Singers won’t be performing this season

Northwest Singers need a new conductor after their last one retired this year

Northwest Singers need a new conductor after their last one retired this year, but even if they found a new conductor by January 1, it takes a while to put together a program.

The singers’ season hasn’t even started and likely won’t and the group probably won’t perform either this year, said Tim Keenan of Northwest Singers.

Michael Bruce, too busy with teaching responsibilities,  doesn’t have time to continue with the Northwest Singers as conductor after three or four years at the helm, he said.

“We haven’t approached anybody directly but nobody around is in a position to do it,” he said about the search for a new conductor.

A conductor ideally will have experience in chamber choir and choral music, with preference going to someone who’s conducted a fairly high level choir, which is a difficult thing to find in small town, said Keenan.

As for getting a new conductor from the singers themselves, Keenan said that’s how Bruce became the last conductor.

He had a background in music although he hadn’t conducted an adult choir before.

“There’s nobody to step up right now,” said Keenan, adding someone suggested he should do it but he doesn’t have the temperament for it or the background.

“It’s a demanding job that requires not only music knowledge and ability but requires people skills that are quite special,” he said.

Currently, there are about 18 to 20 singers but the number has varied from 12 to 24 in the last 15 years Keenan has been with the choir.

A person from BC Chorale is coming up in early January to hold a workshop on structuring choirs and financial issues that Northwest Singers will be sponsoring and it will be open to the public, said Keenan.