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.
General Season Information
Our Fall season always starts in the 2nd half of September and ends late January/early February with a benefit concert—most recently, this has been to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria and Area and Habitat Acquisition Trust.
Our Spring season starts in the 2nd half of February and ends early to mid-June with concerts benefiting the people of Mozambique. They were originally for the benefit of the village of Kapasseni in the Caia District of Mozambique which has now mostly out grown its need for our support. We still provide Kapasseni students with scholarships but most of the funds raised are now administered by the Caia Connection on behalf of a number of projects in other villages and towns of that District.
For an overview of the evolution of the choir’s involvement with the people of Mozambique see the following items:
- Journey To Kapasseni
A video on how we got involved in the Village of Kapasseni in Mozambique
- Kapasseni Update 2003
A video collage of some of the changes in the first 3 years
- Mar 23/07 TC article
A Times Colonist article by Sarah Petrescu
- Return To Kapasseni
A video about the village 11 years later and the expansion of our projects with the Caia Connection
- The Caia Connection Web Site
Lots of information about the projects we support in the Caia District of Mozambique (including current and past Newsletters)
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 we sing learn-at-the-warm-up and/or audience participation songs that enable new members, and anyone from our extended choir community toeasily participate.
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 SWATpage (in our site’s Community Involvement section).
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:
- Choir Sectionals
- These sectionals are always from 6:45 to 7:30 pm (before the regular choir sessions). They are are organized and led by our Directors for specific sections. They give members of individual sections (Sop/Alt/Ten/Bass) opportunities to practice their parts without the distraction of waiting while other sections are learning theirs.
- Home Sectionals
- These are sectionals that happen at times and places set by those members who choose to host them. As with the Choir Sectionals they are for specified sections. They often include a social aspect that facilitates section mates getting to know each other better. (ie a post-practice social period with a fingerfood, or even a full-meal-deal, potluck can be fun!)
- Home Cross Sectionals
- These ones are organized, and participated in, by folks who like to experience the full harmonic sound by practicing with singers from all sections. As with Home Sectionals their locations, times and any social aspects are set by the host. The host also sets the maximum number of singers per section as the harmonies are best heard with a relatively equal number of voices per section.
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.
Our Directors 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 –Dick)
- 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 one of our Directors and send in the details by email. Your sectional information will be:
- listed in this site’s Choir Life: Calendar (see above)
- listed 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 request RSVPs and 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 specific section, or sections, with insufficient participants.
You will also receive 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 email.
As soon as is practical after the registration period dust settles 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 (Tues., Wed. or Thurs.) and the last half-hour often turns into a sing-a-long around the piano.
All choir members, whatever their home night, are welcome at all potlucks!
Summer Drop-In Sings
During our choir hiatus over the summer we can sometimes avoid the dreaded “harmonic withdrawal” by attending drop-in sings led by one or more of our Directors. Check the High Noon Choir page to see if we are running a Summer season this year.
Some years we run Summer Evening sessions, and we notify everyone on our master choir community communications list as well as everyone on our Possible Singers Notification and Concert & Event Notification lists in advance of their startup. If you are not on one of those lists you can check our Choir Life: Calendar for listings in August/September.
There is a drop-in fee that will be announced in the advance email notice and our calendar.
Unless otherwise specified on the calendar, or in the newsletter, all drop-ins are held at the Church Of Truth (111 Superior St.), usually 7:30–9:00pm.
GHC Radio Coverage
Listen to these radio interviews from past seasons:
- Beth Nielsen Chapman on CBC June 14/13 prior to our Across The Universe concerts
- Beth Nielsen Chapman on CFAX June 11/13 prior to Across The Universe concerts
- Aurafidelite Arindam on the Francophone community radio station, CILS-FM 107.9, July 2, 2010 (Aura is a former GHC Soprano)
- Siobhan Robinsong & Perpetua Alfazema on CBC Radio, June 4, 2010 (Siobhan is our founding director & Perpetua is one of the founders of the Kapasseni Project and the founder/manager of the Kuwangisana Project. We have been supporting the former organization with our June concerts since 1999 and the latter since 2007.
- Shari Ulrich on CFAX radio January 22, 2010 (Shari was our guest artist for our 2010 January 29th & 31st concerts)