Guelph Neighborhood Singers returns with in-person efficiency

In this Following Up, choir members look forward to their session-starting show on Feb. 1

It’s said that singing let’s you escape from the world’s worries.

For Hillary Roulston, singing with the Guelph Community Singers allows her the opportunity to be expressive and creative, outside of her busy life as a university student.

“For me, being a part of the choir gives me a place where I can express myself, and be around others with similar interests,” says Roulston, marketing coordinator for Guelph Community Singers.

“I also find that music and singing are very relaxing for me. They provide me with another outlet because otherwise I am always so busy with school.”

Created in 2009, Guelph Community Singers began when a group of enthusiastic singers decided to launch a new community choir in the basement of a local church. They knew they needed 21 members to break even and make the choir a go.

Fifty-six people showed up, ready to sing.

Today, Guelph Community Singers has about 68 members and has grown to become a fun-loving, accessible and secular community choir.

“Our membership used to be higher, but it is picking up again,” Roulston says.

“We are now getting back to where we were before the pandemic. But we are always looking for new people to join us.”

Roulston says there is no prior musical experience needed, just a willingness to show up with enthusiasm.

“It’s just such a wonderful community to be a part of,” Roulston says. “We all just all love singing and being there for each other.”

A new session is set to begin Feb 1.

Roulston says anyone is welcome to join, and new applications are currently being accepted.

“We are a very friendly and open group. And there’s no audition to join,” Roulston says. “We support learning and that can include the basics of how to read music. We also provide music soundtracks so members can listen at home and learn songs that way too.”

Guelph Community Singers has performed at Guelph Storm hockey games, city events, St. Patrick Day celebrations and at the choir’s popular winter and spring concerts.

The choir is always looking for new opportunities to sing for the community.

But the main goal is to share the joy of music and singing together with others in the Guelph, Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge communities.

Since the pandemic, Guelph Community Singers is excited to be singing in-person again with the upcoming winter concert, Getting Our Feet Wet.

The concert will take place at Trinity United Church on Jan. 21, at 7:30 pm

Tickets are available through Eventbrite.

Getting Our Feet Wet is directed by Henry Muth, accompanied by Grace Peters, and will include a special guest appearance by Sabrina Adair.

“This is the first full performance since the pandemic. We had a bit of a mini performance last summer at City Hall, but this is our first full-length concert, back at our normal location,” Roulston says.

“The theme is all about water. We are performing quite a few songs with that theme in mind.”

During the pandemic, to keep everyone engaged, members took part in choir practices via Zoom.

Finally, members were able to get their feet wet when they came together in person, for short periods last spring, and more so, last fall.

The choir continues to offer hybrid options for members.

“We still have people who join us through Zoom and then people who come out to practices at Trinity United Church, which is also where the concert will be held,” Roulston says.

“It’s great because if someone is feeling under the weather, they can still join in and not miss a practice.”

This is Roulston’s fifth season with the choir.

“There will be another full concert in early June, and we are playing with the idea of ​​finding a bigger venue to host our summer concert,” Roulston says.

“We are hoping to ramp it up and get more involvement for that one. So, that’s we are heading.”

The Guelph Community Singers is ready to welcome new members as it launches its next session, beginning early February.

For more information, please visit here.

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