Welcome to the adult community choir
Aurora Chorealis is a non-auditioned choir of singers aged 15-70+. 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.
Meet the Team
Margo (pronouns “she/her/her’s”) 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 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.
When and Where do we Sing?
We rehearse in person Tuesday night’s from 8:15 – 9:30 at the École Allain St. Cyr gymnasium.
During the pandemic, there are health risks connected to group singing indoors. We talk about those risks and the steps to reduce them in different materials on the Registration Page.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, a maximum of 50 people can rehearse in person. All in-person rehearsals will be broadcast on Zoom and recorded. Singers can stay prepared by joining the rehearsals live, from their homes or access the recorded video within the following 4 weeks. Links to past week’s rehearsals will be shared on an internal singers’ website.
Becoming a Member
New members are welcome in September and January. No previous experience is necessary and singers don’t need to read music.
To join or to renew membership, before attending an in-person rehearsal singers must:
- Submit a YCS Registration Form for 2020-21
- Sign a Waiver
- Pay the Membership Fees
- Do a voice placement
At their first rehearsal, all singers must attend a Covid safety briefing and complete a WSCC hazard assessment form.
The choir is divided into 4 large sections:
- Soprano – for the highest voices;
- Alto – for lower female voices;
- Tenor – for higher male and lowest female voices; and
- Bass – for the lowest voices.
Each section is divided into two parts with part 1 singing the higher notes at any time when their part is singing in two distinct parts.
A voice placement confirms that each new member can carry a tune – either alone or with some help and helps the Director decide where each singer will sing within the choir.
In the voice placement, singers are asked to sing “Happy Birthday” on their own, or with Margo. This is normally private, but if a singer prefers, they can sing with a friend. During Covid restrictions, voice placements are done on Zoom at times and days that work for the singer and Margo.
After singing Happy Birthday, each singer will be asked to sing a series of notes to get an idea of their highest and lowest notes. Based on this exercise, every singer is assigned a section and a part in that section based on how high and low a singer can easily sing.
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.
The best time to do a voice placement is before the first rehearsal. That way, singers are sure they are learning the right notes from the start.
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 will:
- attend all rehearsals
- be on time
- practice their music between rehearsals on their own or (where possible) by attending additional scheduled sectional rehearsals; and
- notify their Director or section leader, in advance, if they cannot attend any rehearsals.
To attend an in-person rehearsal, singers must prepare and provide a weekly health check before attending. At rehearsals, singers will be required to follow additional safety guidelines. Information about all covid guidelines are provided on our Registration Page.
Singers who miss too many rehearsals, aren’t attending Zoom regularly or are unprepared for a performance for any reason may be told they cannot perform some or all of the music. This decision is made at the discretion of the Director in consultation with the singer.
A singer can also withdraw from a performance after telling their section leader and the Director as soon as possible after making that decision.
There are 2 fees to be paid each year:
- $50 membership fee of the Society
- Choir Registration Fees: $150 per year or $75 for half a year
Once registered and all fees are paid, members are loaned copies of the music for each season. The music may be shared electronically as a PDF, or in paper form. Members are asked to only use pencil for notes or markings on the music and to return the music in good condition at the end of each concert.
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.