All City Choir is a try-out choir made up of about 60 kids in grades four through eight who’ve come together to sing. We also have three awesome conductors Wendy Gee, Wendy Masciotra (or who we call Mrs. M), and Eva Bettger and we sing from September through April in our two seasons: Christmas Season and Spring Season.
In All City Choir, we also learn how to sing properly in many different ways. The first thing you learn is how to breath properly. We’re not allowed to breath like this (with your shoulders), but naturally like this (with your stomach). This is what my conductors call “tummy power”. One of the warm ups the choir conductors make us do are these huge sighs that start from the top of your voice and go down to the bottom of your voice to warm up our vocal chords and get us to breath properly.
Another technique we have to learn in choir practice is we learn now to pronounce vowels and consonants correctly. An example of that would be pronouncing out “D”s as light “T”s. We also have to keep our mouth round and you cannot smile while you’re singing or else it ruins the effect of the vowels. One thing we always always must do is to pronounce the consonants loudly. What our conductors always make us do to help us remember this is to say “We LoVe ouR CoNSoNaNTS!”.
The last, but probably one of the most important things we have to do when we sing, is to listen to each other and to sing with the mood of the music. If it is a soft song we are singing, then we can’t sing loudly in the piece, and if it is a song requiring a lot of energy, we have to be enthusiastic.
One piece we sang this year was called “Reflections of a Lad at Sea”. Our conductor for the last movement (Mrs. Gee) was always nagging us to add more energy into the song. The last movement was called “Ghost Ship” which was a story about a ghost ship a sailor had seen one night. It was a scary story so Mrs. Gee would demonstrate how we were supposed to sing by saying, “Now Listen! Well! As I tell a tale! Of a night that shook with fear!”. I think Mrs. Gee looked so ridiculous, that it made everyone remember how to sing the movement!
What makes All City Choir even more fun though is not just the singing, but the many activities and concerts we do together.
We usually sing at a church downtown called “Colborne Church United” because our conductor Mrs. Bettker can use it for free (she goes to that church), but we’ve also sung at many other different places too. Various Nursing homes, The Education Center, Centenial Hall, Victoria Park, and we’ve even gone to Sarnia to perform with a choir there called The Kettle Creek choir. We also have lots of fun nights together too, like pizza night, get-to-know-you night, cabaret night and even a choir camp day that we have at the end of September. The concert that stands out in my mind most though, is my last concert on April first.
That night, we performed with the UWO choir, Rick Piche (who played the guitar) and Matt Piche (who played fiddle). It was really amazing how well that choir could sing. One disadvantage about the UWO choir though is that they’re really LOUD and it makes our choir look pretty sad. At that concert, when we were singing with them, I sware we could have stopped singing and no one would notice! Which made matters worse was during the last song of the program I Like A Simple Song, Matt was bouncing his head up and down and doing this crazy little dance. I was laughing so hard I almost fell down in the middle of the performance!
After the song was finished and I had my laugh attack, I graduated from All City Choir. It was really sad, especially since I heard that next year the choir is putting in lazer lights next year. It was a unique and wonderful experience of not just singing, but making new friends. I encourage everyone who can to try out (especially the guys since we’re short on them). It may not be Amoboly, but it’s certainly something you’ll never forget.