Vocal music teacher hopes to start choirs in Barriere area

Vocal music teacher hopes to start choirs in Barriere area

Leah (Pepper) Jones is an experienced choir director

Leah (Pepper) Jones is an experienced choir director

New resident to the area, Leah (Pepper) Jones, brings her experience as a choir director, performer and vocal music teacher to the valley.

Leah says she previously, directed choirs of varying ages and skill levels, and is hoping to start similar choirs in Barriere and the surrounding area.

“I would love to see a full-fledged children’s/youth choir in the future,” said the music teacher.

She notes that her continuing dream is to introduce music education to children and have it become a life-long skill and constant friend throughout life’s journey.  “Music just makes life easier and a lot more fun.”

For area adults, youth or children interested in voice and/or theory lessons, Leah says she will be offering lessons in her home studio, located just down from the high school on Dunn Lake Road, in Barriere.

She also offers beginner piano lessons, that apply to mostly children, but youths may also want to get some basic training in piano technique and music theory.

Leah (and her partner Bob Anderson) have been involved in many musical shows; their most notable being – HONK (performed in Idaho and in Creston, B.C.), and Leah (as a member of the Creston Valley’s Music Teacher’s Association), performed in their shows for the four years that she lived there. Leah often solo’d with both her singing and her djembe (hand drum) playing.

She says her most recent endeavour on stage was her ‘Farewell Performance’ in Creston, where she arranged music for cello, flute, bagpipe, piano, penny whistle, violin, many drums, hand percussion, and guitar. In that show were music teachers, directors, singers, actors, professional and amateur musicians, and featuring her all female chorus called ‘The Key of She’.

Leah says she is looking forward to starting up similar choirs here.

“Certainly, a community choir that will be open to men and women 18 years and up,” said the music teacher, “If we can form something soon enough, I hope to have a spring concert for this year – possibly by April and for sure by May.”  She says the choir music will be varied and exciting. It will be part singing, but don’t worry – Leah says she will lead the singers up to that point. She believes in having ‘teaching choirs’ where her vocal skills as a teacher are best utilized ‘in the moment’.

She says she is also happy to do voice assessments in her studio for those who are unsure where their vocal talents are, this is not an audition and there will be a nominal fee.  The voice assessment can give people an idea of where they want to go vocally.

Leah encourages anyone who is interested in a children’s show choir, GLEE-type youth choir, an all-male or an all-female choir, or a specialty choir (like a quartet) to contact her so she can get some idea of what the area would like to see.

“Anyone interested in solo’s, and I am always very generous with solos in my choirs, a few voice lessons and certainly the voice evaluation should bolster their confidence level and have them solo singing in no time,” says Leah.

Often incorporating instruments as well, Leah says those who play an instrument as well as sing can  be added to the group’s treasure chest. She often plays her djembe in ensembles while singing along at the same time.

“For those who are an instrument player only, please feel free to contact me, as I am always looking for instrumental accompaniment,” says the instructor, “And that reminds me; I am also looking for a piano accompanist to help out with practices and performance.”

She does note that a minimum ability of Grade IV or experience to that level is required of the pianist.

To find out more, call Leah at 250-957-8440, or redpepper62@live.com or go to www.leahpepperjones.com.