The You Gotta Sing! Chorus officially launched in the summer of 2011 with 19 shining members. We now have over 375 people coming out to sing every week! We all blossom when given the opportunity to sing in a safe, non-judgmental circle of song.
“The more, the merrier” and “come one, come all” have been at the centre of our choir model from the very beginning. With our ever-growing membership, however, I recently made the very difficult decision to create a Wait List for newcomers who wish to join our choir. With a choir of our size, it is important to make sure that folks can see the director, can feel comfortable in the singing space, and can connect and get to know each other a little better at rehearsals and events.
I believe that we all we all deserve to have a safe singing space where we find acceptance, joy, and freedom as we let our voices, and indeed our very selves, find expression.
YGS will continue to present many BIG SING community events and workshops that welcome all. Keep checking in with our Home Page for updated details on exciting offerings.
We also actively support and promote other choirs in HRM who offer similar open-access, inclusive, and safe singing opportunities. Leading others in song has been deeply transformational and healing for me. We need more song leaders in our world.
If you feel that spark of desire, or even curiosity about what it might be like to get the harmonies cooking in your circle, you can check out the incredible team of Shivon Robinsong and Denis Donnelly, my dear teachers, and their transformational program: Community Choir Leadership Training
What a gift to encourage others to sing! It changes lives, one song at a time, and is available to us all.
~Song lyrics by Hal David; music by Burt Bacharach
The YGS! Chorus was first established in the summer of 2011. I ran a singing workshop for a few years prior to this called “You Gotta Sing!” My primary reason for starting this as a community choir was to create a safe space for all people to sing together, regardless of their experience as singers or non-singers. I believe that all people can and should have the opportunity to sing with others. As a singing teacher, I have come across too many people who have been shut down and musically wounded by being told to stop singing or that their voices weren’t good enough.
We have somewhere between 40 and 60 singers, depending on the season. There is no audition and there is a full bursary available for those who aren’t able to pay the registration fee, for whatever reason.
We end each season with a Celebration Concert, like the one we are doing this Friday. This is an opportunity for the choir to perform songs from the current season as well as a community singing component that I lead with the entire audience. (Those who wish to can sing along; those who wish to listen can do that also!) Everyone involved in the concert is volunteering their time and talents, and 100% of the net proceeds are donated to, in this case, the Stephen Lewis Foundations’ Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.
We do this in the spirit of “giving back” to the African cultures, whose songs we are singing and to really make a positive difference in the world around us by singing together. The power of community singing can heal not only individuals within our own community, but also within the wider global community!