As choral groups go on hiatus for the summer, what outlet does a singer have for making music? Vocalizing in the shower isn’t the same as harmonizing with a group. And while it’s rewarding to rehearse and perform with a choir, sometimes a singer just wants to have fun, without the commitment.
“Fun” is the idea behind community sing-alongs, or “Sings,” that many choral groups offer: a low-key event where members from local choirs and the public come together and belt out the best in classical or popular music. Participants are drawn to the joyful nature of the gathering, the chance to sing pieces they might not otherwise have the opportunity or time to sing, and the inclusiveness– anyone can grab a score and participate, and anyone can solo. And the best part—-no rehearsals! There’s something about the impromptu experience of singing beloved works straight through with other music-lovers, that makes these events so successful.
Sing-alongs also attract conductors, who take up the baton without the goal of a perfect outcome, enjoying the process of leading familiar faces and new ones in making music together. For singers, working with these maestros may be the only shot they get.
More and more choral groups are offering these summer sing-alongs as a means to build community through music. With no commitment required other than showing up, it’s the perfect opportunity for singers to meet new friends, practice sight reading, experience a great piece of music, revisit old favorites, and discover new ones. Check out the listings on ChoralNet’s announcements for an event in your area.
And when the next choral season begins, if someone asks, “What did you do this summer?” You can say, “Oh, I sang Beethoven, Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, and Haydn. Just for fun.”
– Diane Holcomb