In 2009, the Calgary Renaissance Singers & Players (CRSP) realized that the group had been singing, playing and performing together for almost 40 years (See our History page).
A committee was formed which began planning for a festive celebration in 2010. A date was chosen and contact lists for former performers and conductors were drawn up. The celebration was planned for a weekend in April, 2010.
After several months of organization, we, the CRSP, performed our 40th Anniversary Concert before a large and enthusiastic audience on the evening of Sat. Apr. 24th at the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer in downtown Calgary.
Eleven former singers were able to join the choir to rehearse and sing three familiar pieces from the past. We welcomed back three guest conductors, (Malcolm Edwards, Steve Weisbrod and David Wilson), who each conducted one or two pieces in their individual styles. Several past instrumentalists also took part in the concert, and members of the choir wore a selection of different costumes from the past 40 years. Audience members enjoyed browsing through past memorabilia displayed in the cathedral narthex and signed the guest book with enthusiastic comments.
On the afternoon of the next day (Apr.25th) a large number of guests, including past and present singers, audience members, stage crew, instrumentalists and conductors, attended a party at Highwood Community Centre. Here, there was a large display of posters, programs and photographs which sparked happy memories and reminiscent conversations as people reconnected and enjoyed the delicious refreshments provided by Phaedra, our treasured concert caterer. There were several speeches and some impromptu singing with various conductors, all of which made for a very happy afternoon.
A steady flow of complimentary emails followed the celebration and some fond and some comical memories were shared from those who were unable to attend. (See examples below). We, the present CRSP, now have this celebration as a special memory as we sing our way to the 50th Anniversary.
“The Calgary Renaissance Singers were a truly inspirational group for me to sing with and offered an experience that has been difficult to match in other cities.”
“I recognize the faces in your photo. These friendships, which have been massive in our lives, came out of CRSP!!”
“Slipping into the hottest jacuzzi I have ever been in with CRSP after arriving in Jasper for a concert. I think about that one a lot.”
“Giving Pattie a lift home the night she fell in love with Peter (Togni).”
“Singing Christmas carols in the shopping centre – not bad acoustics, those places…”
“Being a witch in something.”