Swiss Choir

First row left to right: Heidy Legere, Anna-Marie Spaeti, Maria Logan, Maja Joehl, Andrea Flukiger, Andrea Stolte Second row left to right: Ricarda Willi, Heidi Batho, Mirjam Mai, Erna Schaefer, Marianne Vlek, Karin Kapp, Dubravko Pajalic (conductor) Third row left to right: Teresita Schwegler, Silvia Kinvig, Rosi Schüpbach, Dorothy Meier, Marie-Louise Hanna, Ingrid Nagy Fourth row left to right: Marceline Billis, Hans-Peter Wacker, Alfred Eigenmann, Elisabeth Appenzeller, Beat Heeb, Max Weber, Leo Wenk, Rolf Brülhart Missing on picture: Hong Chul Kim, Judy Boxler, Mirjam Weiss, Margaret Spengler, Melanie Crook


  • Coordinator: Marie-Louise Hanna (604 536-6382)
  • Vice Coordinator: Melanie Crook
  • Secretary: Judy Boxler
  • Musical Director : Dubravko Pajalic (604-251-6344)
  • Equipment: Ingrid Nagy (604-299-2177)
  • Advisory Members: Maria Logan, Melanie Crook, Maja Joehl, Alfred Eigenmann

HISTORY

The Vancouver Swiss Choir was founded in 1966 and has been active providing a glimpse of Swiss Folks Culture ever since. In recent years we have grown in numbers and have presently 33 active members of different provenance and a number of supportive former members and associates. Under the expert “baton” of Conductor Dubravko Pajalic, we gather weekly for rehearsals at the Provincial Assessment Center (Willingdon and Canada Way) on Thursday from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm. We welcome visitors; please call Marie-Louise Hanna (604 536-6382) if you wish to check us out, to find out more about the choir and possibly join us.

ACTIVITIES

Our 2013 calendar of activities includes a Good Friday church concert on March 29th, an annual Choir Concert on June 15th, and a performances at the European Festival on May 25th. Since Switzerland is the featured country of the 16th annual European Festival, you will also see us in the Swiss tent right next to the climbing wall.

We usually have guest appearances with other community choirs, for instance with the Lyra Men’s Choir or  with a German choir under conductor Rory Fader on May 4th in Kelowna. We will also participate in the Parade in Victoria on the long Victoria Day weekend in May. We perform concerts at Senior Citizens homes, the Vancouver Christmas Market, and the VanDusen Festival of Lights. We also participate in the Pacific Coast Swiss Singing and Yodeling Festivals, which we hosted in 2011 in Vancouver and the next Festival will be in Tacoma in 2014.

As a choir we have regular retreats at the Swiss Outdoor Cabin at Mt. Baker. With a Friday evening Fondue with sing-along we start the weekend with lots of fun. Saturday is serious rehearsing, excellent food and camaraderie. We have these events once every season


Last year we have started to offer Swiss Yodeling classes which have grown in popularity. Our very talented choir member Hong Chul Kim is teaching his know-how to choir members and the general public in small classes. Check out our yearly calendar of events regarding dates on this website. These classes are open to the general public if there is space at a cost of $50 for 2 sessions of 3 hours each. (For dates and availability call 536-6382).

If there is sufficient demand we would like to offer Schwyzer Oergeli classes in the near future. If you have a Schwyzer Oergeli inactive please contact us and we will see to it that it gets used. If you have an Alphorn and wish to use it, please contact us. For further information please contact our Choir Coordinator Marie-Louise Hanna at 604 536-6382

THE VANCOUVER SWISS CHOIR – members

Conductor: Pajalic, Dubravko

Dubravko celebrated his 10-year anniversary as conductor of the Vancoucer Swiss Choir in 2011. Born in Zagreb, Croatia, he studied music at Zagreb University and in Vienna, Austria. Dubravko is a versatile musician having studied flute, guitar, conducting and composition. He began his conducting career as Assistant Conductor to Emil Cossetto, one of Croatia’s leading composers and conductors. To further his technique, Dubravko continued to attend workshops in Europe and Canada, including conductor’s workshops with the great conductor and educator Jon Washburn. Since having moved to Canada, he conducts various community and church choirs. his compositions reflect his eclectic background. Dubravko was also the musical director of the 27th USSSPC Singing & Yodeling Festival in June 2011 at UBC, Vancouver.

Sopranos:

Batho, Heidi Heidi came to Canada from canton Zürich in 1956. First to Toronto, but in 1958 she moved to Vancouver. Here she met her husband while skiing on Mt. Baker in Washington. They have two children and two grandchildren. She still likes skiing and goes hiking with the Swiss Outdoors Cub. She enjoys music and joined the VSC in 1980.
Crook, Melanie Melanie is a crazy ex-English lady who came to Canada with her family in 1980 to make a permanent home after having lived in Switzerland for 2 years, in Germany for 7 years and in Italy for 1 year. She joined the choir in 1981 to become Swiss!! Isn’t Canada wonderful!
Flukiger, Andrea In 1994 with her parents and siblings, Andrea moved from canton Basel-Land to the Fraser Valley. While a nurse back home, she and her husband Markus now operate a goat and cow dairy. They have 5 children and Andrea joined the choir in 2010.
Hanna, Marie-Louise Marie-Louise is our current Choir President. She came to Canada in 1967 from the canton Fribourg. She worked as a teacher in Quebec and is retired now. She has two grown daughters and 6 grandchildren. She has been singing in the choir since 2005.
Kinvig, Silvia Joined the VSC in 2006
Legere, Heidy After an apprenticeship as an office employee, Heidy moved from canton Zürich to Canada in 1958 to work here. She is married to Gerard and they have 2 children and 4 grandchildren. Heidy joined the VSC in 1971 and still loves it. She has been the treasurer of the choir for many years now.
Logan, Maria Maria came to Canada in 1950 from canton Schwyz to visit her relatives. She met her husband Clem Logan, stayed in Canada, and worked as a nurse at the Pacific Coast for more than 28 years. Maria joined the VSC in 1970. Music is her great passion and she has also supported the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for many years.
Schwegler, Teresita (Sita) Sita moved from canton Basel to Canada in 1960. She is married and has 2 children. She joined the VSC in 1975 and enjoys it very much!
Suter, Maria In 1966, Maria wanted to travel around the world. She lived in Montreal for two years, than moved to Vancouver, where she got stuck. She has a son and a daughter and four grand children. She joined the VSC only in 2011, 44 years too late.
Vlek, Marianne Marianne is the Dutch connection in the choir. She left Holland in 1970 and worked in Canada as a special needs teacher for 18 years. She is married to Pieter and they have 3 sons and 6 grandchildren. Marianne joined the VSC in 2005.
Weiss, Mirjam Mirjam came to Canada in 2008 from canton Zürich to work as a horticulturalist. Here she met her boyfriend Joel and decided to stay in Vancouver. She joined the VSC in 2011.
Willi, Riccarda Riccarda came with her husband Hans-Peter, the present Deputy Consul General, and their son to Vancouver in 2010 from canton Bern. She joined the VSC in the same year.

 

Altos:

Appenzeller, Elizabeth Joined the VSC 2000
Boxler, Judy Judy first came to Canada in 1968 from Virginia. Later, she moved to Zug, Switzerland, with her husband Urs.  In 1980, they came to Vancouver, where Judy worked as a computer science professor for 20 years. She lives on a boat and has a well-loved cat. She is a worldtraveler, coastal cruiser, and opera lover. Judy joined the VSC in 2011.
Joehl, Maja As a child Maja moved from canton Zürich to Canada in 1959 together with her family. She is married to Beat and they have 2 children and 1 grandchild. Maja is an artist, and prepares and sells beautiful Swiss artifacts that will also be sold at the USSSPC Sängerfest in June 2011. She joined the VSC in 1976 and loves singing, gardening and skiing.
Kapp, Karin Karin is a real Appenzellerin!! She came to Canada in 1988 to work as a Registered Massage Therapist and she works in a clinic in Kerrisdale now. She joined the choir in 2010 and also enjoys travelling, cooking and knitting.
Mai, Mirjam Mirjam joined the Vancouver Swiss Choir in October 2010. She moved from Germany to Vancouver to work as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Forest Science Centre at UBC for two years. She also plays the clarinet and accompanies the choir together with Kimi and his Switzer Oergeli.
Meier, Dorothy (Dorli) Dorli is working as a farmer and came to Canada in 1971 from canton Glarus. She is married to Urs and they have 7 children and 23 grandchildren. Besides singing in the VSC, which she joined in 2010, she loves to hike, ski and quilt.
Nagy, Ingrid Joined the VSC in 2005
Nodwell, Evelyn Joined the VSC in 2012
Schüpbach, Rosi Rosi came to Canada in 1980 from canton Thurgau to work as a psychiatric nurse for 21 years. She is married to Ray Chan and they have 2 children. Rosi joined the VSC in 1984 and has also been working a an aromatherapist for a while.
Spaeti, Anna-Marie Joined the VSC in 2010.
Spengler, Margaret In 1967, Margaret moved from canton Zürich to Canada to work as a registered nurse. She has 2 children and joined the VSC in 1999. She also volunteers as a guide at VanDusen Garden in Vancouver.

 

Tenors:              

Brülhart, Rolf A. In 1972, Rolf came from canton Luzern to Vancouver to work as a researcher at UBC. He worked there for 3 months and after some unexpected changes, he finally managed to stay here. Rolf is married to Josefina and they have 3 children. He joined the Vancouver Swiss Choir in 2005 and likes Yodeling. After the 27th USSSPC Singing and Yodeling Festival in June 2011 he took his sabbatical from the choir.
Downes-Christeller, Nancy Joined the VSC in 2011
Kim, Hong Chul (Kimi) Kimi moved to Canada from Seoul, Korea. He had also travelled to Switzerland several times in order to learn Yodeling and playing the Switzer Oergeli. In Korea he is teaching children how to play the Oergeli and he has his famous Modi Kapelle. Kimi is probably the most Swiss guy in this choir!
Schaefer, Erna For the first time, Erna came to Canada in 1965 from Canton Glarus to work here. She returned to Switzerland and moved to Toronto with her husband in 1973. Finally, they went to Vancouver in 1981 and Erna joined the VSC in 2002.
Stolte, Andrea Andrea was born in Alberta and joined the Vancouver Swiss Choir in 2006. ”I once lived in Germany, but Switzerdeutsch is a brand new challenge. Let alone Romantsch. But I really enjoy it!

 

Basses:

Eigenmann, Alfred Alfred came to Canada in 1965 from canton Zürich. He is a retired church lay minister of the New Apostolic Church and had a very successful construction company. He is married to Christel and they have 2 children and 4 grandchildren. Alfred joined the choir in 2002 and as a hobby photographer he takes many pictures at all choir performances and outings.
Heeb, Beat Beat came to Canada in 1976 from canton Luzern. He had a Sewing Machine Store for 27 years. He is married to Brigitte Rabold and he has 4 children and one grandchild. He joined the VSC in 1981 and also plays the Alphorn.
Wacker, Hans-Peter Hans Peter came to Canada in 1965 from St. Moritz. He is married to Margit, has 3 children and 7 grandchildren. He joined the VSC in 1980 and has performed as a soloist in 2002 at the Saengerfest in Stockton, and as group soloist in 2008 at the Saengerfest in Portland
Weber, Max Max is originally from Hannover, Germany. He came to Canada in 1950 and worked as a steelworker for 33 years. He is married to Annemarie and they have 2 children and 1 grandchild. Max joined the VSC in 2005 and has also participated in the Vancouver Opera Association since 1960.