In case you haven’t noticed, we do things a little differently here at Sing Portland! (What can we say, we are in the capitol of “doing things a little differently”.) So if you’re thinking of switching choirs but you’re not quite sure what to expect, you should know…

We do:

— Choose music that speaks to the heart, with lyrics you can stand behind. We don’t sing songs just because they’re popular or “choir standards”, instead, we believe in singing music that lifts your spirit, fills your heart, and leaves a smile on your face.

— Care for each other. When we say that we sing as a community, we really mean it! So we do things like massage during each rehearsal, as well as take choral baths, where people lay down in the middle of a circle and the rest of the choir sings to you. It’s always a beautiful moment of connection and restoration for the person in the middle.

— Have an open door, open houses, and open enrollment. Guests of singers are always welcome at any rehearsal, and we regularly hold open houses where we sing, offer refreshments, and get to know the community even better. We also have open enrollment — you don’t have to wait for a term to start, and it’s never “too late”. You’re more than welcome to join any time.

— Make it as easy as possible to sing with us. We really walk our talk with this, from sliding scale tuition to having three rehearsal locations per week, so you can choose whichever time or location fits your schedule, and mix and match as and when you need to.

— Singing parties, weekends, retreats, and adventures. Instead of concerts, we have singing parties, where we sweep the audience up in our singing. By the end, you can’t tell the difference between the audience and the choir! Plus we do singing weekends and retreats in beautiful, rejuvenating locations, karaoke parties and movie singalongs, and we’re even planning on singing internationally in the upcoming years!

— Sing for a better world. We’ve sung at the Women’s March with Choir!Choir!Choir! and raised thousands of dollars for both Oregon Bravo in Portland and the Rising Hope Foundation in Uganda, and this is just the beginning.

We don’t:

— Have sectionals, or any other kind of mandatory rehearsal outside of our regular rehearsals. In fact, we don’t really do “mandatory” in general here. So there are no mandatory performances, no mandatory attendance, and certainly no mandatory dress code. We’re about singing, plain and simple.

— Have sheet music. We don’t need it; we learn all our songs together by practicing them, not by studying them.

— Get hung up on sections. If you’re normally a tenor, but singing bass on a particular song feels better to you, then go ahead and sing where you’re most comfortable.

— Believe in auditions. I’ll keep saying this until the end of time: if you can talk, then you can sing, so whatever anyone else has told you about how good or bad a singer you are, you belong in this choir. Everyone is welcome here, no matter what.

— Single people out. While I sometimes give hints to a section, I never correct an individual, and I don’t allow singers to correct each other, not even with an eye roll or a head shake. We’re all about support here.

It’s certainly not your normal choir. But then again, we don’t want it to be. And we’d love for you to join us!

If you want to find out what it’s like to sing in a choir where you are wholeheartedly welcome, no matter what, click here to find out how and when you can sing with us!