Welcome to the 2018-2019 Choir Season!

Hello, friends. Did you know that Out in Harmony starts up again soon?  Rehearsals resume on Tuesday September 4, which is not that far away!  I hope you can all join us, including those of you we haven’t seen for a while.
New folks are welcome at any time, but it’s nice to get right in on the beginning of the new music, so this is a particularly great time for you and your friends to come out and try singing with us.

Rehearsals are on Tuesday evenings, from 7:30-9:30 (with a short break for snacks and socializing in the middle).  We meet at St. Margaret’s Cedar Cottage Anglican Church, located at 1530 E. 22nd Ave, Vancouver.  It is at the corner of Dumfries Street, near the intersection of Knight and Kingsway, and easily accessible by the 19, 22, and 25 buses.

Please be aware that rehearsals are held in a scent-free environment, with no hemp, hazelnuts, guava or menthol allowed.  We like for everyone to be able to breathe!  We are also wheelchair accessible.

For those who were around last season (or want to learn some music really quickly!) we’ll be brushing up some of the last season’s music to perform at the AIDS Walk to Thrive on Sunday, September 23.  Mark your calendars now!  (We’ll be reviewing this music the last thing in the evening, during the first couple of rehearsals.)

Our next concert will be on January 26, and it will feature music written by those who tend to be outside of the spotlight: LGBT folks, people of colour, and women.  You can start thinking in advance about possible solo and small group ideas.  And for those who like to keep track of such things, the September job rotation is: Altos on set-up, Tenors on snacks, Basses on clean-up, and Sopranos taking a break.
(Though of course you all can feel free to bring snacks to the first rehearsal, as we’ll have a longer break in which to greet each other.  Please remember to list the ingredients on any snack you bring, and be sure that your snack does NOT include any hemp, menthol, guava, or hazelnuts).

This is going to be a great season, and we look forward to seeing you all!

Choir member launches new novel!

Our own Lloyd Meeker is about to launch his Canadian edition of his novel Traveling Light

“…this is a beautifully written novel, an almost perfect marriage of style and story…This is a book to be savored on many different levels… a wonderfully compelling read.”
Victor J. Banis, author and pioneer of contemporary gay fiction

“I couldn’t put this one down, partly because of the writing, and partly because the world Meeker creates is so entrancing.”
Neil S. Plakcy, award-winning author of the Mahu mystery series and other novels

Little Sisters is proud to host the Canadian launch of Lloyd Meeker’s new novel, a Vancouver hero’s shamanic journey that intersects with a 13th century Anasazi shaman as he struggles to bring his brother’s murderer to justice. The author will discuss elements of this gay hero’s journey and will read from the book prior to signing copies. Light refreshments will be offered.

453x680TravelingLight

Date: June 9, 2011
Time: 7 PM
Location: Little Sister’s Book and Art Emporium
1238 Davie Street
Vancouver, BC
604-669-1753

Manly Basses

The first time I switched to bass, it was both exciting and uncertain. Exciting because I get to sing differently, and uncertain because I had no idea what I was doing. Being a real trouper, I lingered on, hoping that I didn’t make a bad decision.

One of the songs we did, Vladimir Radian’s version of The Maple Leaf Forever, was for the Vancouver Unison in 2006. The bass part was really low, so I decided to come back up to baritone (or tenor 2). When we sang it at the Chan Centre at UBC, the gorgeous acoustics of the performance hall magnified the opening bass notes into a lovely low rumble that made my spine tingle. I’ve never heard anything so beautiful.

Over the years I’ve gotten so used to singing the low parts that I can project the bass notes. It felt like I’ve grown a lot of hair on my chest though, or as if my Adam’s apple grew bigger. Maybe my brain kept pumping more testosterone in those years I sang bass. Whatever it was, I can say it was the manliest I had ever been.

Nelz A., member since 2006

Section leaders in place for sopranos, altos, basses

Each year, the choir looks for one person from each section to organize the occasional rehearsal and generally track of things within their section. As volunteer tasks go, it’s comparatively low-key, and as an added bonus it’s a good way to get to know the people you’re singing most closely with!

In our 2010 season Swati and Laura will be continuing as soprano and alto section leaders, and Bob will be taking over the basses. Now all we need is somebody willing to wrangle those tenors…

In other news, pictures from our appearance at the Walk for Life are on their way. Did you sing? How did it go? This is often a new choir member’s first ever concert, and we’d love to hear your stories, whether they are from this year or a past season!!

Defying Rigid Sectionality…

I consider myself a baritone with a wide crazy range. I’m not a true bass, but I can sing quite low without getting a scratchy throat. I’m not exactly a tenor either, but I can sing high tenor notes if I breathe properly (or wear tight pants).

When I joined the choir in 2006, I sang with the tenors, believing that I have the range to hit the high notes. The problem was I had pitch issues.

The following season, I went down to baritone/bass. I found it easier, and had less problems with pitch. This earned the ire of my fellow tenors. They jokingly called me a turncoat and traitor, then said I was bisectional. I found that hilarious.

I sang baritone/bass for the next three or four years, but recently I’ve discovered the joys of singing in my head voice. I was enamoured by Chris Colfer’s version of “Defying Gravity,” and actually attempted to hit that ridiculous high F.

I did.

This season I’m rejoining the tenors. It was challenging getting back to singing the upper registers, but I had to try and learn. Who knows, if I train my voice well enough, I may be able to join the sopranos next season!

by Nelz A, member since 2006