File photo First Capital Chorus brings its dynamic harmony style to St. Mark’s Anglican Church on Nov. 4 for Wartime Memories.

First Capital Chorus offers classic celebration of remembrance in South Surrey

Langley-based harmony ensemble blends old songs and modern standards

All the while there were many survivors of the First World War and Second World War generations around, celebrations marking Remembrance Day were tinged with the nostalgia of personal memory.

But as the ranks of those who remember the Second World War – even the Korean War – dwindle to a handful, the nature of remembrance inevitably alters.

Fortunately there are many of all ages in communities across Canada who still see value in taking time to remember the service of veterans of the war generations, and the sacrifice of those who never returned.

That community spirit is typified in Wartime Memories, latest of the annual remembrance and variety shows put on by the Langley-based First Capital Chorus (Saturday, Nov. 4, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. St. Mark’s Anglican Church).

Although it’s the Langley chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, it has always had a strong proportion of South Surrey residents as members, including Denny O’Donovan – whose touching solo on Danny Boy (Londonderry Air) is always a highlight of group performances.

“It’s our 21st annual show and Canada’s 150th year as a nation,” he said, adding that one of this year’s highlights will be a number the group calls the ‘Canada medley.’

“Side by side, step by step, our fathers were marching along,” he said, quoting the lyric.

He noted that while musical trends change as time marches on, even much younger generations are prepared to listen to songs of their parents’, grandparents’ – even great-grandparents’ – time, at least once a year.

“People still want to hear the same old standards of the wartime years – songs like There’s A Long, Long Trail, Pack Up Your Troubles, We’ll Meet Again, White Cliffs of Dover, McNamara’s Band, Lili Marlene,” he said.

And O’Donovan’s son – busy Vancouver-based pianist/vocalist/theatre musical director Kerry O’Donovan – will also feature one of the classics of the genre in his 20 minute set as this year’s special guest.

“He does a lovely, very moving version of A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square,” O’ Donovan noted.

The younger O’Donovan’s set will likely also feature some of his favourite show tunes, and maybe some of his own originals, he said – in keeping with a playlist for the variety segment that traverses the years right up to the present day.

Many current Canadian veterans, O’Donovan pointed out, are a long way short of the senior years – reflecting the many conflicts around the globe in which Canadians have served in recent decades.

“And we try to acknowledge the veterans who are in the audience – we ask them to stand and be recognized,” he added.

Also featured in this year’s show will be some of the chorus’ sub groups – including the mixed male and female voices of Memory Lane, the trio Mainstream (Boris Krasov, Greg Smith and Roger Laviolette) and the classic a capella ‘barbershop’ quartet Syncromesh (Leigh Anderson, Gord Harris, Mike Wilcox and Bill Finlay).

Other highlights, O’Donovan said, will be a duet on Amazing Grace by Dave and Dorothea Dahl and the First Capital ensemble’s version of Bring Him Home, from Les Miserables.

“We sing it very well, if I say so myself,” he said.

The church is located at 12953 20 Ave.

Tickets ($20, $15 seniors and students) area available from Pelican Rouge Cafe, Ocean Park Pizza and Village Pub, or directly from O’Donovan at 604-536-7983.

Just Posted

Centenarian and then some: Dorscie Paterson set to turn 105

Longtime Langley resident continues to advocate passionately for hospice care in community

VIDEO: Double-decker bus pilot in Langley gets rave reviews

The ceiling is a little low, but other than that, everyone seems to be a fan

Emaciated dog brought to Surrey shelter now healthy and up for adoption

Eclipse came into the Surrey Resource Animal Shelter last summer in skeletal, calloused condition

Township of Langley ranked No 1 ‘least tempting’ for millennials to live

Out of 85 cities, Township ranked lowest because of crime, affordability, says Point2homes.com

UFV Cascades baseball coach joins Los Angeles Dodger organization

Former Chicago Cub farmhand Wes Darvill is back in affiliated baseball.

UPDATED: SUV fire at Langley mall (with video)

Firefighters respond to Fraser Highway incident

Post interest rate hike debt tips

What to do about your debt and mortgages after the interest rate hike

Foreign workers sleeping in Alberta Burger King basement

Alberta Health Services said its inspectors found foreign workers sleeping in the basement of the Lethbridge restaurant

Court application halts release of bread price-fixing documents

Bread price-fixing documents won’t be unsealed Thursday, Loblaw says

Bad behavour to lead to expulsion at Abbotsford council

New rules lay out how a member can be booted from a meeting

Pharrell and N.E.R.D to headline NBA All-Star halftime show

11-time Grammy winner Pharrell and his hip hop-rock band N.E.R.D. will headline the halftime show at the 2018 NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles

Heritage Minister wants zero tolerance for harassment in entertainment industry

Heritage Minister Melanie Joly had two meetings to discuss harassment in the film, TV and theatre worlds

Newly freed Diab wants reforms to Canada’s ‘lousy’ extradition law

French authorities dropped terrorism charges against Hassan Diab who was suspected of taking part in an attack in Paris in 1980

Russia probes come up against claims of executive privilege

The argument was laid bare this week during Steve Bannon’s interview with the House Intelligence Committee.

Most Read