|Barb Brolly |
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Barb was always surrounded by music...her dad played the mandolin, her sis the violin, and Barb trained in piano and voice. When the Ed Sullivan Show was launched in the 50s, she was glued to the TV every Sunday night. At 13, she was invited to sing in Winnipeg’s “Good Deed Club” radio choir, which aired every Saturday morning. In 1965, she travelled to Llangollen, Wales with a mixed chorus, representing Manitoba in the international Eistedfodd (music festival). It was a trip of a lifetime!
Barb’s passion for musical theatre began in her teens after seeing a production of South Pacific at Winnipeg’s Rainbow Stage. It wasn’t, however, until age 40 that she had the courage to pursue her childhood dream. She enrolled in singing, dancing and acting classes in Vancouver, and three years later, was cast in the chorus of Theatre Under the Stars’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’. Since then, Barb has played a number of principal and support roles with various theatre companies in the lower mainland. Along the way, she has also enjoyed singing in a number of choirs and ensembles, and in recent years, has music directed several community theatre productions. Barb has been a proud member of the PALS Chorus since its launch in January, 2011, and is currently Assistant Director and Communications Officer.
Barb is blessed to have a wonderful son and daughter-in-law and two beautiful grandchildren (aged 1½ and 3½ years). The eldest has just started piano lessons!
Bill is a native Vancouverite, and a grad of Magee High and UBC (Commerce). Following university and a brief accounting career, he spent his working life in the materials handling and social profit sectors. Following stints with the Crisis Centre as Director of Development, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of B.C. and Yukon as Manager of Major and Planned Gifts, he joined PAL Vancouver in January 2009 as Director of Development, where he finished his work career in September 2011. Together with then Board Chair, Jane Heyman, Bill initiated the PALS Chorus as a community outreach initiative in 2010.
Bill has been an active alumnus for Magee High for many years, having organized his grad class reunions and get-togethers for over 30 years, having chaired the opening of the “new Magee” in July 2000, and having recruited and served on the steering committee for the Magee 2014 Centennial Celebration. He was active in the Canadian Association of Gift Planners as Fund Development Chair for the national conference in 2003 and served as Conference Chair in 2008. He also initiated the CAGP’s local mentorship program. He has served on the Boards of the Vancouver Crisis Centre and the West Vancouver Community Foundation, and most recently initiated a new cycling group at the West Vancouver Seniors Activity Centre. Bill is also an active member of the 200 strong Fit Fellas where he recently initiated a quarterly newsletter.
Bill and his wife Ellen have two grown daughters, and live in West Vancouver with their mutt, Scraps. He is president of PALS Chorus.
Cathy’s early years in Scotland were filled with house parties where everyone had a ‘party piece’ and sing-alongs were a huge part of the fun. As a teenager, she participated in year-end Gilbert and Sullivan musical productions at high school – but always happy to be in the chorus. A big fan of musicals as a child, she tested the patience of a teenaged neighbor who took her to the movies on Saturdays by always requesting a “singing and dancing” movie, and has lost count of the number of times she saw Showboat.
After moving to Canada in the late Sixties, Cathy met her now-husband John and was delighted to discover that he shared the same interest in music – it seems that as a boy in Calgary, when all his friends were at the cowboy movies, John was in the other cinema watching musicals. They still share an interest in music and dancing.
The first time Cathy attended a PALS Chorus concert, she determined that could be the place for her. Never having had any musical training, she thought she would fit the recruitment criteria to “enjoy singing, and be able to carry a tune.” Luckily, she was accepted into the chorus and has enjoyed every minute of it since.
Cathy and John have three grown children, and one grandson. She is the Treasurer and Membership Chairman for PALS Chorus, and works on keeping the website up-to-date.
Dean lives in a West End apartment with a serious fiction writer, and must get out and about regularly to preserve domestic bliss. The PAL Chorus is the perfect outing: close by, lots of friends, lots of pop music, excellent meeting space and best of all is Diane Lines, our great director.
Dean’s first musical experience was middle-of-the-road songs on radio station CKRM 980 in Regina. Then there were 10 years of playing the trumpet with the Regina Separate School Band, including 5 as the lead. The highlight of the year was a road trip to Williston, North Dakota, for the annual May band festival and parade.
Dean and Cynthia have 2 daughters, one in Hamilton, one in Nanaimo. Both work with the disadvantaged. There are 5 grandchildren. None of them sing - yet.
Eve has written for virtually every national magazine in Canada, including Maclean’s, Reader’s Digest, Chatelaine, Homemaker’s, Canadian Living. Subjects covered the waterfront, from personal adventures (including a 28-day Outward Bound course) to profiles (including Paul Newman on the set of Buffalo Bill and the Indians) to interior adventures such as Love, Friendship, Humour, Music.
In 1998 Doubleday published her book, “Life in the Runaway Lane: Recapturing the Spirit of Childhood Through Adventure.” In a review, Chatelaine wrote that it was such a feel-good book “it’s a wonder you don’t need a prescription to buy it.”
She switched from magazines to writing books, which have included the history of Boston Pizza, Grey Beverage (Pepsi), a book celebrating the 100th anniversary of The YH Louie Company (IGA, London Drugs), Anne Ironside (who was invited by Pierre Trudeau to sit beside him on retreats when he was in power) and the history of Kal Tire, a multi-million conglomerate whose empire began with a tiny store in Vernon B.C. in the early 50’s.
In the early 70s, her husband photographer Paul Rockett received a Canada Council Grant, and together they left Toronto and explored Canada coast-to-coast in a huge motor home with Paul filming and photographing and Eve writing for magazines. When they reached Vancouver they decided to make their home here.
Eve is the publicity director for PALS Chorus.
Muriel Honey-Richards is typical of many of our PAL Chorus members. Although she’s always been one to sing in the car on road trips (and occasionally in the shower), she doesn’t read music and did her last organized singing in a choir back in high school in her home town of New Westminster (many decades ago!). Encouraged by her friend and PAL Chorus Director Diane Lines to give the chorus a try, Muriel is now a proud second-year member of the Tenor section - one of what we fondly call ‘the Girly Boys’…a far cry from her early years as a soprano!
Muriel and her late husband Dal Richards have been supporters of the Vancouver Performers Arts Lodge since it was just a gleam in the eyes of Joy Coghill and Jane Heyman. As a 20-year veteran of Vancouver City Hall, first in the Mayor’s Office and later as the manager of the City’s Film and Special Events Office, Muriel’s knowledge of the workings of the City and her vast network of contacts made her a good addition to the early PAL board meetings; and she and Dal purchased one of the PAL Life Suites to help fund the building of PAL.
Now that she’s on the PAL Chorus management team Muriel hopes to expand the profile of the PALS Chorus by finding new opportunities for us to share our joy of music with new audiences…and also help establish the PALS Chorus as a registered charity to help fund both choir costs and the Performers Arts Lodge.