The Handel Society of Music was founded in 1966 by Karel ten Hoope, in preparation for Canada’s Centennial year, and was directed by Maestro ten Hoope for 29 years until his retirement in 1995. He was succeeded by Maestro Johan Louwersheimer who continues to serve as our Music Director. Ms. Paula DeWitt stepped in to conduct for the 2019 Fall season.
The Handel Society takes pride in nurturing the musical arts in the Fraser Valley. Local high school and college students are encouraged to sing with the choir, and performances often have included student orchestras and young musicians. Other performances have been joint productions with the Abbotsford Symphony Orchestra, many members of which also are involved with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the CBC Symphony Orchestra, or the Vancouver Opera Orchestra.
The choir supports local musicians, both professional and amateur, to perform in their home community. Many very talented musicians have sung with the Handel Society Choir and continued on with successful careers. Some perform with the Vancouver Opera, the Pacific Opera, or other opera companies in Canada and the U.S. Others have performed in popular musicals. Some have gone abroad to continue their studies and sing. Still others are respected music educators.
The Handel Society of Music is a non-profit organization that produces fine choral-orchestral performances for the enjoyment and benefit of audiences in the Lower Mainland. The Society also supports and stimulates musical activity in the area and promotes the artistic development of young musicians.
The Society’s mandate is to perform choral orchestra music “from Bach to Britten”, including classical favourites, such as Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, and Puccini’s Messa di Gloria. The Society also performs oratorios, masses, and requiems by other great classical composers such as Mozart, Haydn and Schubert.
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