HISTORY OF THE PALS CHORUS
The irrepressible, youthful PALS (55+) Chorus was founded by Vancouver’s Performing Arts Lodge (PAL) in 2010 as a vehicle to integrate residents of PAL Vancouver with other seniors in the West End, Coal Harbour and surrounding communities, and to raise the community profile of PAL Vancouver. It was funded through a generous grant from the federal New Horizons for Seniors Program. When the chorus held its first rehearsal in the early spring of 2011, it was led by Dominique Hogan, music director for the North Vancouver-based Bursting With Broadway chorus. The repertoire consisted of a mix of Broadway hits and old standards. When the demands of directing two choirs while raising a family became too challenging for Dominique, she resigned her position at the end of 2011. Grant funding was depleted by that time, and a few dedicated chorus members volunteered to manage the chorus’ future operations.
2012 - 2015
In 2012, we attracted the attention of Lonnie Delisle, a professional pianist, vocalist and music director who was relatively new to the Vancouver musical scene. Lonnie was our music director for the next three and a half years. Under his guidance, our repertoire changed to current pop tunes, along with some classic rock and gospel. Lonnie brought a mix of fun music and social messaging to the chorus from such current artists as Lady Gaga, Adele, Bruno Mars, Adam Levine, and Carly Rae Jepson. By 2014, Lonnie had also been recruited as music director of the Canadian Memorial Church Choir and Vancouver’s acclaimed Universal Gospel Choir. Leading three choruses became more than Lonnie could comfortably handle, and he resigned as our music director following our spring, 2015 concert.
2015 - Present
In the fall of 2015, we were delighted to welcome the multi-talented Diane Lines as our new music director. Professional pianist, vocalist, music director and arranger, Diane has worked with a variety of professional artists and musical projects in Vancouver and abroad. She was also the featured keyboardist and vocalist with the legendary Dal Richards Orchestra for over a decade. In 2018, she was inducted into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame. Under Diane’s baton and creative arranging genius, our repertoire has expanded to include current hits recorded by such artists as Charlie Puth, Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, John Legend and Jason Mraz, as well as memorable pop and show tunes from the 50s, 60s and 70s.
The PALS Chorus usually performs one public concert each year in the spring (held either at PAL or at another local concert venue) and a ‘mini’ concert in December for PAL residents, family and friends. The chorus has also occasionally performed at fundraising galas and local community events. We’ve even staged two “flash mobs” (Burrard Skytrain Station and SFU Dialogue Centre)!
Covid-19 ‘Lockdown’. Live rehearsals were suspended in March, 2020. In September, Diane, with the expert assistance of website designer and audio/visual engineer, Tony Chamberlist, began leading us via YouTube tutorials on a virtual website created by Tony. We wrapped up that season with a fun performance video in mid-December, 2020. A similar approach will be taken in spring, 2021. We look forward to performing ‘live’ again as soon as it is safe to do so.
Updated January 2021/ Contact: email@example.com