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Loyalist choir holds open house

By: Christine Hosler

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Choir director John McFarlane sits at his piano and addresses his students. The Loyalist Choir meets every Wednesday in Alumni Hall at 5:30 p.m. Photo by Christine Hosler.

They might not be the next Glee, but they’ll still sing their songs, and for some acting and singing go hand in hand.

“To be a good singer you sort of have to be a good actor,” said Chris Detering, a soloist for the Loyalist College choir. “You have to portray emotion through your voice. It’s fun.”

The small group of around 18 enthusiastic singers, students from Loyalist mostly, are directed by retired school teacher and musician John McFarlane. The choir sings songs like Bridge Over Troubled Water, Not Ready to Make Nice, Don’t Stop Believing and more.

“These people want to sing, and it’s really easy to get enthusiasm going,” said McFarlane.

The usual group plus a few new faces drawn out to the Open House Wednesday evening spent two and a half hours under the entertainingly honest instruction of McFarlane, who managed to be humorous while criticizing his group.

“I love working with young people, I love the music and I like playing,” said McFarlane. “I like to see the life in their faces, and how they respond to it.”

But it’s not just about the singing. McFarlane said it’s also about confidence, and the feelings people get from music.

“If you can stand in front of a group of 500 to 1000 people and belt out a solo, that says a lot more about you,” said McFarlane. “Not much scares you after that.”

The group is practising to perform at various events for the school, including graduation.

“I think it could really develop into something that not only is successful, but that has a tradition of some sort,” said McFarlane.

The choir practices every Wednesday night at Loyalist College from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall.

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