Founded in 1996 by Siobhan Robinsong, the Gettin’ Higher Choir welcomes anyone with a desire to sing — no audition required.
The community choir, like every other non-profit, had to pivot when the pandemic hit, and while they did lose a few members who didn’t want to sing to a computer, co-directors Cathy Baker and Dick Jackson explain that they gained some members too.
“We have sisters in the choir” says Baker, “one who lives in Oak Bay, one who lives in Whitehorse. There’s also a young couple and their child, and now Grampa from Ontario has joined in.”
“We’ve got members in Japan, Sweden, Montana, Idaho, India…” Jackson proudly adds.
Since 1998, the Gettin’ Higher Choir has performed an annual fundraiser concert for a village in Mozambique.
“The choir has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for them over the 23 years that we’ve been connected” says Jackson.
“The original connection started with a couple of refugees from Mozambique that were living in Victoria, and it grew from there. From the school that they built in that small community, there are now nursing graduates, and it goes on and on…” adds Baker.
This year’s fundraising concert will be online, with a very special guest.
“We are thrilled to have as our guest artist Bruce Cockburn. A half hour set of music that he put together for us” says Jackson.
Cockburn, reached via Zoom, explains that was pleased to lend his name to the fundraiser.
“I have been to Mozambique a couple of times for different reasons, once in the mid-80s and again in the ’90s, so I have a certain sense of that country and a certain sympathy – I suppose you could say a great empathy – for them, because I’ve been there.”
Baker wants anyone considering watching this fundraising concert to know how thrilled they are that Cockburn said “yes” when they asked him to be part of the event.
“It’s better than front-row seats at a concert! Especially for guitar geeks – they are going to love this, because the camera angles? You get to see his hand movements on the fret board, you get to see his picking patterns and strumming styles! In addition to the content of what he’s singing, just watching him play that closely is phenomenal.”
“We have five songs that the choir has prepared,” says Jackson, “virtual choir videos, and then we’ll also have Bruce’s set, and we have some musicians from Mozambique as well.”
Click here to register for this fundraising concert on Saturday June 19 at 7 p.m.