You Gotta Sing! Chorus

“Vanessa, you are one of the best things to happen to Halifax!”

– Mara, YGS Chorus, Spring 2013

“This is exactly what I was looking for in a choir, Vanessa: the opportunity to learn and sing such a great variety of musical styles & songs. I am so glad I took the leap of faith and joined! It is such a great feeling not only to sing, but to sing with others who are having as much fun as I am. I really do feel joy when I sing, and have a lighter heart and spirit after practices. Thank you for providing such a relaxed, supportive choir environment for all of us…even those of us who are choir newbies. I sing the songs (out loud) while walking the dog, walking the halls at work, in the car, in the kitchen.”

– Sally, YGS Chorus, Spring 2013

“Thanks so much Vanessa for the past season, and the past year for that matter. It’s a year today since I went to last year’s June concert and got totally hooked. My life has not been the same since — so much better with You Gotta Sing!”

– Catriona, YGS Chorus, Spring 2013

“It is very heart-warming and inspiring to know that the community of singing folks around the world is creating positive changes for us all. YGS rocks!”

– Pat, percussionist for YGS, Spring 2013

“Thank you so much! What a highlight for me. My first choir – my first time singing in public since I was 10. You made it so easy, and I can’t believe how much I learned about music. Loved it all.
In addition to your knowledge, teaching abilities, kindness, musical abilities, great dancing!, and hard work, you are amazingly organized. I don’t think we wasted a minute. I just put myself in your hands, and knew that we’d be a big hit.”

– Mary, YGS Chorus, Spring 2013

“I’d recommend this choir to everyone – people who are experienced singers and those who aren’t and especially to those who were cruelly told when they were children they can’t sing. We all have a voice so we all can sing. Singing is food for the soul.”

– Faye, YGS Chorus, Spring 2013

“Being a member of the YGS Chorus is heartwarming and uplifting. Under the kind, skilled, loving guidance, inspiration and support of Vanessa, I have felt and seen the impact of that positive energy on myself and fellow members – like flower buds that open and blossom in the sun. Because it is a community choir, the garden can be enjoyed by many.”

– Sarita, YGS Chorus, Spring 2013

“Having been told I couldn’t sing at an early age, but always wanting to, I was thrilled to discover Vanessa Lindsay-Botten and the YGS Chorus. Vanessa provides a safe haven for the musically insecure and experienced singers alike. Because of her skill in directing, expert teaching skills, personal warmth and joyous nature, she is able to bring diverse musical backgrounds together to sing with one voice. The fun-filled 90 minutes of practice have become one of the highlights of my week… and, finally, I am learning to sing.”

– JoAnn, YGS Chorus, Fall 2011

“I am a trained vocalist who has avoided singing in choirs for at least 20 years as the pressures that I felt made me too anxious…I thought that I could never sing again. I was advised to check out ‘You Gotta Sing’ and upon reading the invitation, I was convinced that this was the place for me to resume singing: no pressure, total confidence in the acceptance that we all can sing and with no demands. Vanessa, through her expert training and beautiful personality, brings the beauty that music can provide to each member of her choir through teaching in a discreet and subtle way that is not threatening and is so rewarding. She listens and gets us to listen to each other … no one is crushed but encouraged to hear the ‘big and beautifully blended voice’ of all.”

– Barbara, YGS Chorus member, Fall 2011

You Gotta Sing Workshops

“It was a wonderful afternoon, I thought. Your method got people singing before they had time to worry about singing. Then when you announced the first song as “Amazing Grace,” and people thought they knew what was coming, then the surprise – that was excellent and let folks know right away that this would be a different sort of time. I saw the self-identified “non-singers” loosen up a lot during the time.”

– Debra Burleson, Director of Anglican Formation, Atlantic School of Theology, Spring 2013

“I just want to let you know that Vanessa was such a joy. I cannot express the confidence that she brought out in me to sing, and I think for all of us. In discussion with others, everyone expressed the fellowship we shared, the fun and she allowed us a freedom to sing that is not often experienced. The freedom to try it all and not be labelled or stuck in one place!! Because of this, I think many of us were able to do our best without thinking about what our bodies were doing. Her positive attitude and encouragement skills are life giving.”

– Workshop participant, Atlantic School of Theology, Spring 2013

“I loved it. Vanessa is awesome, approachable and created a safe, comfortable welcoming session each week.”

– Workshop Participant, May 2012

“When I was a child, I was mocked when I sang. I learned to be quiet and for decades I was silent. Not only did Vanessa help me ‘find my voice,’ she has helped me remove an internal blockage that had limited my own ability to be spontaneous and free. And she did it with joyfulness, playfulness, and lightness. I recommend her without the slightest hesitation!”

– Jason, YGS workshop participant, Spring 2011

You Gotta Sing Concerts

“It was all beautiful, inspiring, joyful and relaxing.”

– Audience Member, FEEL A LOT BETTER Concert, June 2013

“On behalf of Annie’s Grannies, thank you so much for letting us be a part of the wonderful Feel a Lot Better When I Sing concert. We were delighted to be asked to help and absolutely thrilled that the concert generated such a generous donation to the Stephen Lewis Foundation Grandmothers to Grandmothers Challenge. On a personal note – I loved my weekly choir practices and loved being in the You Gotta Sing Chorus. Your welcoming, accepting manner and skilled direction made it an amazing experience. I am so looking forward to another year of singing with my Wednesday noon friends.”

– Jacqui, YGS Chorus, FEEL A LOT BETTER concert, June 2013

“First, I just have to tell you what a joy it has been to discover you and your wonderful choir! I really enjoy singing with all the fabulous folks of the YGS chorus…it is such a glorious feeling to be able to sing in harmony with other people who also love to sing…so, thank you, thank you, thank you…especially for providing a meaningful way to “give”…it’s very satisfying to know our singing can raise money for so many worthy organizations.”

– Nancy, YGS Chorus, FEEL A LOT BETTER concert, June 2013

“On behalf of the clients at Parkland Clayton Park, I want to thank you all for taking time to sing and play for us today! That is as big a crowd as we have had for any concert, and through my Recreation Coordinator eyes, I was watching to see how the audience was reacting to the concert. There were people singing along, tapping their toes, and many happy smiles! Our repertoire today was fun, uplifting, and positive, and our joy in singing for them reflected right back at us through their faces. What a wonderful gift to share with the clients, especially on such a dreary day. I had so many clients tell me how much they enjoyed the concert, how much they enjoyed watching Vanessa directing us, and some asking when YGS would be back again!”

– Sally Robertson, Recreation Coordinator Parkland Clayton Park, June 2013

“Many thanks again to you and the gracious members of your chorus. Everyone in our choir had a fantastic time and found your choir’s approach to learning and presenting music new and inspiring. Thank you ever so much for this wonderful contribution to our work. I’m sure you will get some more formal thanks from the folks at our Fund Development office, but I just wanted to make sure that a personal thanks got in from myself and the Phoenix choir.”

-Simon Abbott, Phoenix Youth Programs, FIRE IT UP Concert, January 2013

“Amazing Vanessa! What a wonderful cycle of generosity! and it all started with your spirit and courage.”

– Nancy, YGS Chorus, FIRE IT UP Concert, January 2013

“Dearest Vanessa, Congrats!!!! I thought Friday evening was magical!!! Can’t stop humming the tunes. The buzz was extremely positive and uplifting! Thank you for your joyful spirit and musical leadership and guidance.”

– Gail, YGS Chorus, FIRE IT UP Concert, January 2013

“Thank you so very much for helping to make last night’s concert such a great
 success. YGS provided the perfect interlude between stories. You sang so
 well, and I didn’t have to see the audience to know how much they enjoyed 
your performance – their response was so enthusiastic (lots of hurrahs and 
woo-hoo’s!) I love how this choir encourages people to sing, how it lets 
people discover they can sing, and that was on full display last night in
 your voices, your energy and your smiles.”

– Claire Miller, storyteller, YGS Chorus, ONCE UPON A WINTER’S EVE, November 2012

“What a wonderful night, it was truly amazing!! I loved the sound, the amazing crowd, and best of all your wonderful spirit that is able to support, encourage and celebrate with each and every one of the singers. Thank you so much, you and the choir have given me a wonderful spiritual lift that will ripple out into my family and friends.”

– Nancy, YGS Chorus, WE SHALL SING Concert, June 2012

“What a great night! All of my guests are still “grinding that coffee” and talking about what a great experience they had. I was left feeling that collectively we had so much joy to share that we should tap that potential next season and do several performances. Certainly the world could use more joy! Thank you Vanessa!!”

– Sue, YGS Chorus, IN THIS HEART Concert, January 2012

“Last night was the first time in over 40 years that I have sung in public…it was a blast!! Still humming ‘Tue Tue’…Vanessa, you rock!!”

– Cathy, YGS Chorus, IN THIS HEART Concert, January 2012