FAQ

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about Joyful Voice.

Who are we?
How do I join?
Rehearsals
Performances
Fees: What do I get for $150?
Joyful Voice rehearses and performs in a church. Is it a religious choir?
Who sings with us?
What if I miss a rehearsal?
What happens at a rehearsal?
Who chooses the songs?
What do we sing?
Can I try Joyful Voice before I join?
Do I have to audition?
I’m really nervous…will I have to sing alone?
What do I do if I love to sing but have been told I’m tone deaf?
Do I need to know how to read music?
Do I need singing experience?
Can I pay as I go?
A little history
The people who make our choir ‘SING’!
Finding us
If you need more reasons to join us, read the following article …

 

Who are we?

Joyful Voice Community Choir is an inclusive and open choir. Anyone is welcome to join – just bring your love of singing.

We are truly a community organization- a representative cross-section of our diversity, led by volunteers, and sponsored by individual and business interests. We perform to a broad audience, and support those members of our community who need it most.

Come out and see us – or better yet, join us, and be part of a fun and dynamic group. We value music, enjoy laughter, and bring the spirit of song to our community.

 

How do I join?

To join us, simply pay your registration fee and attend our rehearsals and concerts. Please open, print and complete the membership application. Bring it with you to the first rehearsal, or pre-register by mail. See the “Join” page for details.

 

Rehearsals

When: Monday nights from 6:30 to 8:30pm. (There are often one or two additional rehearsals before performances)
Where: St. Paul’s Anglican Church, 1130 Jervis at Pendrell (map) in Vancouver’s West End

 

Performances

Christmas: Early December, on a Monday and Tuesday night
Spring: Mid May on a Monday and Tuesday night

These are our performances for the public. They are free. We ask for a donation of cash (shared with the choir and the Vancouver Food Bank Society) or of non-perishable food for the St. Paul’s Food Bank.

We also perform at one or two community events which vary from season to season, and usually include a show at Haro Park Centre.

 

Fees: What do I get for $150?

You get a joyful voice, loads of fun, and your music. We only perform music we have paid for and that is our major expense.

Honorariums for our rehearsal and performance pianist, rent for rehearsal and concert space and supplies, storage space for our music library and other bits and bobs use up the rest of it.

Our budget and expenses are published every year at our AGM.

 

Joyful Voice rehearses and performs in a church. Is it a religious choir?

No, we are not a religious choir. We are simply very fortunate and very grateful to be able to use St. Paul’s Anglican Church for our rehearsals and performances. The location is excellent and the acoustics are fabulous.

 

Who sings with us?

We come from any and every background.  We’re about 40% soprano, 35% alto and 25% baritone.  A majority of us are between 35 and 60, but one member is 92 and some of us are in our twenties or early thirties. The important thing is that everyone is welcome.

 

What if I miss a rehearsal?

Most of us will miss an occasional rehearsal. You’ll be expected to review what you missed, and the website can help to keep you up to date. It has a sample of each song in our current repertoire. If you will miss more than 3 rehearsals in a season, we ask that you please consult with the choir director about your ability to sing in the concert. Everyone is expected to attend the dress rehearsal (the one immediately before our big shows) and both of our public concerts.

 

What happens at a rehearsal?

During each rehearsal, the choir director takes us through a number of the songs. At first we are just getting a feel for each one. We laugh a lot. Fine tuning happens in later weeks and the results are pure magic. It is the Joyful Voice experience.

 

Who chooses the songs?

The choir director chooses the program but the director is open to suggestions, provided there is an appropriate arrangement available and the song is suitable for the choir. The director must make the choices about two months before we need them so that the music can be ordered. So, if you have a suggestion, make sure the choir director gets it in plenty of time.

 

What do we sing?

We sing a little of everything; pop, classical, jazz, spiritual, international, show tunes and Canadian content, at a variety of difficulty levels. There is something for everyone on each of our programs.

We sing in three parts, soprano, alto and baritone.

 

Can I try Joyful Voice before I join?

Certainly. You can attend a couple of rehearsals before deciding whether to join us.

You must register and pay your fee ($150 per session, no tax, cash or cheque please) no later than the third rehearsal of each session.

 

Do I have to audition?

No

 

I’m really nervous…will I have to sing alone?

No one has to sing alone at any time. Even finding your vocal range (soprano, alto, or baritone) is done with the choir as a group. At no time do you sing alone unless you wish to. During each concert, there is usually an opportunity for one or two solos. You can audition to solo, but it is entirely up to you.

We know that it may take some courage to come out and join Joyful Voice but you’ll soon find that your fears were unfounded. You’ll have lots of support from people who’ve been exactly where you are!

 

What do I do if I love to sing but have been told I’m tone deaf?

Everyone has a voice – sometimes it just needs a little help finding its way!  Don’t worry! You’ll be surrounded by other singers who will support you because they’ll be singing too. That’s the exciting thing about singing as a choir: everyone supports everyone else, and the sound of so many voices singing the same part as yours will help you to find the way.

 

Do I need to know how to read music?

It is not necessary to be able to read music but it helps. Some of us can sight read, meaning we can sing a song correctly by just reading the music. Most of us would describe ourselves as semi-literate; we can catch on quickly with the help of the choir director and the sight readers. The rest of us are new to reading music but with the help of the singers surrounding us we join in producing a beautiful sound.

Hint: Find the sight readers and stand next to one of them during rehearsals and performances.

 

Do I need singing experience?

We often hear “I love to sing, but I’m not a singer”. Some of us have had choir experience but many have not. The only prerequisite at Joyful Voice is that you enjoy singing.

 

Can I pay as I go?

Unfortunately not. Fees must be paid by the third rehearsal.

 

A little history

We started out in 2002 as a program of the Vancouver School Board’s Continuing Education Division.  A group of 15 people, we rehearsed and sang at the Roberts Education Centre in Vancouver’s West End and we were known as the Roberts Community Choir.

We outgrew Roberts Education Centre and moved, first to King George Secondary School, and then to St. Paul’s, where we have rehearsed and performed since.  We also incorporated as a non-profit society so that we could collect and manage our own funds.

In 2012, our affiliation with the School Board ended, and changed our name to Joyful Voice Community Choir Society.  We now number around 90 singers.

 

The people who make our choir ‘SING’!

Erin Hope-Goldsmith is Joyful Voice’s Musical Director. She also directs Joyful Rebellion Choir, works with the Vancouver Bach Childrens Chorus, teaches musical theatre classes for adults at the Dunbar Community Centre, teaches private piano and voice lessons, creates music for theatre shows and film, writes and arranges songs, and performs with bands from Latin funk to folk. Erin’s passion and enthusiasm are infectious. We are so lucky to have her directing the Joyful Voice Community Choir!

David Caird conducted Joyful Voice for over a decade and was our energetic, talented, laughing, perspiring leader. David recently retired from conducting Joyful Voice and, although we miss him dearly, we wish him all the best.

Kiyomi Hori directed the choir in 2016. Kiyomi is an accomplished musician and her energy, expertise, and enthusiasm made her a wonderful asset to our choir. We learned so much from her!

Eiko Izeki is our talented rehearsal and concert accompanist. Eiko has a music degree, teaches piano, and is the organist at St. Mary’s South Hill Anglican Church. Classically trained, Eiko is fearless in taking on any genre of music with the choir. She’s especially fond of cranking up the pipe organ at St. Paul’s for our Christmas sing-along numbers.

 

Finding us

We are very accessible on the transit routes along Davie Street – the number 5 and 6 buses and the community shuttle bus 23. Get off at the Jervis stop and walk north towards Pendrell. St Paul’s is on the south east corner of Jervis and Pendrell.

Parking: Parking is limited in the West End. Metered parking is available on Davie Street (only after 6PM on the north side). There is also a pay parking lot under the Davie Street Independent Grocery store on Davie between Bute and Jervis.

 

If you need more reasons to join us, read the following article …

It turns out that choral singers are happier people who enjoy physiological, emotional and social benefits from being part of a choir!

Here’s what Julie Layton on Discovery Channel’s Fit & Health program said about the magic of singing together:

Some of the greatest connections between singing and happiness are more mental than physical. They are harder to measure, but just as significant.

Choral singers need to concentrate on their music and technique throughout the singing process, and it’s hard to worry about things like work or money or family problems when you’re actively concentrating on something else.

So choral singers tend to have a built-in “stress-free zone.” Learning is also part of the process — learning new songs, new harmonies, new methods of keeping tempo.

Learning has long been known to keep brains active and fend off depression, especially in older people. The question remains, though — why choral singing specifically?

Concentration and deep breathing can happen in a recording studio, or in the privacy of your own home. It’s because some of the most important ties between singing and happiness are social ones.

The support system of being part of a group, and the commitment to that group that gets people out of the house and into the chorus every week — these are benefits that are specific to group singing. And they seem to be a big component of why choral singers tend to be happier than the rest of us.

The feelings of belonging to a group, of being needed by the other members of that group (“We can’t do this one without our alto!”), go a long way toward combating the loneliness that often comes along with being human in modern times.

 

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