PRESS: The Grid – Rituals: Choir Practice

"Last February, when a snowstorm closed schools and kept most people in their living rooms, 25 people showed up to the first practice of Choir!Choir!Choir! Nobu Adilman and Daveed Goldman, the co-choir directors/founders/whatever, decided that what had started as a one-off surprise-birthday-party choral performance of the AM-radio standard “Magic,” by the ’70s-era band Pilot, was something they should do again.

According to Adilman, after the birthday party, “Daveed asked, ‘When are we doing choir?’ I put out a call on Facebook, and the response was insane.”

After the first, snowy session, Adilman and Goldman suggested practicing again in a month; at the insistence of the newly minted choir members, they did it the next week. Excluding Goldman’s trip to Burning Man, Adilman and Goldman have led practice together every week since then. The Facebook group now has almost a thousand members, and an average practice draws between 60 and 100 people, mostly women. It’s been hard to find a space that accommodates them: Choir!Choir!Choir! has used a real estate office, Lounge 88/The Monarch Tavern, a friend’s art gallery, Double Double Land, and their current space, No One Writes to the Colonel (at College and Bathurst), where choir members can return the favour in beer sales.

“Our joke is that ‘Choir is not a democracy,’” says Adilman. Anyone can join without an audition—“a lot of rough edges get smoothed out when you have that many voices singing together”—and the choir members gun for certain songs on the Facebook page, but Adilman and Goldman run things. “We choose the songs together, we arrange the songs together, we work on the songs together,” says Goldman. “At choir, when the song is arranged, I take care of more of the musical element, and Nobu’s really good at getting the crowd going.” At rehearsal, they go back and forth, trying out different keys, different endings. “It’s trial and error,” says Goldman. “We do take some liberties with the songs, because we kind of have to make them choral.”…"

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