The choir of Riverside Secondary School performed at the Coquitlam Alliance Church for the Holocaust Symposium on November 2. The choir performed “The Butterfly” by Doctor Antonio Molina, a song based on the poem of the same name by Pavel Friedmann about hope that is symbolic for the Jewish people who were brought to concentration camps. They also performed “In Remembrance” by Jeffrey L. Ames, a song that has a message about healing, peace and hope.

The choir has performed in a number of places over the years. “We just finished doing joint project Coquitlam’s 125 Anniversary, which combined local actors and actresses, dancers, and our choir,” said Ms. Glenda Ottens, the choir teacher of Riverside Secondary School. “We have also worked with composers and performed their songs. We performed at clinics, retreats and festivals for the community as well.”

For many of the choir members, being able to perform means a lot to them. “It gives us experience; it gives us practice for future performances, and most importantly, it gives us confidence to perform on stage,” said grade 10 student Jeffrey Luong. “We are always proud when we complete a concert with ease.” According to Ottens, performing for events is a way for them to give back to the community, and gave a sense of unity and belonging to the choir members and the people that they have performed for.

Ottens’ plans for this year is for the choir to go to the Whistler Music Festival, and support other school initiatives such as the Night Market and the Winter Market. There are also plans to perform for Port Coquitlam’s Rotary Club in February, and a field trip to New York or California next year.

Photo courtesy of Godwin C.