Monthly Archives: September 2019
A few friends and I have made an amazing discovery. Perhaps there’s no such thing as a community being chorally saturated. Perhaps there’s always room for one more group, if the conditions are right.
Late last spring I was approached by several women who had had the idea to form a choir out in the community where they lived. I realized that it was true that most people who are involved in singing groups do travel in to the city to get their weekly fix.
Because I had run out of weeknights when I’d be able to direct such a group, I suggested something that I’d been talking about for years – a morning choir. In fact, for ages I’d been asking everyone I knew why it was that community choirs don’t normally sing during the day, especially in light of the fact that a huge proportion of many of our choirs is the retired population. Many of our older people are no longer comfortable driving at night, and feel they have to drop out of the choirs they’ve enjoyed for decades.
My friends wanted to start a women’s choir – so at 10:00 am on a Thursday morning in August we had a meeting for any women who might be interested. No audition, no judging, just singing. I had expected between 20 and 30, and 64 showed up.
Then at our first rehearsal last Thursday morning we had 80 women come to sing.
And it’s crazier than that. When all the names from both the meeting and the rehearsal were tabulated, there were 105!!
I’m putting this out there for any and all directors and chorus boards who may be experiencing a scarcity of singers. They’re out there!!! This was clearly a previously untapped resource.
What I don’t know is if there would be the same kind of response for a men’s or a mixed voice chorus.
Yes, I do have some crossover from my other singing groups, but there are also women who showed up to sing – for the first time since they were children, when someone had told them just to mouth the words.
Next target group? The early morning before work corporate crowd! The gyms downtown are full by 5:30. Surely there are people who’d love to sing for an hour before work. We could call it The Dawn Chorus!!
In fact, I’m issuing a challenge to all large companies out there. Form employee choirs, and have them compete in singing competitions against one another. A whole new level of fun and corporate pride!
The world is rich with singers, we just have to find the conditions that are needed and wanted, and provide them.