Ode to joy

From left: Kathy Bjorseth, Lyn Morrison, Lucia Schipperus, Gloria Doubleday, Michelle Chattaway and Ian Hampton. - John GORDON/Langley Times
From left: Kathy Bjorseth, Lyn Morrison, Lucia Schipperus, Gloria Doubleday, Michelle Chattaway and Ian Hampton.
— image credit: John GORDON/Langley Times

Gloria Doubleday/LCMS

A Celebration of Joy

Date: Saturday, Dec. 1

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Admission: $15/$10

Venue: Rose Gellert Hall

4899 207 St.

Tickets: 604-534-2848


Gloria Doubleday is once again raising her voice in support of music education in Langley.

The well-known mezzo soprano will give a concert, titled A Celebration of Joy, at Langley Community Music School on Saturday, Dec. 1.

The performance is Doubleday’s welcome to the Christmas season, as well as an expression of her gratitude toward the music school’s staff and faculty for another year of dedication, and the community at large for its support of LCMS, said the singer.

First and foremost, however, it is a benefit concert, with proceeds from tickets and CD sales, going toward the school’s endowment fund.

This is the third and final year that money will be offered as part of a commitment made by the province to match over $1 million in donations to the LCMS endowment fund.

“I want to raise as much money as possible from this concert, because this is the last chance to double it,” said the singer.

Through its British Columbia Arts Renaissance Fund, the provincial government pledged to match donations to the school, up to $350,000 per year, for three years.

“We have until Dec. 31 to raise our part . . . and with the Gloria Doubleday concert, we fully intend to reach that $350,000 goal,” said LCMS principal Susan Magnusson.

To date, the campaign has been 100 per cent successful, she said. Due in large part to an anonymous donation of

$1 million to the school, during each of the past two years LCMS has managed to raise the entire alotted amount, and is on track to do so once more.

Once complete, interest earned on the $2.1 million fund, held in trust by the Vancouver Foundation, will be used to cover operating costs, including the purchase of instruments, as well as programs, salaries and expenses related to the building itself.

Among the endowment fund’s major contributors is the Langley Builders and Developers’ Trust, which donated $15,000 over the course of three years.

To date, Doubleday, through her concerts and sales of her CD, has raised more than $11,000 for the endowment fund.

“It’s a major accomplishment and we’re very grateful for Gloria’s efforts,” said Magnusson.

Doubleday has also helped to raise the profile of the school and its faculty, several of who perform with her on the disc and will accompany her in concert, Magnusson added.

“The school has become recognized, regionally and nationally, as a first-rate arts educational facility. We’re very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish, thanks to the community.”

Preparations for the upcoming Christmas show began last summer, after Doubleday approached Ian Hampton, who was then the artistic director for LCMS, and asked him to help her assemble a group of musicians.

“He knows the talent and availability of the faculty. Those he contacted were so helpful and willing to give of their time,” said the singer.

Accompanying Doubleday will be Kathy Bjorseth, piano, Lucia Schipperus, violin, Pat Armstrong, violin, Michelle Chattaway, viola, and Hampton on cello.

The string quartet will play Christmas music from various eras, while Doubleday and fellow mezzo soprano Lyn Morrison will sing a variety of duets and solos.

“All of my music is from the CD. (Morrison’s), of course, is different, but in keeping with the spirit of the event,” said Doubleday.

It’s important to the soprano to support the school which her son David began attending at age 6, studying violin, clarinet, composition and piano.

“They were absolutely wonderful with him. I noticed it was a very nurturing atmosphere,” she said.

“They are interested in training children and bringing out the best in children, who then go out into the world and create something beautiful.”

And Doubleday appreciates the positive approach taken by the faculty in educating their young charges.

“They tell children what they can become, and so the children live up to it.

“That’s the essence of teaching,” she said. “It really is.”

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