Local singers host benefit

Pieces of Eight is back this weekend with its 3rd annual benefit concert, running July 2-3 at the UFV Theatre in Chilliwack.

Katherine Beswick leads the Pieces of 8 vocal octet in a rehearsal of their upcoming benefit concert at the UFV theatre July 2nd-3rd.

Pieces of Eight is back this weekend with its 3rd annual benefit concert, running July 2-3 at the UFV Theatre in Chilliwack.

The group of young singers from Chilliwack is raising its profile each time it performs. But it began with a rather humble goal in 2008 — learning a particular English madrigal for a festival, says founder and group member Nicola Davies.

It has certainly expanded its vocal repertoire since then.

“Four years later, Pieces of Eight loves to sing anything, in any style, that takes its fancy,” says Davies.

The vibrant vocal octet combines classical ­a ­cappella music with staged musical theatre and contemporary songs, in programs that could be said to be serious and beautiful, to the decidedly tongue-in-cheek.

For this year’s program they’re singing favourites like ‘Sweet Caroline,’ and ‘Tis the Last Rose of Summer,’ King’s Singers style, to selections from the new ‘Shrek the Musical,’ to an eerie piece by Dutch composer Marius Flothuis.

It will go from full ensemble numbers, to solos and duets, with a touch of ‘creative’ instrumentation, says Davies.

Pieces of Eight chooses a new local charity to support each summer, focusing on local organizations that benefit youth.

This year, the group has chosen Ann Davis Transition Society, with 100 per cent of proceeds from ticket sales going to this well-established Chilliwack charity, she says.

ADTS supports victims of violence and abuse through a range of programming, such as counselling for past or current family violence or sexual assault. It has developed programs for children affected by violence, as well as family therapy and mediation, and supervised access visits for men and women. Support groups are established for parents; for men and women dealing with anger; abuse, sexual assault, and/or family violence; and children 4-18 whose parents have divorced or separated.

Last year, the group raised money for The Feed the Children program through the Optimist Club, and the Chilliwack Academy of Music, and were able to give $2000 to these organizations, Davies says.

There are two concerts to choose from: Saturday July 2 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday July 3 at 2 p.m. at the University of the Fraser Valley Theatre, Chilliwack.

Pieces of Eight Annual Benefit Concert at UFV Chilliwack Theatre, July 2-3, Tickets $12 adults and $10 students and seniors, at Long and McQuade on Luckakuck or at the door, go to www.Piecesof8Octet.com or contact nicoladavies@live.ca, 604-795-4780.

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