New director for community chorus

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A new director is leading the Olds Community Chorus this year, not just in song but towards a more focused vision for the group.

Theresa Wasden, or Terry as she likes to be called, was selected as the new chorus director last month, replacing retired director Ross Dabrusin.

She brings with her a lifetime of professional directing, opera, symphony and musical theatre performances, as well as fronting bands and teaching music.

“My music has always been part of who I am,” said Wasden, who at 14 was teaching Royal Conservatory music.

“Every stage is the best stage,” she added, listing the myriad of musical endeavours she has been involved in: Okanagan Symphony CBC Orchestra, director of the Talisman Energy Choir, director and producer of Children’s WISH Foundation child concerts.

After a brief hiatus to focus on her health and family, the executive leadership coach by trade said she jumped at the chance to lead the Olds Community Chorus.

“I want to bring my experience of taking music out into the community in maybe a different way than what’s been done,” she said.

First up was creating a vision for the chorus. The board selected the theme of sing, learn, grow.

Hopefully, the signing of a sponsor or two is next to help with costs such as the required purchase of music or perhaps venue costs.

Logistics aside, the music for this year’s winter concert has already been selected and rehearsals are expected to start the second week of September.

Open to community members from around the region, Wasden is hoping to attract singers as young as 12 to join the recreational chorus.

“I’d love to see high school band students aspire to be part of the chorus,” she said. “There’s young talent out there that we haven’t tapped yet.”

Members already come from as far as Red Deer and Airdrie, said Wasden, adding the chorus is not an Olds-only group.

There’s no prerequiste for knowing how to read music, just an interest in singing and enjoying the camaraderie of the group, she said.

This year’s winter concert will feature an array of musical stylings including You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch, Let There Be Peace on Earth and Peace, Peace.

A chorus meet and greet is planned for Sept. 7 at Hope Pointe Church from 7 – 8:30. Anyone interested in finding out more about the group is invited to go.

“I’m totally selfish in that I just want the joy of music in people. It does such good.”

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Lea Smaldon

Lea Smaldon joined Mountain View Publishing as managing editor in 2006.