Kiri Laing: Our Veteran Chorister

Kiri shares what she loves about the King’s Chorus

Rehearsal (Kiri Centre)

I was looking for an amateur, but still relatively rigorous choir with a fun atmosphere; I certainly found it with the Chorus!”

Soprano Kiri Laing has sung with us in the King’s Chorus since our very first rehearsal in 2009, making her one of our most veteran choristers. Her dedication has been unwavering: over our five-year history, she’s only missed one concert. It’s enthusiasm from people like Kiri that makes the Chorus such a great community to learn music in – we’re lucky to have her!

The Chorus has opened Kiri up to a whole world of choral music that she didn’t know about before. “Singing with the Chorus has introduced me to a huge breadth of music,” she says. “For example, I’d never listened to Gregorian chant before discovering it with the Chorus, and now I’m a fan of chant. And I’d heard O Fortuna before, but I didn’t know it came from Carmina Burana before we sung that. The choir has definitely broadened my musical taste.”

A student at King’s, Kiri is in her final year of an undergrad in French. She is considering further education in Halifax, and she says she’ll sing in the Chorus as long as she stays in the city. We caught up with her for a few questions, recognizing that if she ends up leaving Halifax after all, this might be her last season with us.

What’s your favourite piece the choir has learned?kiri
Definitely Haydn’s Mass in a Time of War! I still listen to that piece today, and there’s this bass solo that I still remember and sing; it’s just amazing. I find myself humming it in the shower or at work still – up an octave, of course. But I like all the pieces we’ve sung. Nick [the Chorus director] always chooses works that have a real story; they’re very juicy pieces of music.

What do you like best about the Chorus?
I like that it’s a teaching choir. Nick always encourages questions and he really wants to see us grow as singers. I’ve been in choirs where you’re intimidated by the director, and I don’t think that should ever be the case.

Why did you join the Chorus?
I’ve been in one choir or another since I was in elementary school. I’ve always loved choral music, and the mental exercise of learning the music; the feeling of singing as part of a larger group really can’t be compared to anything else, and I didn’t want to give that up in university. I was looking for an amateur, but still relatively rigorous choir with a fun atmosphere – I certainly found it in the Chorus!

Words and interview: Will Pearson
Rehearsal photo: Kathleen Harper