Our 40th anniversary season in 2017/18 will feature repertoire from the last four decades. We need your help...
The Saskatoon Chamber Singers is looking for a dynamic, well-organized, and creative individual to become our new General Manager. This is a part-time contract position with responsibility for general oversight of SCS operations, but with a current focus on marketing/promotion and concert management.
From the Director
Song of the Salish Chief was written by Peter Berring for the centennial of the city of Vancouver in 1986. The text is an excerpt from Canadian poet Earle Birney’s verse-drama The Damnation of Vancouver. Incensed by proposals to dam Butte Lake, which would destroy the last glacial lake on Vancouver Island, Birney wrote a radio play that he later revised into a stage play for the centennial of British Columbia in 1958. The performance was cancelled when Birney refused to change some of his more controversial characters to suit the whims of the Centennial Committee. The play dramatizes a hearing to consider the destruction of the city of Vancouver. The passages set by Berring are from a dialogue between Mr. Legions, defendant for the City of Vancouver, and Skuh-wath-kwuh-than-kyooth, last chief of the Snow-kee Salish. Legion justifies the incursion of white culture on Salish ways: You always need us, we had the know-how/Before the whites the Siwash was a lowbrow.” The Chief replies, “We had not known, unknowing had not lacked; Yet from the knowing, needed…It was not ‘til you time, sir, I saw a Salish go hungry."
Berring’s setting is perfectly married to a text which is dramatic in its own right. Word painting, cross rhythms and frequent metrical shifts intensify the text. Word painting, cross rhythms and frequent metrical shifts intensify the text. In addition to an SATB chorus, tenor soloists, and narrator, this piece calls for two percussionists (who play eleven different instruments), a flute, a string bass, and a piano.