Victoria Philharmonic Choir

2018-2019 Season

Medieval to Modern



G.F. Handel- Alexander’s Feast

Saturday, July 6, 7:00pm at St. Mary the Virgin Church on Elgin Street in Oak Bay (Admission by Donation)

Music Director Peter Butterfield, vocal coaches Gary Relyea and Sarah Fryer

The Victoria Philharmonic Choir’s summer choral intensive is always a feast of musical enjoyment, and this year even more so, with George Frideric Handel’s ALEXANDER’S FEAST – an ode to the magical power of music to influence emotion, from love and joy to murderous revenge. Handel’s characteristically delicious choruses and arias are the musical setting for John Dryden’s famous poem of the same name, which describes the celebration of Alexander the Great’s victory over the Persians. But a manipulative musician and famous aulos player called Timotheus works his musical wiles on the not-so-great leader...  The ode even includes a tribute to St. Cecilia, whose musical powers are of a more sacred and forgiving nature! This work was an instant hit when it was first performed in 1736 in London, and cemented the German-born Handel’s reputation as an “English” composer.



SummerVoices Adult Choral Workshop

July 2-6, 2019, St. Mary the Virgin Church, Oak Bay

Music Director: Peter Butterfield

Vocal Coaches: Sarah Fryer and Gary Relyea

The battle scene on the  Chigi vase  shows an  aulos player .

The battle scene on the Chigi vase shows an aulos player.

SummerVoices once again offers a full program option (2.30 – 9.30 – $220) and evening only (7 pm – 9.30 – $160) plus $10 extra to have a printed score provided if you register by May 20. REGISTRATION NOW FULL

Participants have the opportunity for individual voice coaching with noted teachers/professional soloists Sarah Fryer and Gary Relyea, and to try out for solo/small group opportunities.

SummerVoices ends with an informal performance, with orchestra, with entry by donation, and a reception for participants.

Please read the SummerVoices info page carefully – early registration is strongly recommended!  There will be an informal read-through of the score at 7 pm Wednesday, June 26; info will be sent to registrants.


Comments from VPC’s November 2018 performance of Rutter Requiem and the Lauridsen Lux Aeterna:

What a wonderful concert! I will become a regular at your choir’s performances.
— Audience Member
The Requiem was lovely, and haunting, but my favourites were the last two movements of Lux Aeterna when the voices of the singers were let loose and the joy they shared was palpable. A wonderful experience!
— Audience Member
Thank you for the wonderful treat! You performed difficult music with considerable
panache and great feeling.
— Audience Member
It was a wonderful concert to perform. When we feel prepared to the point that we can look up from the book and really ‘be’ with Peter in the music, and follow him wherever he decides to go, it’s the best feeling in the world. Requiems are often a bit personal, since many of us are remembering someone we lost. The orchestra was wonderful, from harp to horns and this concert was downright magical in places, with many audience members listening with closed eyes, seemingly quite transfixed!
— Choir Manager and Alto Chorister Sherry Lepage