Music is a world within itself and is a language we all understand. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the wind, light to the imagination and life to everything. It makes us think, feel, dream and wonder. Single notes creating a common ground of symphony and friendship. And with it the creation of the Duncan and Victoria Freedom Gospel Choirs.
In September of 2013 Ann Antonides started the Freedom Gospel Choir in Duncan, BC with accompanist Tanya Gillespie at her side. Two years later in 2015, she was asked to conduct the newly formed Victoria Freedom Gospel Choir. Now, with a well over 50 performance repertoire under their belts, and with 100 plus members, the Freedom Gospel Choir collective has become a fast growing community jewel from Nanaimo, BC to Victoria, BC and all the valleys in between.
Ann Antonides – Director
Musical Director Ann Antonides has a history of more than 30 years of choral conducting on Southern Vancouver Island, including a dozen years at the helm of the Duncan Choral Society, as well as conducting elementary and high school choirs during her teaching career. She studied piano with the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, received a Bachelor of Music from UBC in 1981 and has attended many choral conducting workshops.
Not only does Ann continue to lovingly direct both choirs, she also teaches private lessons and hosts a beginner choir each fall and winter. Ann has always loved gospel music and sometimes you can catch her dancing to the tunes. Ann loves bringing together singers who are enriched by this music and want to share their joy with the community.
Tanya Gillespie – Accompanist Tanya’s training began with piano in the Suzuki Method and later with the Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music. Here she graduated with First Class Honors in Piano, theory and harmony and from that foundation, went on to become a multi-instrumentalist with her focus being teaching others in Piano, Guitar, Drums/Percussion and Song writing Coaching.
She is an award-winning soloist with 5 CD’s under her belt and more on the way. Tanya is one of a trio of friends in the well-known local band ‘PixElle’. Tanya loves a multitude of genres but has a fondness for Gospel and has been the accompanist for the Freedom Gospel Choirs in both Duncan and Victoria for the last 6 years. She also has composed and continues to compose original and often challenging pieces of music for both choirs to enjoy and share with their audiences.