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Songs of the season to be featured at choir debut

German voices from the university and off-campus communities will join in harmony in Advent and Christmas songs on Thursday, Dec. 5 at the inaugural concert of the University of Victoria Lieder Singers.

Under the direction of Dr. Angelika Arend (Germanic and Russian studies), the 27-member choir will perform a wide range of works from the 16th through the 20th centuries, introduced in English. Katherine Koch, who has a master’s in music and is an accomplished pianist, will be the accompanist. Guest soloists will be soprano Sharon Krebs and pianist Dr. Harald Krebs (music).

Arend, who is in charge of Germanic studies community outreach efforts, founded the choir to provide a venue for people at UVic and in the local German-speaking community to come together and explore the rich heritage of German song. Members include Germanic studies and music students, faculty and staff as well as singers from off-campus.

“Building cultural bridges is a central concern in my personal and professional life,” says Arend. In addition to establishing and leading the choir, she organizes “Der Deutsche Abend an der Uni,” the department’s monthly lecture series in German that regularly attracts 30 to 50 people from on- and off-campus.

Arend’s research interests include German-Canadian literature and music. A trained singer and experienced choral conductor, she’s set high expectations for the choir. Their repertoire ranges from simple folk tunes to artistically challenging and sophisticated art songs. They plan to present two public concerts annually, one at the end of each academic term.

The Dec. 5 concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall. Admission is free or by donation, with all proceeds to cover the costs of performance and support further development of the choir.