The Choir, The Chorus, and the Megachoirasorus!

Photo Credit: Peter Gardner
The Choir and The Chorus turn heads with their music and contagious affinity for connecting with one another and the community at large.

How do each of your choirs bond?

Sharing snacks! Concert after-parties, and performing at folk/pop music festivals. It started as a spontaneous act by a couple of long-term members- bringing chocolate cookies for everyone! Now one of the sopranos has an online signup system so now there’s always enough and not too much!

A very special performance and what made it special

Our last festival was September 14-16 2019 – Rifflandia in Victoria. For the final day, I had both The Choir and The Chorus perform together as “Megachoirasorus”, where they learned a few of each other’s favorite songs. It was an experiment, and it was a resounding success! See the choirs together here!


Choir Name: The Choir and The Chorus
Location: Victoria, BC
Style: Non-auditioned community choirs singing original arrangements of pop/indie/folk music
Number of singers: 100+ (each)
Find out more about The Choir here!
Find out more about The Chorus here!

A powerful moment in a performance

Every single performance of “Let Down”, by Radiohead as performed by The Choir is an emotional one. It is such a powerful song about discarding society’s expectations and carving out your own identity. In my arrangement, I believe I managed to capture the essence of the original, but also bring in some personal elements. Plus, Erin Gray, our pianist, has to play in 5/4 with her right hand and 4/4 with her left, while the choir sings in 4/4 – it’s fabulous!

Something you do that surprises new members

The first warm-up is to ‘pant like a dog’. I just tell everyone to pant, then I get them to go faster, and faster and faster! It’s great way to get people engaged, relax a bit, and helps teach new singers what it feels like to breathe while utilizing their diaphragm to the fullest.

A turning point in the life of your choir

It was when the Choir participated in our first camping folk festival, Campbell Bay Music Fest on Mayne Island, BC. There was ocean swimming, a 2:00am performance, and lots of singing!

A challenging performance – and how you faced it

Any of our many outdoor shows! There’s usually very little stage time before the show, and we’ll be using electronic piano, monitors, and working with sound techs. We get better by performing in as many different places as much as we can!

A funny moment in rehearsal

I hired a local Balkan Brass band on Valentine’s Day to crash a rehearsal by playing really loud and boisterously while The Choir was singing. I think a year and a half later, some of the altos are still scared of tubas!

Photo Credit: Peter Gardner

An emotional moment in rehearsal

It was the first rehearsal we had after a member passed away. One of his closest friends took the mic and spoke about him. We then started learning a new song, “Boy Lilikoi” by Jonsi, which I dedicated to our friend every time we rehearsed or performed it. We eventually recorded the song, and commissioned an animated video that should be ready soon.

Favorite piece of repertoire

Currently, in The Chorus, it is the song “Green Light”, by Lorde. It is an incredibly catchy pop song that is so fun to sing, and I’m proud of the arrangement. The lyrics are powerful – it’s about giving yourself permission to move on from a bad relationship, and the catharsis that comes when that decision starts to feel right!

Something you do with your choirs that others might find bizarre

I arrange pretty much every song from scratch for every session, and we only occasionally repeat them. And, we memorize it all!

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