Tag: choir

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Be the Harmony You Want to See in the World by Mary Gowing
2016.08.19 19:13:28

Be the Harmony You Want to See in the World

Okay, I totally stole that, with a little modification, from Gandhi. He said be the change you want to see in the world. As the president of the Atlanta-area community chorus, The DeKalb Choral Guild, I have a tendency to think in musical terms. And with auditions for our group taking place this week and next harmony has been on my mind. The more I think about it the more I believe that there might be something to being the harmony as well as being the change in the world. Harmony, musically in a chorus, is a when different people sing different notes/pitches and yet when sung together they sound pleasing and like they are meant to be together. In life and culture we often use the term harmony as a metaphor for getting along well in social relationships and we often strive for this. I propose that by singing in a chorus in musical harmony the chorus and the individuals in it can also create more social harmony in the world. How, you ask? Because people who sing in choruses have the expectation and experience that both musical harmony and social harmony are possible, (at least within the chorus). This is because we learn this by our participation in a chorus. And this is because even musical harmony doesn’t happen without a lot of coordinated effort and a shared vision for a desired result. We come together as a chorus at the beginning of a season, many of us strangers, as new people join the group. We have to learn to know and trust one another as we learn the music in order to sing together as a single voice instead of many individual voices. We also know what else it takes to create harmony and the musical analogy transfers well into the social realm. It takes dedication, it takes work, it takes understanding the voices around you, it takes having good leadership, it takes understanding the leadership and speaking out when needed, it takes being willing to become part of a whole at the same time as being an individual voice, it takes trust and caring and even compassion. When we do all this successfully as in the DeKalb Choral Guild we then have a hope that it can happen at home, at work, in our cities, states, country and the world. So I invite everyone who enjoys singing to consider joining a chorus, civic or religious, and becoming the harmony to hope to see in the world! The DeKalb Choral Guild is holding auditions for all voice parts Monday August 22nd. Call to schedule your audition at 678-318-1362 and for more information go to: www.dekalbchoralguild.org

MAryGSF

Mary Gowing, DeKalb Choral Guild, president



Tags: chorus audition | singing | a capella | community choir | choir | Atlanta chorus | Decatur Chorus | classical

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Muse Sings by Mary E. Root, Music Director, DeKalb Choral Guild
2015.08.13 15:14:05

Muse Sings

Mary E. Root, Music Director, DeKalb Choral Guild

 

Joining a Chorus is Worth It

 

'Tis the season of community chorus auditions! Each year, as summer wanes, community choruses begin gearing up for rehearsal and performance season. Audition notices go out, and, thus, begins the scramble and competition for good, dedicated singers. I direct an auditioned community chorus, and I find that I do not want to harass and cajole singers to consider our chorus; I want singers to be drawn to our chorus because this is a good chorus that prepares and sings excellent and interesting repertoire and because of our mission to be a compassionate chorus.

Singing in our chorus, the DeKalb Choral Guild, chorus requires significant commitment: repertoire must be studied outside rehearsal; there are membership dues and required performance attire; weekly rehearsal attendance is required; members are often asked to assist with duties beyond singing and with fundraising. And then, there is the audition required of all new prospective singers. Some singers view the audition as a badge, a rite of passage. Singers will often describe the "war wounds" of auditioning. I've blogged about my thoughts on the process of auditioning (see http://www.dekalbchoralguild.org/blog/viewpost/296.html), so I will summarize by saying that I can learn all I need to know about a prospective singer from a well-prepared solo and a conversation. I refer to the DCG audition as "the kinder, gentler, compassionate audition."

To save everyone some time, I am forthright about the music we sing: this is not choral arrangements of pop tunes – we sing serious, relevant choral music that spans from ancient to contemporary. I try to choose music that is accessible to audiences and worthy of their listening. As a chorus we focus on beautiful, deliberate choral sound, and solid vocal technique. We also focus on meaningful interpretation.

I recently rediscovered a quote from musician Brian Eno; I share it with you now for your consideration because I think it speaks so well to what the DeKalb Choral Guild aspires:

"When you sing with a group of people, you learn how to subsume yourself into a group consciousness because a cappella [sic] singing is all about the immersion of the self into the community. That's one of the great feelings — to stop being me for a little while and to become us. That way lies empathy, the great social virtue."

So, if you are reading this, and you are a singer thinking of joining a community chorus in the Atlanta area, I hope you will consider our chorus, the DeKalb Choral Guild. I will be honored to hear you sing and discuss membership with you. To schedule your audition, please leave a message at 678-318-1362. Our audition coordinator will call you back in quick fashion. Come, be a part of our singing community!

 



Tags: DCG | Mary Root | Decatur Chorus | chorus | community chorus | choir | joining a singing group | auditions | DeKalb Choral Guild | Atlanta chorus

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