Frequently Asked Questions
HOW DOES ON-LINE SINGING WORK?
Sing Portland is offering a wide variety of singing opportunities. From classes that just let you sing your heart out for an hour, to lessons in vocal freedom and fearlessness, to vocal improv, to singing popular songs you already know and love.
On-line singing has lots of advantages: participants sing in their own home or office, muted. No one needs to find out whether you sing with a modest or fearless voice, which gives you lots of opportunities to be very playful on zoom as you sing along with the leader or practice tracks. You can harmonize with what you hear, or even make up another part. In every class we encourage you to take advantage of that freedom and will give you some ideas on how to do that. And then there are all the other advantages: no need to leave home, no carbon foot print, your house mates can join in for free… and you don’t even need to live in Portland, OR to join! We offer morning afternoon and evening sessions, so whatever time zone you’re in – there are songs to be sung in your waking hours.
Community is as important as Singing. For fall of 2020 we have kept all our zoom gatherings small (12 – 25 participants). You will be in the same group for 10 weeks. We will give you plenty of opportunities to hear each other in the larger group and in smaller break out sessions. You’ll hear the harmonies via practice tracks and audio recordings. And with the ACappella app you can truly sing with your classmates.
We sometimes hear “you don’t want me in your choir” or “I only sing in the shower or car”. Those excuses are out the window with zoom. What else could possibly keep you from joining Sing Portland!?
How do I join?
Please fill out the contact form, and someone will reach out to you within two working days. Then you will be invited to create a profile with Chorus Connection for internal communications, practice tracks, lyric sheets, bulletin board, singers’ profiles and payment of your dues.
Do you hold auditions?
Never. If you can talk you can sing. In our humble opinion everbody SHOULD sing!
Which class is the right fit for me?
- Sing your Heart Out is a relaxed and joyful way of singing. The songs are not that hard to learn, and all are taught by ear. The lyrics are meaningful and uplifting. You will leave the class with a smile on your face and you’ll find yourself singing the songs in between classes. We are focused on bringing you an hour of pure singing joy. Every single week. Perfection is overrated. We want every zoom sing to fill you with joy and song. We use practice tracks so that you experience the harmonies in each class. We also share songs via the acappella app, so you can truly sing with your classmates. This class is offered on Tuesdays at 10am, Wednesdays 12 noon and Wednesdays at 7pm (pick one) PDT. Register here.
- Vocal Freedom and Fearlessness is a class focused on liberating your voice. Whether you want to get more confidence in using your voice, expand your range or explore less charted territories, this is the perfect class for you. We will use the Five Element framework from Barbara McAfee to explore and play with your voice. It’s a class with a lot of personal attention, and a lot of fun. Humor is such a great way to discover the unknown and mysterious corners of your voice. And eventually you will fine tune and expand your vocal palette. This class is great for honing your singing or public speaking skills. This class is offered on Tuesdays at 12 noon PDT. Register here.
- Pop PDX is a class where you get to sing the songs you already know and love. Dan Cooper leads this class and he is a master teacher of the popular repertoire. You will learn all songs by ear (i.e. no sheet music), in 3 part harmony. You’ll learn a new song every week and will have a blast. The class includes practice tracks and songs will also be shared via the ACappella app so that you can truly sing with your classmates. Loads of fun with your favorite songs from the 70s, 80s 90s and 21st century. Fridays at 12 noon PDT. Register here.
- Vocal Play & Improvisation What better playing ground for being in community than improvisation? How you do one thing is how you do everything, right? You may discover a thing or two about how you navigate unexpected situations. Useful survival skill to have these days! You will find music coming out of your mouth that you didn’t even know lived inside of you. All you gotta do is toss any judgment and have fun with it!!! This is an hour packed with vocal play. We will explore themes like following and leading, form and freedom, getting attached to ideas and letting go, surrendering, being generous. All through making shit up. In the moment. Vocal Improv is such a beautiful reminder how easy it is to create beauty with strangers. In minutes. Vocal improv teaches you knowing when to take charge and when to support someone else’s lead. Class size is limited to 12 participants so you will get a lot of individual attention, and we all have lots of opportunities to sing in duets and trios (yes that can be done on zoom!) Thursdays at 7pm PDT. Register here.
- Black Voices Matter. Black Voices Matter is a pledge that Sing Portland signed in July of 2020 to show our support as a choir to our black and brown brothers and sisters. Since the pandemic and the murder of George Floyd we were clear we wanted to sing forward in a new, more conscious way, to show our support to black, brown and indigenous (BBI) people. We as a choir of mostly white privileged singers have lots of work to do! Dismantling white supremacy is a very personal journey requiring a lot of soul searching. Black Voices Matter is a free weekly gathering (not a class!) to sing BBI music and to take action to dismantle white supremacy. It’s a 60 minute zoom session that starts with singing a BBI song, committing to anti-racist work and spending the rest of the hour doing exactly that. The zoom room stays open for the hour. We gather in the end to debrief, hold each other accountable and close with another BBI song. There will be plenty of suggestions for anti-racist work for you to choose from if you need ideas. And your work will most likely not be limited to the weekly hour. But you’ll be cheered on and supported by other singers. This gathering takes place every Tuesday at 10am PDT. This is a free event. Register here.
Can I come and try out a class before I sign up?
Absolutely. Demo classes are held before the 10 week term starts.
What are we going to sing?
Sing Portland! sings a wide variety of songs that are not all that hard to learn. All songs are taught via call and response, by ear. We’ve sung songs about nature, songs with African American roots, world music, indie folk music, a few jazz and pop tunes. You get the idea – any genre, culture, time period is fair game. What all the songs have in common is that they are so beautiful or fun, they just have to be sung. The music will lift your spirit, bring a smile on your face and put a song in your heart.
Pop PDX sings contemporary, popular songs. Song you already know and love. Some examples of what we’ve sung so far: Can’t stop the feeling by Justin Timberlake, Goodnight my angel by Billy Joel, Happy by Pharrell Williams, Sweet dreams by the Eurythmics, The Rose by Betty Midler, Twenty Something by Jamie Cullum, Crazy little thing called love by Queen, Mama Mia by Abba, True Colors by Cindi Lauper.
It’s up to you what we’re singing in Vocal Improv, cause it’s all made up in the moment. You’ve never heard it before, and it will mostly likely never sound again : ) It’s magical!
On our YouTube channel you get a good taste of the variety of music we bring.
What’s the expected commitment?
- There are no attendance requirements to be part of the showcase at the end of the term, but obviously the more you attend, the more fun you’ll have.
- Each class comes with practice tracks and an opportunity to collaborate on the acappella app. Those are for your enjoyment, not a requirement. Have fun playing with those.
What will the classes look like?
All classes are focused on the joy of singing. Every moment. We value the singing more than perfection or performance. Those last two are way overrated.
During the pandemic all classes are 60 minutes and offered via zoom.
When we sing in person – all rehearsals are 2 hours with a break in the middle, and held in beautiful, light filled venues. The acoustics are great and all sites are wheelchair accessible.
What if I miss a session?
Sorry we do not offer any make up sessions nor credit towards future terms.
When can I join?
Sing Portland follows the quarter system. We offer 10 week session in the fall (sep-dec), winter (jan-mar) and spring (apr-jun). Summer sessions vary. Enrollment closes by the end of the 2nd week of the term.
May children join the choir?
We have had children age 10 and up join our choirs. They need to be accompanied by an adult.
Are the rehearsal sites wheelchair accessible?
Yes, all rehearsal and performance venues are wheelchair accessible, and have handicap parking close by.
How much does it cost to join Sing Portland?
All classes are one hour and last 10 weeks.
- The Black Voices Matter gathering is free.
- Sing Your Heart Out and Pop PDX are limited to 20 participants and cost $195.
- Vocal Freedom & Fearlessness and Finding the Flow – Vocal Improv Skills for Life are limited to 12 participants and cost $245.
- Annual membership (Sep 1 – Aug 31) is $650 and gives you access to one class of your choice during each of the four terms ($150 – $350 savings).
Can I pay my dues in monthly installments?
Yes, you can spread out the class payment over the first 2 months of the term.
The annual membership dues can be spread out over the first 10 months of the choral year (Sep-Jun).
Can I still use a drop-in card?
The drop in card is no longer for sale. If you still have a drop in card from before the pandemic, unused sessions can be converted into class credit. Please contact Marion before registering so she can update your account before you register.
Your drop in card expires if you haven’t attended any rehearsals or classes for a year.
Do you offer scholarships?
Yes, Sing Portland offers a limited number of work trades (e.g. tech host of zoom sessions, photography, historian, graphic design). Please ask if any positions are open.
And there are a limited number of scholarships available for students and singers experiencing financial hardship. Please submit your request in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
What else does membership offer?
- 35 weeks of singing each year guaranteed
- Classes in a welcoming environment to explore and expand your voice
- Support from a warm and welcoming group of singers
- Chance to make new friends
- Guest teachers every term
- Being part of a choir that signed the Black Voices Matter pledge
- When we sing in person, we guarantee two performances per term
What’s your refund policy?
Classes cancelled before the first class of the term can be refunded minus a $25 admin fee. All cancellations and refund requests need to be submitted in writing. No refunds after the first class.
Your annual membership can be cancelled at any time. You simply stop the monthly payments in Chorus Connection. If you’ve paid the lump sum, you will be refunded the unused portion of the tuition, minus a $50 admin fee. All cancellations need to be requested in writing.
Drop-in cards are non-refundable. They expire if they haven’t been used for a year straight. You can donate your drop in card to a friend.
What if I still have questions?
We always want to know how we can make your singing experience most joyful for you. E-mail is the best way to get a hold of us: email@example.com.