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A new voice in Jasper

Jane Kristenson

by Evan Matthews | reporter@fitzhugh.ca

A woman new to the Jasper community is looking to fill a musical void with the cheerful tones of a community choir, and they just might want to sing at your holiday event.

A lifelong musician and teacher, Jane Kristenson, director and accompanist for the new community choir based out of the Jasper United Church, says she’s looking for as many local singers as she can find to come round out a chorus.

“Music is my life; my passion. Because there was nothing else going on at the moment, I offered myself to start a choir,” says Kristenson, adding 20 people showed up to the first practice on Monday.

The choir will gather every Monday at the United Church at 7 p.m.

“We discovered there had been an active community choir with enthusiasm, but it had ended because the choir director left town,” she says.

Friends have told Kristenson stories about acappela groups or other choirs in town, she says, but the stories all end the same way: rehearsals have ceased mostly due to directors and organizers leaving town.

Kristenson holds a degree in education with music and has spent over 10 years teaching in schools churches, she says, which makes her a perfect fit for this new challenge.

“Playing piano and organ, and directing choirs is my background; it’s been my life,” says Kristenson.

The idea occurred organically.

“We gathered a group of five people at my house who all said, ‘Let’s do it.’ We set a date, and away we go,” she says.

With the holidays just around the corner, Kristenson says it is far too late to prepare for a “Christmas concert.”

“You just can’t do it in four to six weeks,” says Kristenson. “We’re going to prepare and rehearse eight to 10 pieces, and we’d like to make ourselves available to some of the Christmas festivities going on in the community.”

If the idea gains traction, Kristenson says a organizers are already discussing a full concert in the spring.

But the main thing is to have fun.

“Music should be fun. It should be a pleasurable experience,” says Kristenson. “It’s something we enjoy doing together, as is the fellowship that happens around the rehearsal. The performances, too, should be music the community wants to hear, and it should be accessible.”

Those with any questions are encouraged to contact Kristenson at 780-820-0614, or to just show up at rehearsal on Monday.

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