Briercrest Music works quickly to back up The Tenors

Posted: December 14, 2018
The Briercrest Choir backstage with The Tenors at the Conexus Arts Centre.

On Sunday, December 9th, Ron de Jager received a message requesting a last-minute choir for the following evening.

The email was from Victor Micallef, a member of The Tenors. “He wrote me on Sunday the 9th and said that there had been a mix-up and The Tenors did not have a choral group to do backup vocals for their show on December 10. Victor asked me if I knew of a group that could pull the music together that quickly,” de Jager explained.

Luckily, he did. De Jager spent that Sunday afternoon emailing Briercrest staff, students, and alumni about a rehearsal for that same evening.

“[We] received an email Sunday at 2:36 pm with a link to our music that needed to be memorized for Monday night’s performance. For most choirs it would have taken weeks to prepare,” said alumnus Paul Reimer. The group had their first rehearsal that evening.

A short 24 hours later, they were warming up to perform.

“I texted Victor and the music director, Darryn de Souza, and told them we had 21 people and we thought we could make it work,” said de Jager. “They were in disbelief that I could get a group together that quickly and they were thrilled.”

Backed by a choir of Briercrest staff, students, and alumni, The Tenors performed to a crowd of over 2,000 on Monday at the Conexus Arts Centre in Regina.

Performing on the Conexus stage was a highlight for student Lindsay Reimer. “It was awesome watching the reactions from The Tenors and audience as our choir did a fantastic job of performing. The Tenors showered us with praise and thanks; they were sure to mention [us] from the stage and applauded along with the audience for ‘Briercrest Choir.’”

“This was an amazing opportunity for us,” said De Jager. “The performance went even better than we could have anticipated. The group practiced till we went on and we gave it our all. It was an amazing experience and a lot of fun.”

The Tenors' musical director Darryn De Souza said that de Jager was “an amazing asset and a calm and composed leader” during rehearsal and the performance.

De Souza was also impressed with the demeanour and professionalism of the choir on such short notice. “It truly was a Christmas miracle to have [the group] come through for us. We will surely be in touch with oodles more time for next Christmas."

Briercrest Music looks forward to more performances and more advance notice in the future.