Inspiring local songwriting talent — as well as musically gifted performers — will be on the menu Sunday (Oct. 28) at 7 p.m., as Joanna Schwarz and Carol Grolman present Inspired, a concert of original music at Squamish United Church.
The women are well known in Squamish’s performing arts and music community, having spent some 35 years sharing their talents with students and audiences in the area.
“We’ve produced events together, been piano teachers together and worked on music together for a long time,” Schwarz said.
“We’ve even raised our families together,” added Grolman.
Sunday’s concert features 14 original songs — mostly sacred pieces — created by the two.
“It’s an individual process,” Grolman said. “We both write independently, but we often ask each other about certain ideas and for feedback. So, although we work independently, it is also a collaborative process.”
Grolman recently won the top prize in a Canada-wide United Church contest for her song, It is Good.
“Originally, the song was more ethereal,” Grolman said. “But the requirements for the contest stated the song had to be child-friendly.”
So, Grolman tweaked the song — and it was a hit.
Grolman said although the original songs being performed Sunday evening are indeed “sacred” songs, they are more spiritual than religion-specific.
The musical evening also features several sing-alongs, some folk favourites, a quintet and a rock band.
“We have more than 25 of our friends helping us perform at the concert,” said Schwarz. “We have drums, a recorder, guitars, cello and lots of singers. Carol and I will sing and perform, but it is other people performing our songs as well. Carol does her own arranging. I have commissioned Vancouver composer, Larry Nickel, to write choral arrangements of my music. I also have the benefit of a lyricist in Winnipeg, John W. Oldham whose words appear on several occasions in our United Church hymnbook. So there are some interesting collaborations.”
Grolman, Schwarz and friends perform Inspired music at the Squamish United Church on Sunday (Oct. 28) at 7 p.m.
Entry is by donation, with proceeds going to the church’s new Music Ministry.