Earlier this year, I had a dream! A dream of belonging to a group! A group of individuals with the compulsion to raise their voices in harmonious melody at any moment! A melody to reach the far corners of the rehearsal space and beyond, drawing in others just looking for a place to belong! A place united in a common love! A love for singing!
My dreams are quite dramatic.
I’m not new to choirs, but not having been in one in years, I wasn’t quite sure how to proceed. So I turned to Almighty Google for guidance…
And I discovered that the window for fulfilling such a dream lasts about four weeks in a given year; apparently all the choirs in Edmonton only admit new members in September, and that’s only those who accept anybody, regardless of skill or ability. Most choirs hold auditions in order to screen members, and those auditions seem to take place as early as the end of August, and even then, they only hold auditions for empty spots and not for the choir in general (which usually means they are looking for men, because choirs never have enough men. Unfortunately I am not a man.) My dream seemingly had an expiry date this year.
But I did find a choir that I thought might work. Seeing as I had no intention of being judged for my abilities before I even joined, my options were already limited. But I found a choir that accepted everyone, seemed to have a popular following already, and also committed to a few performances throughout the year, aka something to sing towards. Also, the price to join was fairly low.
Yes, there is a cost to joining a choir. Some charge over $400/year to be a member, and that doesn’t always appear to even include the outfit you’re required to wear. Silly me, naively thinking that joining a choir was about singing and not about making money.
So I went to the first open free rehearsal, full blown head cold and all, and I was immediately overwhelmed at the throngs of people gathered in the church basement rehearsal room. Not only that, but these throngs were not my peers so much as my ancestors… I was somewhat disappointed at the lack of young people in the room (and I’m not even that young anymore). Nevertheless I collected my songbook and bravely attempted to hold my sickly own among fellow sopranos who, upon my taking a seat with them, looked me full up and down and then proceeded to puncture my eardrums with their opera-esque falsettos. I didn’t return the following week.
I guess I need to amend my dream… I want to sing and make some friends my age who also like to sing, but I don’t want to be charged for pursuing my passion only to be drowned out. Seeing as it was already halfway through September at this point and most open rehearsals for the choirs that didn’t hold auditions were already over, I decided that joining a choir this year just wasn’t in my cards. Or my dreams.
Perhaps next year I’ll consider trying again. In the meantime, I’ll indulge my love of singing like any normal person… in the shower or the car.