From the Front of the Choir – January 2017

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Jennifer Noxon

It’s been twelve months since I took on the role as leader of the Rhythm & Song Community Choir. In that short time, I have seen reluctant but willing singers move from the back row to the front row – their nerves turning into elation. New friendships have formed, bonds of community strengthened, stress relieved, and, I might add…animal instincts of hibernation overcome.

The Rhythm & Song Community Choir is celebrating its one-year anniversary with a new session in Carleton Place on Thursday evenings. With two established sessions in Almonte, and another in McDonald’s Corners, one could say that there is definitely more singing happening both on the streets and behind closed doors in this extended community.

Last fall our repertoire included a song from Cuba, an uplifting South African song which recalls a longing for home, a Finnish reindeer calling song, a Hebrew song, a Gregorian style chant, and a contemporary four-part song written to a piece by Mozart. These are a few of the songs we sing in two to four part harmony. Variety is the spice of life. Because most of the songs are shorter than a pop song – we don’t rely on sheet music. For the odd longer song, lyrics are supplied. During a session, we sing a lot, laugh, and make great music together.

What? No sheet music? You got it. Learning is done by repetition and review, as in the oral tradition. Singers work on posture (it’s true posture IS everything),  breathing, rhythm, and listening skills. These enhance your ability to trust your voice and to sing with the whole body.

Contrary to popular belief, only a very small percentage of the population is scientifically tone deaf. Sure, you may find it difficult to carry a tune on your own, but it doesn’t take long when singing in the company of others, to sing along without cringing. Your worries about a quiver, a waver, or an inability to hit the right note are dispelled. There is a strength in numbers.

New singers are always welcome. You can try it out for two $12 drop-in sessions before committing to the full sessions which begin the week of January 23rd. Details of locations, dates and fees at www.jennifernoxon.com/choir.

To pre-register email: randsalmonte@gmail.com.