Frequently Asked Questions
Sing Freedom! – Fall Term Sep 11 – Dec 15
Join us this fall for a vibrant 13 week term of songs with African American roots: spirituals, gospel, civil rights music and freedom songs. Weekly rehearsals are in SW, NE and SE (pick one) and the term includes a workshop with guest teacher John Gainer, a performance at The Grotto November 30th and a Singing Party in December. Sign up here and sing your heart out.
SP! offers three weekly rehearsal locations to choose from (you choose the one that works for you when you register):
Evening rehearsals are held from 7-9 pm.
- Mondays 3030 SW 2nd Ave, Portland, OR 97201, Cedarwood School
- Tuesdays 5138 NE 23rd Ave, Portland, OR 97211, The Little Church
- Wednesdays 5915 SE Division Street, Portland, OR 97206, Bothmer Hall
- Every second Thursday from 7-9pm
- 5915 SE Division Street // PDX
- $15 at the door, or…
- We offer an ever-expanding variety of workshops and singing retreats.
Am I good enough to sing in your group?
Absolutely! Everyone, I mean everyone, has a voice worth singing with. I’ve never met a voice I didn’t want in Sing Portland! I’ve led choirs and singing groups since 2000 and I have never asked anyone to not sing. Ever! No one should be told they cannot sing! I wish I could erase from your memory when that person told you your voice wasn’t good enough. The myth that the world is divided into singers and non-singers is simply absolute nonsense. I’m a firm believer of these African words: “If you can talk, you can sing. If you can walk, you can dance.” That pretty much sums up my experience.
Here’s a song that tells you what kind of choir we are… Check it out!
Ok, it may be a challenge for you to find the right pitch, to nail a rhythm, to stick to your own part while others are singing different notes, but those musical skills will all develop over time. Allow yourself to be carried by the group. As a novice or blossoming singer, have the guts to stand in the front row so you can ride on the musical waves that come from the singers behind you. All those elements of vocal skill will develop over time. My experience is that your beautiful voice will make itself known as soon as you acknowledge it is there. Trust and feel the support! Join us and be ready for a surprise!
Can I come and try out your choir before I sign up?
Of course. Visitors are always welcome. Book here if you just want to come to one of our rehearsals to see if we’re the singing community you’re looking for.
We also have open houses the first week of each term. Singers are very happy to welcome you and answer any questions you may have. They’ve been in your shoes and are great at taking away any insecurities you may have about singing. I’m always here for your questions as well.
How can I join?
You want to sing with us? Congratulations! You’re in! No questions asked. Simple as that. Click here and you’re done. That’s all it takes.
We highly recommend that you join Sing Portland! within the first three weeks of the beginning of a term. That way you have plenty of time to get comfortable with all our songs before our Singing Party at the end of the term. However, if you’re excited and committed to jump in a few weeks into the term, we ain’t gonna stop you. We’ll never tell you not (yet) to sing! Click that Register Now button!
Sing Portland! is an all inclusive choir. The 10 week terms are priced at $175, and have a sliding scale from $75 to $225 to accommodate your budget.
What's a Singing Party?
A Singing Party is how we celebrate the wrap up of a term. We invite our friends and family to enjoy all the songs we’ve learned. In addition to singing songs for our friends performance style, we also sing songs with them. That’s what makes this event a party. We teach them one part of the song and they’re absorbed in the big choir sound. By the end of the Singing Party you can’t even tell who is a choir member and who is audience, for everyone is singing their heart out. Everyone goes home on a “high”. It’s a magical and powerful experience.
What’s the expected commitment?
We want to make singing something that comes naturally and easy for you. All we want is that you’re wiling to open your mouth and have a good time with what comes out. You’ll be learning music that is not all that difficult to memorize and a joy to sing. You are not expected to study the music each week in between sessions. We know that your week is plenty full, and we want you to come and sing for the sheer pleasure of it, for relaxation, for a break from your busy life. We don’t want to give you additional “work”. The green room has practice tracks and lyrics sheets for you, so you can sing the songs whenever you want to. You may also choose to trust that we’ll have plenty of opportunity to sing our songs during the sessions so that you’ll feel absolutely confident about what you’re doing on stage at performance time. We do everything we can so that you wouldn’t WANT to miss any time on stage, but you are in no way obliged to. Our goal is for you to have fun at rehearsals, Singing Parties and performances alike.
What are we going to sing?
The repertoire consists of a wide variety of songs that are easily accessible. In the past we’ve had terms focusing on Latin American music, music with African American roots, popular and contemporary music. You get the idea – any genre, culture, time period is fair game. What the songs have in common is that they are so beautiful, or so much fun they simply have to be sung. They have an important message. They lift your spirit. They bring a smile on your face. They put a song in your heart. Each term includes something familiar, something totally new, something non-English, and something to stretch yourself with. Music reading is not needed. All songs are taught by ear, through call and response.
To give you a taste of what we sing, check out our YouTube channel with clips from Performances, Singing Parties and rehearsals.
Where are the sessions?
In the Fall, Winter and Spring terms there are three rehearsal sessions per week to choose from (SW, NE and SE). The same music will be covered in each session. You simply choose the day of the week that works best for you and commit to that time every week. Make up sessions can be taken anywhere. At the end of the term all singers from all locations perform together so you can experience the big sound already before the Singing Party or performance.
The sessions are from 7-9 pm, at:
- Cedarwood Waldorf School (music room), 3030 SW 2nd Avenue, PDX 97201 – Mondays
- The Little Church, 5138 NE 23rd Ave, PDX 97211 – Tuesdays
- Bothmer Hall, 5915 SE Division St. PDX 97206 – Thursdays
The Monday and Thursday rehearsal venues are wheelchair accessible.
Attending one rehearsal per week is enough to get you ready for public singing, performances and singing parties.
Summer schedule varies – see the events page.
What will the sessions look (sound) like?
Doors will open 20 minutes before the start of the session. There is time for you to settle in and socialize. We’ll start promptly with tuning in and warming up and we’ll sing a wide variety of songs from all around the world each week. The weekly rehearsal time is for your singing pleasure alone. All admin is taken care off on-line.
What if I miss a session?
You may make up a missed session at another time of the week. You may come to another day that week, or “double dip” the following week. All locations sing the same music, so it is easy to give yourself make up sessions. Heck, you may even come extra if you feel better prepared that way for an upcoming performance. We ain’t gonna stop you from singing…
What are the various levels of membership?
There are different levels of membership. You can sign up for the term (fall, winter, spring, or summer), which gives you access to unlimited rehearsals during that term.
There are additional discounts for signing up for 12 months. You will be given those options at the registration page.
If you’re not ready to commit to singing every week, the drop-in card may be the better solution for you. The card allows you to be a member without having to commit to weekly rehearsals. It’s a great way to participate if you know you’ll be absent during part of that term, or if you want to come every now and then just for the joy of singing, and don’t care about getting ready for a performance. The card allows you to enjoy 12 sessions spread out over a year, so you can come whenever your busy schedule allows, and you don’t have to feel obligated to attend each week.
How does the drop-in card work?
With the drop-in card you purchase 12 sessions at once and you can attend as your schedule allows. Should you decide after a few weeks that you want term membership after all, you can use the unused portion of your drop-in card towards your term or annual membership. Your drop-in card expires a year after purchase. It is a virtual card. You won’t receive a physical drop-in card. We keep track of attendance, and once every 2 months or so you get an e-mail updating you on how many sessions you have left on your card, and when your card expires.
How much does it cost?
- We have a sliding scale from $75-$225 to accommodate your budget. $175 is recommended for a 10 week session.
- Drop-in card (DC) costs $240 for 12 sessions.
- You get a better deal if you sign up for a 12 month period.
- Annual membership includes the summer term.
- Sing Portland! offers a limited number of work/trade options.
What else does choir membership offer?
- Rehearsals in a beautiful space and welcoming environment to explore your voice.
- Support from a warm and welcoming group of singers.
- Chance to make new friends.
- Opportunities to sing in public
- Singing for a better world – benefit concerts for non-profits
- Membership in Sing Portland! also includes movie nights, karaoke nights, talent shows, and visiting guest teachers.
- Movie Nights! Once a year we’ll watch a movie which has something to do with singing or music in general. Or we’ll sing along with a musical. It’s a free event for Sing Portland! singers and their guests. It’s a fun opportunity to socialize.
- Karaoke Nights: Another bonus of being part of Sing Portland! Once a year we rent a suite at a Karaoke place. All members of Sing Portland! are welcome to try out their solo aspirations. The suite is for Sing Portland! singers and their guests only, so you’ll be surrounded by supportive friends, people who cheer you on.
What's the SP! refund policy?
Not happy with Sing Portland? Let us know in writing and you will get a refund of the unused portion of the term minus a $50 cancellation fee. No refunds are given after a month after the first rehearsal of the term. There are no refunds for virtual punch cards, yet those are transferable so you may give unused sessions to a friend. All cancellations and refund requests must be made in writing.
What if I still have questions?