Do you have the music in you, but you don’t have the confidence to let it out? Then Calgary’s Cool Choir might be for you.
Founded by Calgarian-by-way-of-England Jamie Serafi, Cool Choir Calgary officially launches Monday, January 18. With a setlist featuring rock and pop hits, Cool Choir asks for little more from its performers than enthusiasm: no sheet music, no experience, and – best of all – no auditions.
“You literally rock up and you sing and you have the most amazing time,” Serafi told Calgary Buzz. “That’s what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to revolutionize what it means to be part of a choir in Calgary, just change the face of singing.”
Serafi says while Calgary has its fair share of choirs, they’re all fairly rigid in how they allow people to participate – something he wants to avoid at all costs.
“It’s quite traditional here, the choirs that are in place. There are a lot of choirs, but they’re quite traditional. You have to audition, you have to register by a this particular point in time to be a part of them,” he says. “Whereas what I’m setting up is completely open and free to anyone who can speak.”
Serafi, who has created similar choirs in England, says open concept groups like this tend to encourage people who might not come out otherwise, and help forge bonds like few other performance groups can.
“People come along, they make friends, they do a lot of laughing, they do even more singing, and they leave on a natural high feeling absolutely amazing because they’ve spent the last two hour belting out Guns N Roses or Coldplay or The Eagles.” he says. “These choirs are pitched at people who would never even imagine themselves ever being part of a choir: people who sing in the shower, or sing in the car to themselves. [They’re] kind of embarrassed, the idea of singing is very awkward to them. It’s just people who would never even consider being a part of something like this.”
So far Cool Choir was around 150 singers signed up, with more rolling in every day. Serafi says based on what he’s seen in the groups back home, Cool Choir has the potential to be amazing.
“The effects of being part of a choir like this are absolutely incredible, they are profoundly life changing. We attract people who are going through depression, anxiety, bereavement, people [who have been through] domestic violence, and all sorts of problem in their lives,” he says. “The effects and the sense of well being you get from singing, and especially very upbeat rock and pop songs, is just life changing for people. I saw this over the last five years in the UK, and the effect it had on peoples lives.”
Cool Choir will meet for the first time Monday, January 18 at the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association Hall, January 20 at the Inglewood Community Association and and January 21 at the Marda Loop Community Association. All rehearsals begin at 7:30 p.m. For more in