What exactly is The Calling All Choir?
An inclusive, service-based community singing organization. We are building a broad community of people who want to sing, from those who haven’t sung before to seasoned professionals. The gatherings function not just as rehearsals for performance, but also as a laboratory for developing new ways of engaging communities in singing.
What kind of music do you sing?
Primarily we sing original compositions by Artistic Director Mark Growden. Traditional folk songs from around the world are also included in the repertoire.
What kind of people sing in the choir?
Folks who are nervous about singing in public, people who perform all the time, and everyone in between. All ages, from 8 to 80 are currently active members.
You mean, I don’t have to be a trained singer?
Nope. If you love to sing, come sing with us. All rehearsals include vocal training and breath contol practices.
Do I need to know how to read music?
No, you do not have to read music.
Do you give Concerts?
Season Finales: We conclude each season with season finale concerts. The concerts are presented in association with a local non-profit with whom we split the profits.
Service Sings: We bring music to underserved groups by performing for no fee at venues such as hospitals, retirement homes, residential treatment centers, and developmental disability programs.
Regional Shows: We are often invited to perform at venues around the state.
Community Sings: We hope to begin hosting Community Sings where members can lead the larger community in song.
Note: There is no requirement that every member sing in the concerts, but we enthusiastically recommend the experience.
What is the “service” part of your description?
We also share the joy of singing with underserved communities such as retirement homes, residential treatment centers, and developmental disability programs. Choir members also offer work trades and barter as their contributions toward supporting choir costs (see below).
Where does the Choir meet?
Rehearsals are held in San Francisco (currently in Potrero Hill). Participants are welcome (and encouraged) to attend the various gatherings to meet all their fellow singers. You are welcome to attend either of the 2 weekly rehearsals as much as you like with no extra fee.
Do all the singers ever rehearse together?
Big Sings are a chance for everyone to come together. We’ll sing, play games, dance, and get to know each other better.
Binders and Water
We will provide all the sheet music for members (at the cost of purchase), but we ask that you provide your own 1” or ½” black binder (must be black for performances). Please bring your binder and drinking water to every rehearsal.
Does it cost to participate?
Yes. Choir fees are based on a sliding scale. We recommend $390-$550 for the full season, or $100 to $140 per month. We ask that you decide where on the sliding scale you fit based on your knowledge of your own finances. Payment plans and work trades/barters are also available as needed. Our bottom line is: no one misses choir because of lack of money.
Can I Work Trade/Barter?
Yes. A variety of tasks are required to keep the choir running smoothly, and we’d love your help. A work trade coordinator is designated for each chapter. If you are doing work trade/barter please check in with your chapters coordinator to work out the details of your arrangement.
Do you practice in smaller vocal groups?
Yes, Sectional Rehearsals are broken down by parts (soprano, alto, tenor, bass). They are also potlucks for fun. Choir members are encouraged to attend your sectionals as often as you can throughout the season.
Are there any Participation Agreements?
To make our singing environment most enjoyable and inclusive, we ask you to commit to the following agreements:
Attendance: we need you here! When people miss rehearsals, it takes us time as a group to catch up. If you begin to fall behind due to absence, please schedule a private lesson for yourself.
Don’t let money stop you from attending each week! Work trade is always available.
Please avoid side conversations during rehearsals, save it for the breaks.
Please don’t comment on other singers’ vocal abilities. If there is an issue, please send an email to Mark about it.
Please don’t wear perfume or strongly scented lotions or hair products. Some of us are allergic.
If after the first few weeks you have trouble matching pitch, please schedule a private lesson.
Please use the resources on callingallchoir.org to practice your parts at home!
Please notify us if you decide to stop coming to rehearsals/leave the choir.