Monday, July 30, 2018

How to find the right choir to join 1: finding choirs in your area

It’s summer break in the northern hemisphere and many singers are missing regular singing opportunities. They might be considering joining a new choir after the break.

binoculars

September is also a time when adult education classes start up and people’s thoughts turn to trying new hobbies. If singing is your thing, how do you go about finding a suitable choir?

I recently gave up leading my own community choir. That meant that a whole bunch of singers were left without a singing outlet. Many managed to find another local choir, but some are still looking for the right one to join.

There are plenty of choirs out there with a wide range of styles and approaches. However, it’s sometimes hard to find one that will suit you and that is not too far to travel.

Here are some hints on how to find the choir that’s just right for you.

what’s available in your area?

The most obvious first step is to see what’s going on in your local area.

Check out your local newspapers and magazines; your local library or information centre; local arts centre; noticeboards in cafes, etc.; ask your friends and colleagues.

If nothing much comes of that, try the internet.

The first thing to do is search for the word ‘choir’ together with your local town or area. You may have to scroll through several pages of results to find all the local offerings.

If that doesn’t throw up enough, then try inputting your county or region or nearby city. You may be willing to travel.

There are several directories of choirs online. Here are a few:

United Kingdom
United States and Canada
  • Ubuntu Choirs – a growing community of choirs who believe that the joy of singing is a universal birth right. They maintain a choir directory.
  • Vocal Area Network – over 500 choirs located around the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut metropolitan area)
Although there are membership organisations in both Canada and the US for choirs (e.g. Choral Canada and ChoralNet), they don’t have directories of choirs!

Australia
Europe
International

Is this the right choir for me?

Having found a potential choir to join, how do you know if it’s the right one for you?

Next week I’ll look at some questions to ask yourself, how to evaluate your first session, and what to do if you can’t find a suitable choir in your area.


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Chris Rowbury


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