History

The Swift Current Oratorio Choir is a community choir formed to foster and encourage choral music in Southwest Saskatchewan. From its earliest beginnings in association with the Swift Current Bible Institute, the choir has worked to present major choral works to the general public, adding to the musical repertoire of Swift Current and area, and has helped to develop the talents of generations of singers in the area.

Each year the SCOC presents two major concerts, including a Christmas Concert of old standards and new favourites, often showcasing the Swift Current Children’s Choir and other local talent. The choir also performs at many other special services and concerts around the community during the Christmas season. The second half of the choir season is devoted to performing a larger musical work with the Regina Chamber Players and a variety of local and Saskatchewan soloists.

Featured music from past concerts have included Haydn’s The Creation, Mozart’s Requiem, Coronation Mass and Te Deum, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Bach’s Cantata No. 4 for Easter, Clausen’s A New Creation, Rutter’s Requiem, Stainer’s Crucifixion, Handel’s Coronation Anthems and The Messiah, and Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man—A Mass for Peace.

The SCOC has remained a strong musical presence in Swift Current and area for many reasons. The first requirement is strong leadership by very talented directors and accompanists. The choir began under the direction of John Poettcker, who led the choir for the first 30 years. Since then, Marcia McLean has taken over the leadership of the choir. Both directors consistently achieve a high quality of performance from the choir, and the different styles of both directors have helped to strengthen different elements of the choir.

Written by Lesley Oakman