Aurora Chorealis

Welcome to the adult community choir

Aurora Chorealis is a non-auditioned choir of singers aged 14-70+. We aim to create a supportive community that values artistry and musical growth. More information on us and how to join Aurora Chorealis are below.

When and Where do we Sing?

Every Tuesday, starting January 10, 2023, we rehearse at Calvary Church (50th Ave & Matonabee St) from 7:00 – 9:00 pm. Doors open at 6:45. Use the Matonabee St entry.

Singers are asked to review music on their own and to stay current if travel or illness results in a missed rehearsal. A detailed plan for each rehearsal will be shared with registered members to facilitate at home practice.

Meet the Team

Margo Nightingale

Director

Margo (pronouns “she/her”) has been directing Aurora Chorealis since 2001. She wants singers to be challenged, to have fun, to enjoy success and create community together.   Passionate about singing, Margo has been singing in choirs since childhood. She sang with this choir when she first moved to Yellowknife in 1994 and has since been a performing member in Ursa Miners, Midnight Soul, and Ptarmigan Ptheatrics. She currently sings Alto 2 with the Canadian Chamber Choir.

Shauna Morgan

Accompanist

Shauna Morgan came to Yellowknife in November 2008 on a short-term contract, fell in love with the place, and has decided to make the north her home.  Born and raised near Barrie, Ontario, Shauna began studying piano at the age of 7 and went on to accompany her high school and university concert choirs. She has been accompanying Aurora Chorealis since 2009, expanding her musical skills over the years to include djembe, tuned water glasses, tone chimes and various other percussion instruments.

Becoming a Member

“Makin’ Lemonade”, May 2022 (photo: S. Daly)

New members are welcome until January 24th, 2023. No previous experience or music reading skill is needed.

Until Jan 24, you can try the choir without joining if you will follow our Covid safety measures.

We will learn music to perform at NACC on Saturday, April 15th (matinee and evening performances).

Because Covid is ongoing, in the 2022-2023 season, singers must apply safety measures to join an in-person rehearsal or event. This includes showing proof of vaccination at the 1st in person event, masking (unless eating or drinking) and completing the Health Check before attending. *Read more about this on the Registration Page.*

New singers must do a voice placement with the Director. See below.

Voice Placement   

All new singers must do a voice placement with Margo, the Director. It is best to do this before joining a rehearsal. It takes about 15-20 mins. It involves some singing and some get-to-know-each-other chat.

A voice placement confirms that each new member can carry a tune – either alone or with some help. It is also used to place each singer within the choir. The choir is divided into 4 main sections:

vocal-range-chart
  • Soprano – for the highest voices;
  • Alto – for mid-high voices;
  • Tenor – for mid-low voices; and
  • Bass – for the lowest voices.

Each of these 4 larger sections are divided into 1st and 2nd singers. The higher voices sing the 1st part, and the lower voices sing the 2nd part. We also try to have equal numbers in the 1st and 2nd parts.

In the voice placement, singers are asked to sing “Happy Birthday” on their own, or with Margo. This is normally private, but if it helps, you can do this with a friend.

After singing Happy Birthday, each singer will be asked to sing a series of notes to determine their highest and lowest notes. Based on this exercise, every singer is assigned a section (soprano, alto, tenor bass) and a part in that section (1st or 2nd). 

If singing a tune is very challenging for a singer, the Director will decide if and how that singer can participate in the choir and will discuss those options with that singer.

With our Covid restrictions, voice placements are being done on Zoom. Please email Margo to arrange this at acdirector@mnlo.ca.

Rehearsal and Performance Expectations

Our goal is to have fun and work hard to prepare our music to a high standard of performance. This is only possible if singers:  

  • attend rehearsals regularly
  • are on time
  • practice their music between rehearsals

To attend an in-person rehearsal, singers must complete a health check within the 12 hours before the rehearsal and follow all remaining health & safety guidelines. Information about our 2022-23 Covid protocols are provided on our Registration Page.

Singers will learn the music through attending rehearsals, by using the practice tools created each season and practicing between rehearsals. Many singers learn by ear. Others read music. All singers will have access to some elementary music reading tools if they want to get more comfortable with reading choral music.

In performances, some music each season is sung from memory. Sometimes these songs involve body percussion (clapping/stamping etc) or choreographed movement. In other songs, singers may use sheet music provided and kept in a black binder or music folder.

If a singer will miss a rehearsal or a performance they must notify the Director in advance. Singers who appear to be unprepared for a performance can be told they cannot perform some or all of the music in a concert. This decision is made at the discretion of the Director in consultation with the singer. 

A singer can also withdraw from a performance (but stay within the choir) after discussion with the Director as soon as possible after making that decision.   

Membership Fees

There are 2 fees to be paid each year:

  1. Society membership fee of $50
  2. Choir Registration Fees:  $150 per year (Sept-May) or $75 for half a year (Sept-Dec or Jan-May)

Once registered and all fees are paid, members are loaned copies of the music for each season. The music may be provided in paper form or electronically as a PDF. The music is valuable and we ask all members to use only pencil in their music and to return the music in good condition at the end of each concert.

Once registered, members will also receive the password for the private singer’s website page. There, singers will find learning tracks, weekly announcements, helpful documents and links to recordings of the new and past music. This password will be changed at the start of each season.

Volunteer and Fund Raising Expectations

All singers are expected to volunteer to help with necessary tasks, ticket sales and fundraising activities. Requests for your help are included in the Registration Form.

Please be aware that membership can be denied if, in the Board’s judgment, it is in the best interests of the Society or a Society choir to refuse an application.