You’ll find a warm welcome when you join a choir. They’re all over Toronto and meet in places from churches to a tavern.

Malcolm is the Corporate Vice President of Eldercare Home Health Inc.

You can’t imagine how surprised I was when I started the research for this blog.

I was amazed. There are choirs all over the city that invite folks to join and sing with them. The invitation is broad – bring yourself and join in. The cost of doing this ranges from $5 an evening to a couple of hundred bucks for the season.

Best of all, you don’t have to audition to join. If you want to sing, you’re in! Most don’t require you to read music. And “choir” definitely does not imply “church” – except as a rented place to do it.

Other voices plus your voice uplift you more than your own voice!

Singing in a community of others changes your body and mind. That’s what research shows. As much as you enjoy singing in the shower, it doesn’t compare with choir singing.

Choir singing synchronizes your breathing and heart rate with those of all the other singers. Frontiers in Psychology reported that choir singing actually can slow down your heart rate, is beneficial to your circulation and improves your wellbeing. Not only that, but different kinds of singing have different effects. Humming does one thing for you, hymn singing another.

Just sing your heart out and clear your brain!

Rousing…tender…sweet…thoughtful….songs can take you away from the daily grind in just a few lines. Learning new songs every week really does require focus. And the effort delivers immediate reward. You’re singing for the fun of it. You’re feeling the joy. You’re leaving the job and the traffic and the bills way, way behind you.

Not sure about choir singing? Many choirs let you sample the experience.

Check out The Pop Choir. This professionally run organization has five adult choirs around Toronto. It offers Free Pop-in Sessions so you can try it without committing to the session fees that pay for venues, choirmasters and so on.

Choir!Choir!Choir! runs weekly drop-in sessions in the back room at Toronto’s Clinton’s Tavern at 693 Bloor West. They hand you a song sheet with the lyrics, lead you into the tune and away you go. Are they any good? Well, as Choir!Choir!Choir! says, “C!C!C! boasts a dedicated and passionate membership of inspired singers from in-and-around Toronto, Canada. They have performed in holes, on hills, and on big stages.” Bring your voice, your desire to sing and $5 and get into choir singing. There’s Green P Parking on Clinton St., just south of Bloor.

If you’re male, not even Welsh and want to sing and perform, try the Toronto Welsh Male Voice Choir

This is a voluntary group, with a small membership fee and singers who are over 70% from outside the Welsh community. It draws on the great Welsh tradition of singing hymns and songs born of the mountains and valleys of Wales. At the same time it emphasizes a multicultural context in its broad repertoire. The 40 to 50 choir members also sing spirituals, operatic arias, Canadian folk songs, Broadway show tunes and contemporary music.

The Toronto Welsh Male Voice Choir meets Wednesdays at Dewi Sants Welsh United Church at Melrose and Avenue Road.

So many other choirs to try out

The Society of Singers bills itself as “uplifting seniors with song.” No audition to join. If you can carry a tune and love to sing – and are willing to commit to rehearsals and choir events – you’re a member. This choir meets Wednesdays in the Blythwood Church, 80 Blythwood Road, Toronto Lawrence Park, North Toronto area, There is a lovely rehearsal venue and free parking. The church is within easy walking distance from Yonge Street.  

Do choirs sing classic rock and roll? Newchoir does! Newchoir “creates full-on rock and roll concert experiences with classic rock and pop songs from every decade since the 1960s.

A word of caution: for some reason Newchoir makes it hard to find out how to join. That part of its website is user unfriendly.

If you’re a member of the LGBBTQ community and love to sing and dance, Singing Out  incites you to join them at the 519 Community Centre Ballroom on Tuesdays. There are different fees for regular members and students, and financial assistance is available.

You may find a singing meet-up satisfies your needs. Casual. No commitments. Check out the meet ups at https://www.meetup.com/topics/singers/ca/on/toronto/

The point is – to my surprise, there’s no reason for not enjoying choir singing. There are so many choices!

Thrown out of choir in Grade 2, I tried out choir singing as a senior

(COPY TO COME EARLY JUNE)

Let the song out, let the joy in!

If you love to sing, you;’ll sound better and enjoy it more when choir singing. Why not give it a try?a

 

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