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Yuletide Concert features Christmas Music Through the Ages

Article from the Summerland Review

This Christmas, the Seraphim Vocal Ensemble is taking you on a journey through centuries of Christmas music.

Songs for Yuletide starts with candlelight accompanying the music of eleventh-century composer Hildegard von Bingen, then travels down the centuries featuring early English and French carols, ending with traditional favourites and a sing-along.

Seraphim Vocal Ensemble was started by Tracey Fehr and Penticton resident Heather Allen, who from a young age, loved early music. Allen states,

“It’s beautiful music, but can be challenging. It requires the technical skill of a soloist, but you have to meld your solo melody perfectly with the other voices. You can’t be a diva to excel at this music,” said Allen.

Sopranos Fehr and Allen are joined in the four-voice ensemble by Derek Beaton, singing bass, and Jay Demetrick, singing countertenor and tenor. Seraphim will be joined by youth soloist Kiara Louw, flautist Nicole Handford and Bob Park on guitar and lute.

Partial proceeds from the evening go to the South Okanagan Women in Need Society.

“We really wanted to sing a piece by Hildegard von Bingen because she is a powerful figure from long ago,” said Fehr. “She’s an inspiration to any woman who faces adversity and needs strength to overcome it.”

Allen describes von Bingen’s music as haunting and beautiful and hopes the candlelight adds a dimension to the concert.

“We hope the audience is transported back 1000 years,” said Allen.

The concert takes place on Dec. 15 in Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1370 Church St. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors and youth, on sale at the Book Shop (242 Main St.) and at the door.

For more information contact Fehr at tfehr@tracyfehr.com or 250-486-5073.

Bob Park, Derek Beaton, Nicole Handford, Tracy Fehr, Heather Allen and Jay Demetrick serenaded guests at Bogner’s recent Mid-Winter Medieval Feast

Bob Park, Derek Beaton, Nicole Handford, Tracy Fehr, Heather Allen and Jay Demetrick serenaded guests at Bogner’s recent Mid-Winter Medieval Feast


Sweet, Nature-inspired Music at Sweet Bird Concert

Article from the Penticton Herald

  • Special to The Herald

  • May 11, 2017

Spring is in the air! Birds are singing, and flowers are blooming! To celebrate, several Okanagan classical musicians are joining together today (May 12) to present: Sweet Bird, an evening of bird and nature-inspired music.

Music from the Renaissance to Modern Classical is followed by a reception with complimentary wine, several displays featuring Okanagan birding and nature conservation groups, including a live owl brought by the BC Burrowing Owl Society, and a chance to win a birding/nature tour package from Sagebrush Tours.

Swans, swallows, nightingales, spring flowers and summer love are featured in an exciting variety of songs performed by Masterworks Ensemble, featuring Tracy Fehr (lyric colouratura soprano), Dennis Nordlund (piano) and Elizabeth Lupton (violin); and Seraphim Vocal Ensemble: Tracy Fehr, Heather Allen, Jay Demetrick and Derek Beaton. Bob Park also joins the group to play a set of charming lute songs.

While performing some of the most beautiful music by Mozart, Handel and more, the group is delighted to feature up and coming Okanagan talent. Wynn Nordlund, who has composed for the Okanagan Youth Symphony Orchestra has written a new song for this concert, dedicating it to Okanagan nature conservation. Also, singing Feed the Birds from Mary Poppins, is “fledging” but wonderfully talented young singer, Keegan Radomski.

Partial proceeds from the concert go towards supporting Okanagan birding conservation groups, including the BC Burrowing Owl Society, and the Vaseux Lake Bird Banding Station. It will also feature information on International Bird Migratory Day, and the Meadowlark Nature Festival.

Sweet Bird takes place tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church (1370 Church St., Penticton). Tickets are $30 or $25 for seniors/youth, and are on sale at The Book Shop (242 Main St.), at the Penticton Arts Council office (220 Manor Park Ave.), or at the door, pending availability.

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Songs and Music of the Sweet Bird Returns

BC Local News Article

Second annual concert in support of bird conservation

Local musicians are celebrating spring with the second annual Sweet Bird concert, helping to raise funds for local bird conservation groups.

Tracy Fehr, Dennis Nordlund and the Seraphim Vocal Ensemble will perform songs about birds, nature and love to celebrate the season.

The evening of classical music takes place on May 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1370 Church St., Penticton. Guests are invited to enjoy pre-concert music by Trio of Five, a local chamber group and to stay after the concert for a glass of wine and displays on bird conservation in the South Okanagan.

Fehr is a well-known colouratura soprano and voice teacher in Penticton who enjoys performing with Nordlund, a local pianist and teacher. Nordlund’s son Wynn is also a pianist and an accomplished composer whose work, Tomten will be featured in the program. Guest violinist Elise Wiesinger will play the part of the nightingale in Sweet Bird by Handel.

Fehr, along with Heather Allen and Jay Demetrick of Seraphim Vocal Ensemble, will sing nature-themed melodies composed from the 14th century onward. Voice student Anna Mitchell is a guest soloist.

Pluto, a live Burrowing Owl, will be part of the bird conservation displays, highlighting the importance of the Okanagan Valley for birds spending the summer here.

Tickets are available at The Bookshop on Main Street and at the door, $30 ($15 for students).

Bogner’s medieval feast big success

Penticton Herald Article

30 Jan 2019

Special to The Herald

Minstrels and merry makers descended on Bogner’s of Penticton last week at the restaurant’s first annual Mid-Winter Medieval feast.

Guests dined on medieval fare while being serenaded and entertained by local musicians.

The four-course meal, prepared by chef Darin Paterson, included rabbit stew, pottage suet pudding and pork pies – with, of course, a roasted boar’s head being led through the dining hall by carollers.

“I had a great time interpreting ageold recipes and playing with flavours and techniques,” says Paterson.

The event, which sold out within days, featured the music of Tracy Fehr, lyric coloratura soprano, Seraphim Vocal Ensemble (Heather Allen, Jay Demetrick and Derek Beaton), Bob Park on lute and Nicole Handford on flute.

The entertainment included old favourites such as “Greensleeves” and “Early One Morning,” and music by some of the most notable female composers from the 1100s: Hildegard von Bingen and Beatriz de Dia.

“It was a delight to introduce ‘Beatriz’s A Chantar’ to the audience,” says Fehr. “This song is one of the only remaining works by a trobairitz – the female equivalent of a troubadour.”

Many guests came in full costume, which along with a hall filled with candlelight and tree boughs, some lively poetry readings, and a cold winter wind blowing outside, added to the festive atmosphere.

“Surely, Bogner’s original owners, Dr. and Mrs. Herb McGregor, were looking down from above with smiles on their faces, as they fondly recollected similar rousing house parties a century ago,” said Malcolm Paterson, who along with his wife Sandra dressed up and greeted guests as the Lord and Lady of the Manor