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Choir Life: Home

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Advance Notice Emails | New Singer Intake & Registration
Fee Information
 | Singing in concert | General Season Information
What's a SWAT?
 | Sectionals-What/How? | Potluck Dinners!
Summer Drop-In Sings | GHC Radio Coverage

First Unitarian Church of Victoria, 5575 West Saanich Road.
Tuesday and Thursday
The Church of Truth, 111 Superior Street.
Members welcome to come to one, two, or all three!

Special Notes

Our next new singers intake will be for our..
which starts the week of Feb. 19, 2018

All Voices Can Sing! All Voices Welcome!

You audition us we don't audition you...
...we will welcome you with open voices!

Would you prefer to sing in the daytime?
Check out the

The High Noon Choir
No audition! Join any time! All voices welcome!

Advance Notification Emails

We have two email notification lists.  One for people wanting to know about our choir's upcoming concerts and other public events and one for people who are considering joining the choir.   On either list you will receive a maximum of 6 - 8 notifications per year.  Whichever list you choose you will recieve advance notice emails for two sets of concerts, two new singers in-take periods plus one or two summer drop-in reminders.  You may also recieve a notification or two sent out soley to your list.  To add yourself to the list that best fits your interest in our choir please click on the most appropriate link below:

Concert & Event Notifications        Possible Singers Notifications

In the body of your email please enter: your First & Last Names, email address and phone number(s).  Including how you first heard about the choir would also be appreciated.

You can remove yourself from your list anytime by replying to any email from us with a cancellation request.

New Singer Intake & Registration

We take in new singers the first two weeks of each season with three nights and two locations to choose from in each of those weeks. (Please see the calendar above for specific dates and details but in general our seasons start around mid to late February and September)

We meet from 7:30 to 9:30 each night of the season and there will be New Singer Orientation sessions from 7:00 to 7:30 p.m. on each of the intake nights. Check out our FAQs for New Singers .

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Fee Information

Choir fees are $175 for the season with a sliding scale discount from there down to $130 for seniors/ students/unwaged as needed. As a member supported choir we ask that members pay the full fee if possible.  If you need a discounted fee we ask you to decide where on the sliding scale you fit based on your knowledge of your own finances and then let us know. Payment plans and even partial or full scholarships are also available as needed. Our bottom line is, no one misses choir because of money.

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Singing in the concerts

While a significant portion of the singing we do each choir night is purely for the fun of it we also work toward a pair of concerts at the end of each session. There is no requirement that every member sing in these concerts but we enthusiastically recommend the experience. Usually two thirds or more of the members do so with many of the rest enjoying the concert from the audience. Singing for friends, family and well wishers, to raise funds for very worthy causes as part of our 300+ voice singing community is a great means of "Gettin' Higher".

For each pair of concerts the members of the choir take up a collection among themselves to donate to a worthy cause that is connected to the primary beneficiary. This donation is made in honour of the choir's directors, guest artist(s), and others sharing the stage with it in liu of purchasing the traditional bouquets,  For more information check out our Honouring Fund Origins & Uses page.

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General Season Information

Our Fall season always starts in the 2nd half of September and ends late January/early February with a pair of benefit concert for the Power of Hope.

Our Spring season starts in the 2nd half of February and ends early to mid-June with concerts benefiting the people of Mozambique. Originally for the benefit of the village of Kapasseni all the funds raised are now administered by the Caia Connection on behalf of a number of projects in other villages and towns that area of the country including Kapasseni.

For an overview of the evolution of the choir's involvement with the people of Mozambique see the following items:

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What's a SWAT

The acronym “SWAT” stands for Sing When Asked To.

From time to time we accept invitations to sing at various community oriented events. These SWATs can range from a specified number of GHC members for a small venue…to…whoever wants to participate from our extended choir community.

Sometimes the SWAT repertoire will be composed of songs from the most recent season and participation is not practical for anyone other than singers from that season. Other times the repertoire may be songs from our core and/or African repertoires and open to participation by all past or present GHC/HNC members. Still other times it is such that new members, and anyone from our extended choir community, can easily participate (ie audience participation songs taught by the director on the spot).

They are all, however, great opportunities to sing!

For information about some of the events that we have lifted our voices in support of over the years please visit our SWAT page.

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What are sectionals?

Sectionals are special practices that offer members opportunities to practice with other members outside of regular choir time. 

There are three types:

Being a Home or Cross Sectional host

Sectionals, and Cross Sectionals, hosted in members’ homes (or social rooms in residential buildings) are a very enjoyable ways to learn our parts and to get to know each other better. All it takes to host a Sectional, or a Cross Sectional, is enough space for your group to gather and some way of providing starting notes. 

Denis and Siobhan try to lead as many of the home sectionals as they can. Home sectionals they can't get to, and cross-sectionals, are usually lead co-operatively with starting notes provided either by:  

  • the host, or a volunteer, providing the notes using a keyboard, guitar, pitch pipe or some other instrument (even a cell phone app).
    • Note: I can send an email to all the members of any section to request a volunteer on behalf of prospective hosts ~ Bill)
  • or the group can sing along to the appropriate parts files from our web site played either via a computer, or downloaded to a suitable device, or played using one of our Practice CDs. 

As a home sectional host you can limit your invitation to the section member’s on your home night but usually hosts extend an open invitation to all three nights and a half dozen to a couple of dozen singers will participate. 

Cross sectional hosts usually specify a desired number of singers per section to get a good balance and to maximize the ability of everybody to hear all the parts clearly.  Two to five singers per section seems best.

How you can become a Home or Cross Sectional host

Just pick a date and time that works for you, and if possible, for Siobhan or Denis and let me know the details.  Your sectional information will be:
  • listed in this site's Choir Life: Calendar (see above)
  • listed it in the newsletter
  • emailed as a special reminder to the members your section 2 or 3 days in advance
    • In general Home Cross Sectional hosts will need to track and communicate with the singers who have RSVPd in order to oversee the balance of singers from each section but they can request that a special email to be sent all singers in a section, or insections, with insufficient participants.

I will also email you the phone numbers of the few members (if any) in your section who are not on email so that you can extend a telephone invitation.

For answers to any remaining questions or to volunteer to be a host please contact Bill Hanson by email or at 250-920-4160 (9 to 9 daily).

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In the second or third month of every season we organize a potluck for each chapter of the choir. They are a tradition in the choir that allows us to get to know each other a little better.

We ask every one to bring a tasty dish to share and their own plate, cup and cutlery. Ingredients signs are recommended for the benefit of those with dietary considerations and perhaps a name label in case someone wants to get the recipe from whoever brought a particularly tasty dish.

The potlucks are held from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. on each chapter's regular choir night (Mon., Tues. or Thurs.) and pretty much inevitably the last 30 to 40 minutes turns into a sing-a-long around the piano with maestro Denis' fingers leading the way by making the keys dance.

All choir members, whatever their home night, are welcome at all potlucks!

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Summer Drop-In Sings

During our choir hiatus over the summer we can sometimes avoid the dreaded "harmonic withdrawal" by attending drop-in sings on 4 or 5 evenings in August/September. 

They don't happen every summer when they do we notify everyone on our Possible Singers Notification List as well as those on our Concert & Event Notification List a few weeks in advmance of their startup. If you are not on one of those lists you can check our Choir Life: Calendar for listings on August/September Tuesdays.

The fee is $6 and we sing from 7:30 to 9:00.  The drop-ins are directed by Gloria Hansen who is a very active member of our choir community. 

For those of you who are somewhat new to the GHC choir community, or may not know, Gloria...
...has been a tenor with the GHC since 2002, and with the HNC, since it started in 2004. the Directors' Assistant with GHC and the Registrar with HNC a Graduate of the 2004 Community Choir Leadership Training program and has attended all of the CCLT classes every year since 2004 as Registrar.
...has lead GHC and HNC swats, Power of Hope singing workshops and has lead the HNC many times when Siobhan has been away.

Unless otherwise specified on the calendar, or in the newsletter, all drop-ins are held at the Church Of Truth (111 Superior St.).

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GHC Radio Coverage

Listen to these radio interviews from past seasons:

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