Artists of the Month
December 2017 & January 2018
Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
& Paula DeWit
Chilliwack residents will not need to travel to Vancouver for their concert needs. They won’t need to pay out of town high-ticket prices and parking fees; instead, they can enjoy locally produced, first class concerts from the Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.
The Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra and Chorus (CSO) is a non-profit society, incorporated in August 1999. The late Maestro John van Liempt and Paula DeWit, founded the CSO. It was created to offer Chilliwack music lovers their own first class symphony orchestra and chorus. Since its inception, the organization also features an a cappella group and ladies show choir.
The CSO is Chilliwack’s finest and most prestigious cultural and music asset. To hear the world’s finest music masterpieces played by musicians and sung by singers from the Fraser Valley is an exhilarating and profound experience. Concerts leave patrons singing and humming our music on their way home.
The CSO primarily performs at First Avenue Christian Assembly. When other performance venues are available for concerts in Chilliwack or in surrounding communities, the CSO is ready to perform there.
The CSO is the hub for musical artistic life in Chilliwack. The orchestra and chorus, in addition to formal concerts, also perform at its annual fund raising gala, The Note-able Feast. Members of the CSO also perform as small ensembles at various functions.
The Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra and Chorus designs its performances to meet the musical tastes of Chilliwack and surrounding communities. CSO concerts will include a variety of musical genres, such as Classical, Light Classical, Popular, Broadway and Jazz. The Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra and Chorus frequently consists of a 40-piece orchestra, 55-member chorus, 8 voice a cappella group, as well as the CSO Starlets.
Paula DeWit is a well-known musician and conductor with a great interest in the artistic direction of both choirs and orchestras. She has excelled with the support and encouragement of her friends, family and fellow musicians.
After studying music at Queens University and the Canadian Forces School of Music, Paula played trumpet for the Canadian Forces for 11 years. During her tenure she was featured regularly as a vocal soloist. She performed extensively throughout Canada, the USA, Belgium, France and Germany.
A lifelong musician, Paula presently lends her talents toward both conducting the CSO orchestra and choruses and playing the trumpet. She has prepared both the orchestra and chorus to perform beloved opera choruses and great choral masterpieces, including Mozart’s Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Handel’s Messiah, and Handel’s Dixit Dominus, as well as excerpts from Haydn’s Creation and Bach’s Weihnachts-Oratorium.
She is a freelance musician and has played trumpet professionally for Lion’s Gate Sinfonia Orchestra and Kelowna Pops Orchestra. In addition to being a co-founder of the Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra and Chorus with her late husband Maestro John van Liempt, she has initiated Belle Voci and the CSO Ladies Show Choir. Outside of the CSO, she has conducted the musicals: Once Upon a Mattress, Willy Wonka, The Wizard of Oz, White Christmas, Paper Wheat and Drowsy Chaperone.
She has collaborated with UFV’s Theatre Department (Chilliwack Campus) as well as with the Chilliwack Players Guild. She is the music director for the Chilliwack Opera Troupe, which presented a successful run of Gilbert and Sulivan’s, The Pirates of Penzance, as well as the Mozart Opera project. Paula has guest conducted the Lion’s Gate Sinfonia and the Fraser Valley Stage.
Throughout her musical career, Paula has been committed to the pursuit of fine detail in the making of great music, and is dedicated to inspire each of her singers and instrumentalists to a high standard of excellence.
To learn more about Paula, please visit: pauladewit.com.
Excerpts from past CSO performances are available by visiting the group’s YouTube Channel.