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With movies like Pitch Perfect bringing a Capella to the masses, choirs are having a pop culture moment.
According to Ellen Henshall, the new president of Mixtape Chorus, singing has always been cool.
“Choirs are amazing for people’s social and mental health,” she explains. “Sharing something with a group of people and creating a community is really important. We’ve found that it has really created something I don’t think anybody expected.”
18 months ago, Ellen was new to Canberra and read about Mixtape Chorus on HerCanberra (find that here.) She has recently taken the reins from Alex Tolmie, and intends to continue Mixtape’s atmosphere of support, singing and just having fun.
“Joining a choir is one of the best things I’ve done in terms of finding a social circle,” she says. “I dragged my partner along even though he’s never sung in a choir in his life and we love it, it’s definitely the best thing we’ve done since we moved here. Mixtape just performed at You Are Here and this term we’re looking at doing a Kimbra song, a Josh Pyke song and maybe even a Fleetwood Mac medley!”
If that sounds like a dream come true, here’s a list of choirs in Canberra with a variety of music styles, aims, commitment and costs.
Canberra’s inclusive, non-auditioned indie pop community choir is holding a come and try night on Thursday 28 April, 7.30 pm Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres. You can see the diversity of their song choices represented in our feature image! More info here.
Pop Up Choir with Rachel Hore
The PopUp Choir aims to sing in public spaces, including anywhere that can be warmed by the human voice. New members are welcome to join on or after Thursday June 2 from 7.15pm at St Peters Lutheran church in Reid. More info here.
Strange Weather Gospel Choir
Strange Weather Gospel Choir is a non-auditioned Canberra community choir consisting of 40 singers from all kinds of cultural, gender, sexual orientation and faith backgrounds. A regular commitment is required. Rehearsals are from 7pm on Wednesdays at the Ainslie Arts Centre, or 6.30pm for cups of tea before rehearsal. More info here.
Cyrenes Canberra Choir Of Women
The Cyrenes is an a capella choir of women based on creating a supportive and fun environment. The Cyrenes sing songs about women’s issues, social justice, human rights, environmental concerns, songs from many cultures, and some just for fun. The choir welcomes new members and there are no auditions. More info here.
Canberra Community Voices
The Canberra Community Voices are about 60 people who come together each week under the direction of Kenneth Teoh. At the relaxed rehearsals members are given tips and guidance to further develop their voices. It is also a group where everyone is welcome to participate as much as they want. More info here.
Echo Voices is a friendly community choir that is open to newcomers with no auditions. Echo Voices sings a range of traditional, classical and more modern music. Rehearsals are from 6 – 8pm on Mondays at the Canberra Grammar School Music Department. More info here.
Brindabella Chorus is a women’s a cappella group made up of women of all ages. The Brindabella Chorus sings barbershop music and describes itself as “Glee for grown ups!” To be eligible for membership of Brindabella Chorus, you must attend rehearsals and then pass an audition. There will be an open night Wednesday 8 June at 7.15pm at Taylor Primary School, Kambah. More info here.
Canberra Gay and Lesbian Qwire
The Canberra Gay and Lesbian Qwire is non-auditioned and has members of all ages and backgrounds who sing in a relaxed and social atmosphere. Rehearsals include vocal and strength training, stagecraft and choreography. The Qwire brings together the queer community and their allies and supporters. Rehearsals are every Thursday night from 7-9pm at Lyneham Primary School. More info here.
Feature image via facebook.com/mixtapechorus