VanDeca is pleased to add several new voices to its ensemble this season. Joining the bass section is William, a Master’s student in Philosophy at SFU. He is still relatively new to Vancouver, having moved here in the fall of 2014 to begin his degree, and is excited to get back to creating music after a year-long hiatus.
Music has always been an important part of William’s life. “I remember my parents signing me up for music lessons when I was seven years old. I got to choose the instrument, but I had to sign up nonetheless. I picked piano, and my younger brothers picked guitar and violin to differentiate themselves.”
But it wasn’t a solo affair for him—music was a vital part of his community involvement growing up. “Our parish in Milwaukee [WI] was fortunate to have a really great music director, Mark Konewko, when I was a kid. He ran a children’s choir that I was a part of, and I later started leading services as a cantor.” William continued to broaden his musical horizons in high school. “High school was chock-full of musical opportunities. There was a choir, musical theater productions…some friends and I even started an Irish music band. I was also part of a music group with my brothers, mother and some neighbours, we would do the music for some of our parish services.” But he didn’t let his individual studies slide: “my piano teacher, Adam Baus, was a great mentor to me during this time as well. He pushed me to always do my very best and was supportive of my experiments in composition as well.”
Moving to Ottawa to begin university involved a great deal of changes, but he continued to seek out musical opportunities. “I joined the Carleton chamber choir for a bit, and I also provided musical services for the Catholic chaplaincy on campus.” The same was true during his exchange year at Dalhousie in Halifax. “I was so grateful to be a part of the Unconscious Collective; it’s a student a capella group based out of King’s College. They are a great group of people with very eclectic tastes in music, they remind me a lot of VanDeca in that respect.”
Now, William is very excited to sing with Vancouver’s freshest choir. “It’s a really great vibe, we strike that balance between professionalism and having pride in our performance while also having fun and being goofy. I’m really looking forward to the retreat this weekend. And who knows, I may have to try my hand at arranging again.”
Keep an eye out for future updates on our new members. If you want to hear VanDeca in action, come to their performance at the River Market in New Westminister from 6 to 7pm this Friday, September 22nd.