The Greater Victoria Youth Choir appears to have a strong voice for the upcoming season
A West Shore youth choir is back and working with performance and rehearsal plans, hoping to hit pre-pandemic numbers.
SingYourJoy, a non-auditioned choir of people between the ages of 16 and 29, typically had around 60 singers. Founder Christine Chepyha said she hopes the choir will be in full voice for the upcoming season, but it can be difficult to reach young people.
“We know there’s a pent-up demand for people to come together in groups – we can see that at all the festivals going on over the summer and outdoor concerts and events. I know from personal experience, I started another choir last October, during the pandemic, and there were people who were thrilled to be there, in all the right conditions.
Hannah Richards, 22, who is studying biomedical engineering at the University of Victoria, joined the choir in January 2020 – an unfortunate time, she admits. She remained involved as rehearsals moved first online and then in person, but physically distant, as she wanted to ensure the choir survived and she valued the camaraderie.
“I was really looking for a fun choir because I work so much with the school, I didn’t want it to feel like work,” Richards said. “I wanted it to be a fun place to go and experience the incredible mental health benefits of singing in a group, without it feeling like something I had to do.”
The choir will offer two in-person rehearsal locations, beginning Sept. 5 at Oak Bay United Church on Mitchell Street in Victoria, and Sept. 8 at Redeemer Lutheran on Jacklin Road in Langford.
Chepyha is eyeing December for the group’s first performance date, but is still trying to confirm a venue, with demand for performance spaces high, she noted.
More information on how to register can be found at singyourjoy.ca.
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