by Lisa P, soprano, member since 2008
No, really! We really do sing for the fun of it! And I’m saying that as someone who wasn’t so sure about that before I joined.
Before moving to Vancouver, I’d wistfully longed to gather up enough nerve to inquire about singing in my local GLBT community choir. But, I had no singing experience, no idea how to read music (except what I might remember from my high school band days), and no idea how I would sound or if I could do that thing that choirs do – harmonize. Sure, the local choir’s website said that musical ability and experience were irrelevant, but did they really mean it? Really? Because they sure sounded like they all had musical ability at their concerts!
Moving to Vancouver, I had two things on my side. First, I had the opportunity to chat a bit with the Out in Harmony director in a casual and friendly sort of way and had discovered that when they said non-auditioned choir that welcomes everyone regardless of musical ability, they actually meant it. Second, I was moving to a whole new city (and country) and if I didn’t put myself ‘out there’ to meet new people, I’d never make any friends!
So, I made a pact with myself to give it a shot as soon as I moved here. I kept that promise to myself and attended my first rehearsal the first week I arrived in Vancouver. And, guess what? There really WAS no audition! I just jumped into a section I felt comfortable in and started singing.
What I quickly discovered is so amazing about a “non-auditioned choir who welcomes everyone regardless of musical ability” is that we actually are motivated by the joy of singing together. What this does for the energy of the choir at every rehearsal and at every concert is something that is difficult to describe, but easy to fall in love with. It means that in spite of our diverse backgrounds as individual members, we all have at least one thing in common with one another: we like to sing. And that commonality is what makes this choir a fun place to be.
Now, don’t get me wrong, we learn quite a bit while we’re having fun. Our director makes sure of that! Musically, the choir grows and learns each week. Part of what rehearsing is all about is improving our musical ability as a group and because we come from a variety of backgrounds and musical experience, each improvement makes us all so darn proud. There is just nothing that beats the feeling of accomplishment we gain from working with a piece of music from those first stumbling notes when we try to just learn the first page or so, to performing it at a concert when it’s polished up and sounds great.
Personally, I’ve found that when you remove the element of pressure to perform at a certain level and instill a sense of
fun and joy in what you’re doing – the “ability” part evolves naturally over time. That is the magic in being a part of a group of people that makes music for fun, not fame!
This is Out In Harmony’s secret to success and happiness. Tell everyone.