By Diane McIntyre
On December 9, the Big Soul Project (BSP) community choir and Deep Groove Band, conducted by music director Tahlia DeCorso, will perform its annual Christmas concert, “A Soul-Filled Christmas.” This year, the choir and band will again be joined by Zeke Gross on saxophone leading a four-piece brass ensemble. The guest master of ceremonies will be Adrian Harewood. The concert will feature gospel, soul and pop songs of peace, love and unity as well as Christmas favourites.
Big Soul Project concerts are always fun and often have audience members clapping along or even rocking in the aisles. The choir is further animated as the audience reacts during the shows. As one audience member exclaimed after a recent BSP concert, “Great music, great fun and a great time!”
Big Soul Project’s 2022 Christmas concert raised over $16,000 in donations for the Ottawa Food Bank, where contributions are much needed again this year. The choir has already spread much joy by helping to raise funds for community outreach groups including Ancoura (supportive housing) and the Ottawa South Refugee Group which helps settle and welcome newcomers to Ottawa.
The choir debuted in 1997 as the Ottawa Community Gospel Choir and was renamed Big Soul Project Community Gospel Choir in 2003. Since 2004, the choir has had the good fortune to practice with a live band playing drums, keyboard, guitar and bass at all Monday evening rehearsals.
Big Soul Project ’s mission is to bring people together to promote a sense of connection and empowerment through music. “I really enjoy the musical interaction between the voices and instruments that make our BSP sound unique and whole,” said one band member. “I enjoy being able to provide the pulse and drive necessary to keep the feet moving and the bodies swaying.” Another added, “I come on Monday evenings for the friendship, the strong sense of community and to sing my heart out.”
Words that have been used to describe Big Soul Project: joyful, soulful, groovin’, foot tappin’, hand clappin’, body movin’, thankful.
We hope you can join us at Dominion Chalmers on Saturday, December 9 at 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 6:45). Tickets will be available on Eventbrite at $25 adult, $15 students ages 13-25 and free entry for children under 12. There may also be tickets available on a cash-only basis at the door.
You are also invited to come to our dress rehearsal at Fourth Avenue Baptist Church on Monday, December 4. Tickets on Eventbrite (search for BSP Rehearsal Concert) or at the door. General admission tickets are $15; children 12 and under are free. Contributions to the Ottawa Food Bank will be welcomed – cash donations will be matched by a generous donor.
Diane McIntyre is a former Glebite active in civic affairs and a member of Big Soul Project.