. I wanted something more though – something with structure that was results and performance driven.
I first joined a small choir in Surrey that started out promoting Canadian Folk Music (don’t laugh, there is such a thing and its beautiful and healthy – us Canadians just don’t know how to promote ourselves.) However, the conductor was deeply religious and wanted to start singing Church music in Church. With all due respect, that just wasn’t for me, and not what I had signed up for. When I told the conductor my feelings, she phoned me a few days later and told me I was “fatally flat” and there was no cure for it, so I would not be welcomed back.
Well, I was crushed – no one likes rejection. Undeterred, I kept looking. I researched the BC Choral Federation at http://www.bcchoralfed.com/ that had a list of choirs, their genre and dates/times of practice.
After one of those performances, a Mr. Henry Hansen came up to me and told me of the Austrian Vancouver Melody Choir. He “recruited” me, and I guess he didn’t feel I sounded “fatally flat,” so he takes credit for finding me.
The Austria Vancouver Club Melody Choir in Richmond was just the ticket. I had grown up with European music, so it was already familiar to me. I was welcomed with open arms – the people were lovely and so was the music. The older ladies cuddled and kissed me every time I came in, and brought me little presents; flowers from their garden, home made jam or cards. They are non judgmental, kept their religion and politics at home, and are very tolerant. Well they tolerate me, anyway!
Not for my great voice, but I am the one of the youngest, rehearse at home, and always show up for practice. I do think these things count, and are appreciated by the conductor.
As a matter of fact, I met the love of my life at that choir. Hans has a gentle tenor voice and there is nothing like hearing his part behind me, when we sing harmony during some of the more romantic pieces, and we hit the right note exactly at the right time. I get goose-pimply thinking about it!
This is the link to their website; http://www.avcmelodychoir.com
I joined in 2001 and Hans in 2004; in 2012 we also joined the Concordia Choir that meets at the Alpen Club in Vancouver. That means twice the rehearsing, two binders to prepare, two sets of uniforms, but twice the fun with concerts and parties! This is their link; http://www.concordiachoir.ca/
Fun Things to Do
The first concert I participated in was at the Italian Centre on Slocan St. and the Italian Ambassador was there dressed head to toe in purple finery. We sang Va, Pensiero otherwise known as the Hebrew Slave Chorus, most famous of all Italian songs and almost their anthem. This was a great beginning of my choir life!
This is a link to that song (but not of our choir)
Since then, we have performed in Austria, Italy and Germany, and went down the Danube on a riverboat cruise. We sang in courtyards, community halls, fundraisers, and senior’s centers’. We sang at European Festivals, multicultural theatres, the PNE, and every 2-3 years we sing for each other at the Pacific Saengerfest, hosted at a different city in BC, Washington and Oregon. We have traveled to Victoria, Spokane and Kelowna on separate bus trips. We have sung in the rain, in the snow, with crappy acoustics and low ceilings to some of the most magnificent venues in Europe. We’ve been to a workshop in St. Louis. We have laughed together and cried together. Sometimes we get mad at each other but just for a few minutes and then we are pals again. We have celebrated marriages and births of grandchildren. We have mourned when we lose a member and sing at their funerals.
We have picnics, dances and parties and support each other’s events and milestones. For instance, we helped the MGV Lyra celebrate their 50th anniversary (local German male choir). We mentor each other and build each other up. After all, a choir is only as strong as its weakest voice.
This brings me to the end of the article, but not my musical journey. I encourage each and any one of you to check out your local organization. There is always room for another voice to add Power to the Choir!
In Namen des Outreach Programmes des Deutsch-Kanadischen Hilfswerkes von BC wünsche ich Ihnen viel Freude und Gesundheit für dieses Jahr.
Wir haben ein Programm erstellt, eine Mischung von: Filmen, Vorträgen, Literatur, Musik und Kultur, in der Hoffnung, dass etwas auch für Sie dabei ist.
Samstag, der 16. Januar, 2016
Film + Vortrag: Der Schimmelreiter
von 1888, eine bekannte, viel studierte Novelle von Theodor Storm
Melanie Kage ist PhD-Kandidatin in “Germanic Studies in the
Department of Central, Eastern and European Studies at UBC”.
Ihr Kurz- Vortrag
Im Anschluss zeigen wir die Verfilmung von 1984, die in der DDR gedreht wurde.
Samstag, der 30. Januar, 2016
Die neue Völkerwanderung,Ursachen und Folgen
Professor Emeritus Dr. G. Hans Schuetze
Samstag, der 13. Februar, 2016
Deutsche beliebte Opern + Operetten
mit Solisten und zum Mitmachen
Samstag, der 27. Februar, 2016
Film: Honig im Kopf
2014, deutsche Tragikomödie von und mit Til Schweiger, dessen Tochter Emma und Dieter Hallervorden.
Ein warmes, herziges, liebenswertes Filmerlebnis, das man erlebt haben muss.
Samstag, der 12. März, 2016
Vortrag/ interaktiv: Altern
Zwischen Jugendwahn und Altersdiskrininierung,
Pastor Hardo Ermisch
Unter diesem Thema lädt Pastor Ermisch Sie zu einem informativen Gedankenaustausch ein, der verschiedene Aspekte des Seniorendasein in unserer westlichen Welt unter die Lupe nimmt.
Wie immer servieren wir um 14.00 Uhr Kaffee, Tee und Kuchen.
Das Programm (Vortrag oder Film) folgt um 14:30 Uhr.
Gäste sind stets willkommen.
Wir freuen uns über Ihre Spende, die die Kosten für Kaffee, Kuchen und sonstige Auslagen tragen hilft.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen
German-Canadian Benevolent Society of BC
2010 Harrison Drive
Vancouver, BC, V5P 2P6
The Annual Christmas Party took place at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club in Kitsilano in the main dining hall. Around 80 or so people attended, the December 1st, 2015 event, which began with a champagne reception at 6 pm. Beatrice Schreiber, President of the German Canadian Business Association, introduced the VIP’s, which included Deputy Consul Bertram Dierkes-Leifeld. She also read two poems, one traditional German one and one Christian German one, which talked about Advent, Nikolaus and Christmas.
Board members included President Beatrice Schreiber, Secretary Rebecca Lees, Treasurer Alden Aumann, Communications Elke Porter. Hans Gust (Vice-President) and Monika Redekop (Membership) couldn’t make it.
Then Hardo Ermisch, Pastor of the St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church gave a talk about Christmas and finally it was time to eat. The budget included tasty vegetables, roast beef, turkey, fish, salads, crusty French Baguette slices, rice, potatoes, and, of course, an amazing buffet.Every guest could choose between coffee and tea, and then the performance of Richard Theiss (tenor) and his trio began. There was a pianist and a soprano, and they began the 45-minute show with the song “Hosanna in Excelsis”. The performance included Opera pieces, a song with Andrew Lloyd Weber, The Bluebells of Scotland, and singalongs, such as O Tannenbaum und Stille Nacht. Music was performed in English, German and Italian. In one song, we were even asked to sing along. “Don’t cry for me, Argentina.”
Here are some more pictures:
Here are some exciting Christmas events for 2015:
- Vancouver Christmas Market
The Vancouver Christmas Market is now open and is a great place to experience a Christmas Market, just like in Germany. It closes 6 pm on December 24th, wo don’t miss out!
Adult (13+ years): $8 Friday 4pm-9pm & Saturday, Sunday 11am-9pm
Adult (13+ years): $4 Monday – Friday Fri 11am-4pm
Youth (7-12 years): $4
Children (0-6 years): FREE
Carousel Rides: $3 per ticket, $10 for a package of 5 ride tickets
I am organizing volunteers for the SOS Children’s Village to help collect donations. If you are interested, please call me!
2. St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church
Christmas Bazaar is on November 28th – 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
The binding of the Advent wreaths will be on November 24 and 25 starting at 10:00 am.
Help would be most welcome on November 27 to prepare everything and also after the Bazaar on November 28 to get things back into order.
Pre-order for fresh Advent-wreath and if you would like to help call Carole (604-299-8434).
December 13th 9:30 am – German Service with Christmas Play of Sunday School 11:00 am – English Service
Christmas Eve, Dec. 24th 5:00 pm – English Service with Special Music.
Sunday, December 27th 10:00 am – English Service with Carols and Reading (NO German Service)
3. Vancouver Alpenclub
Thursday, December 31st, 2015 at 7 pm at http://www.vancouveralpenclub.ca/
*Live Music by Euroband
*Live Music by Franzl
Guests $75.00 Members $70.00
4. German Canadian Care Home
Enjoy a Christmas Concert to benefit the German Canadian Care Home
Sunday, November 29th, 2015 at the Vancouver Alpenclub at 2 pm
Admission is $15
Christmas Prelude by the Edelweiss Musikanten at 1:30 pm
Concert includes songs by the Concordia Choir, the AVC Melody Choir, the St. Mark’s Church Instrumental Kreis and the MGV Lyra!
5. Vancouver Swiss Choir
Are performing at the Vancouver Christmas Market at 7 pm on Thursday, December 3rd.
6. Surrey German Language School
Saturday, December 12th will have their Christmas Performance with several vendors selling European items.
7. Westside German Language School
The children will be performing at the Vancouver Christmas Market at 5 pm on Tuesday, December 15th.
History of the MGV Lyra Men’s Choir
A group of interested singers, including Adolf Fluested, Paul Flock, Hans Hirsekorn, Willy Pfortmueller, Kurt Schaefer, Thomas Spann and Richard Wolf, met in the Alpenclub in late 1964 to prepare the ground for the formation of a male choir, after the Alpenclub Mixed Choir dissolved. It was decided to begin in earnest in January 1965 as a group of “singing soccer players: Gerd Koenig, Hans Poggenpohl, Norbert Schottky, Willi Soehn, Eddie Ternes, Tony Ternes, and Willi Ternes, as well as the infamous group of Biltmore Musikanten, consisting of Alfred Knauer, Horst Kuehn, Wolfgang Kuehn, Otto Picha, Ewald Wiese and Harald Zimmermann, plus Alfred England, Wolfgang England, Lothar Hirt and Hans Rosenfeldt. Tuesday became the official rehearsal day, as Wolfgang England sang with another choir on Mondays. Alfred Knauer, an accomplished violinist, who had honed his skills in a Russian POW Camp, was appointed as the first conductor. During his tenure the choir acquired the nickname of “Kneaders Barden” – Bards as a result of an article written by Herbert Winter for the German newspaper.
50th Anniversary Concert
First Choir – Orpheus Choir –
The Vancouver Orhpeus Male Choir is part of Vancouver Canada’s thriving community choir scene. They formed in 1992 for men of all ages who enjoy singing, popular songs from many times and lands, including Broadway Showtunes, spirituals, sea shanties and rousing male voice classics. Their concert songs were:
- Sixteen Tons
- Working Man
- I’se the B’y
- The Black Fly Song
- Four Strong Winds
- Northwest Passage
- Dear Land of Home
The Concordia Choir Vancouver was founded in 1976, so next year is their 40th Anniversary. Their choir is decimated to share their beloved German songs and culture with others in Vancouver’s multicultural society. At the same time, they enjoy the friendships and “Gemuetlichkeit” that are so much part of their group.
- Sonne Jamaikas
- Grüß mir die Reben
- Rot sind die Rosen
- Die kleine Kneipe
- Ein Likoerchen für das Frauen hoerchen
MGV Lyra Songs
The 50th Anniversary Black Forest Cherry Cake standing in front of original members of the choir who had been singing for 50 years!
- Jaegers Lust
- Im Abendrot
- Stief ich den Berg hinauf
- Freude am Leben
- Das Elternhaus
- Pferde zu vieren traben
Need people to help out at the Vancouver Christmas Market
The Vancouver Christmas Market has generously given the SOS Kinderdorf BC the opportunity to collect donations from the Cultural Booth at the Vancouver Christmas Market held in downtown Vancouver for the last 6 years. You can see a Vendor Map here.
Volunteers are needed to stand in the booth (shared with another cultural group) to collect donations. They are also welcome to promote their own non-profit, charity, club, choir, association, group at the same time, but no selling is involved/allowed. So far, Westcoast German News and the Martin Luther Church have signed up.
The hours are from 11 am to 9 pm daily and at 9 pm, a volunteer from the Vancouver Christmas Market will come and collect the donation box. Fridays and Saturdays have already been booked, so please let us know about Sunday to Thursday. I could make it Thursday morning, but I have to leave at 2 pm, so just let me know.
The calendar is available here: http://www.westcoastgermannews.com/my-calendar/
If you are interested in this wonderful opportunity, please let me know!
About SOS Kinderdorf BC: We support foster children and vulnerable youth because we believe every child should belong to a family and grow with love, respect, and security. The statistics show that we as a society are failing our children. SOS BC effectively meets the needs of those vulnerable youth who are the key to our future.
Interview at the Vancouver Alpenclub on Wednesday, October 28th, 2015
Celebrating 50 years of friendship, the German Consulate General and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs are pleased to present:
October 29, 2015 at 7:00 pm
Norman Rothstein Theatre
Jewish Community Centre
950 W41st Ave, Vancouver
All proceeds to be donated to the Louis Brier Home and Hospital and the German-Canadian Benevolent Society of BC
- How long have you played piano and where?
I started playing piano when I was six years old and enjoyed it. I was always willing to practice, even as a child. When I was 11, I started playing the French Horn. I achieved my Diploma at the Music School in Leipzig in 1995 and after this, studied piano in Leipzig and Paris. I have been playing for over 36 years now. My Grandmother also played piano, which inspired and encouraged me. I was always fascinated by voices, as my parents always had music playing at home.
- What was your career highlight up until now?
When I attended the International Opera Summer Program in Tel Aviv-Yafo In July 9th to 29th, 2015. After working 3 weeks with the young opera singers who attended the program we performed together and I extremely enjoyed this event because of its very special and intense atmosphere. It was this kind of rare concert where you feel an overwhelming excitement during the whole concert.
- What is your Favourite City to Perform In?
I am somewhat of a nomad and love something about every city I visit and play in. Paris is one of the cities I enjoyed studying in, and Calcutta, where I played my first-ever concert, organized by the Goethe Institute, will always be special to me. And, of course, Vancouver is amazing. It is my first time in Canada, and my first time in Vancouver.
- When did you hear about this concert on the 28th of October?
This concert has been in the planning stages since last year, but I was informed some time in January of 2015, after New Year’s.
- Why is it important for you to participate?
It is important to participate in this concert, because it is a way of communicating without using words. It is a challenge, a privilege and a great honour. The occasion was meaningful, and provided an opportunity to put together a program, using suggestions from the German Consulate in Vancouver, that would communicate a very concrete message of connection and sharing and allow the audience to be brought together and inspired.
- What are some goals you have for the near future?
After returning home from this trip, I plan to take it easy until the New Year. I am still working with a variety of voice students and helping them be the best they can achieve. I can’t say exactly how many students I have, as they tend to travel and show up on a random basis. For approx. 6 years, I have been working with various “body work methods”, such as Cranial/Sacral Therapy and the Continiuum Movement, and combining this with musical activities for my private students and master classes.
- Where can I find out more about you or your Work?
I do not have a website or a Facebook Page, and have recently given up my handy (mobile phone). You can find my works on iTunes, Amazon and Wergo.
- Why did you choose a career in singing?
I sang before I was even able to speak. and have always needed singing, like I need food and drink. I decided to study voice, as I couldn’t imagine doing anything else and wouldn’t have had time if I had any other career. I also love literature and the works of famous composers, such as Bach, Mozart, Schubert and see this as the best that we have to offer. My day is usually spent doing voice and muscle training, meditation, and studying music. I interpret and sing other peoples songs, but I have not composed original works.
- What was it like performing at the Mongolian State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre in Ulan Bator?
During the era of the Soviets, the Mongolian State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre was constructed. I had an amazing 3-months there, funded by the government of Austria, where I was able to work with a team of Mongolian singers.
- How often have you played with Markus Zugehör?
We met during an engagement in Gewandthaus in Leipzig, Germany, for the first time in 2002, and since then we have played together regularly. We also have a CD that we have released together.
- Waren sie schon einmal in Vancouver? Wenn ja, wie gefällt es ihnen hier und wenn nein, worüber haben sie sich am meisten gefreut einmal hier zu sein?
When I was a child, I remember visiting a relative in Toronto. I cried when I had to go back home and remember thinking: Some day I am going to move to Canada. As a child, my experiences in Canada deeply moved me. This is why I think it is neat that I could come here and play in this country, especially since I still haven’t moved here, as planned. I am really enjoying my time in Vancouver and look forward to some of the events that the German Consulate has set up for us while here: visits to the Vancouver Alpenclub to play skat, a trip to Steveston, a tour of the city with stops in Chinatown and Gastown, a trip to Whistler and the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish. Basically getting an insight on life on the west coast.
- Why is it important to you to participate in this particular concert?
My parents often talked to me about the importance of the Holocaust. To me, Jewish Musicians were also part of our German Culture and I just couldn’t imagine one without the other. Composers, such as Felix Mendelssohn, Leonard Bernstein and Gustav Mahler, are worth their weight in gold. Their contributions provide both material to work with and inspiration.
- What are some plans you may have for the future?
I never make plans for the future, but I do have a few exciting projects coming up in the New Year. There are some that will be particularly interesting and I look forward to new experiences.
- Where can I buy your CD?
You can buy my music on iTunes, Amazon & http://www.wergo.de/shop/de_DE/artists/23/johanna-krumin/
And this is really what it was all about:
Germany & Israel standing together:
Certified trainer & lifestyle Coach Sandra Rechsteiner has written a book “Your Natural Health Beauty and Wellness Guide” that will show anyone interested how to reach for success at her October 19th Book Launch at TenTen Tapas at 5:30 pm on Monday:http://powerofaloeverabooklaunch.eventbrite.com/.
For just $25, will participate in a selfie-contest, sign a video guestbook, and receive a free copy of the book, complimentary drinks & appetizers, as well as a gift bag full of surprises. Members of the media will receive a free pass just for attending. Rechsteiner will also read from her book and be available to show her fans how to stay vital, fit, healthy, beautiful & happy.
Rechsteiner founded the company “Accomplish Now” in 2012 and offers a mix of health and business coaching. She is a “cancer crusher” and has a “Never give up.” attitude that helps her move towards her goal of being a healthy millionaire, as well as showing others how to follow in the same path with sheer energy & enthusiasm.
“Sandra is such an amazing, energetic and positive person, who empowers me every time. She always believes in me and more importantly, made me believe in myself for the first time in my life.” says Lindsay Y., a client of Accomplish Now.
Accomplish Now is a global leader in personal development and holistic health. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to help her clients shape up, feel great and be the person that they always wanted to be. Swiss-born Sandra Rechsteiner is not only a coach and personal trainer, but also mentors people to find their purpose and passion to succeed in business and in life. Due to high demand of her book, Rechsteiner will also be launching a German translation in Europe in November.
Her next book will focus on her own truly inspirational story: the mindset that allowed her to survive cancer and reach for her big goals now. Anyone interested can learn more at http://www.accomplishnow.com. Rechsteiner’s book is available on Amazon & Kindle.