Community choir welcomes ambitious voices on and off campus
On Sept. 8 and Sept. 12, U of O students will be flexing their vocal cords at auditions for the university’s choir.
The University of Ottawa choir is composed of students, staff, and outside community members of all ages. “The (U of O) choir is actually a community choir, but we’re affiliated with the University of Ottawa’s school of music,” explained France Beauregard, president of the choir and long-time choral member.
However, despite the differences in age and experience, interested students need not worry about feeling left out because they are not as practiced as some of the older members might be.
Beauregard explained that, “because we are a community choir, but also have students, we have a whole range of different experiences (and) people in the choir. From young students, (who) are 18 and 19 years old to us retired people—so, it’s a really great group because of all (of our) diversity.”
Indeed, it is really the diversity of ages that makes the group stand out. While there are other music-related clubs on campus that pertain to the department or sharing music, the choir is unique because it is open to everyone who wants to sing.
“It’s an amazing experience. We are fortunate to be able to make music together. Singing in a choir is really wonderful because you’re part of a group and you work towards making beautiful music together,” Beauregard said.
This coming year, students who join the choir will be asked to meet on Wednesdays, starting on Sept. 12, from 7 p.m. to 9:45 p.m., and will be asked to attend a few Saturday morning rehearsals.
When asked what her best memory has been, in her near-20 years with the choir, Beauregard responded that, not only did she meet her future husband there, but that “last year, we put on a … very popular piece (“Carmina Burana” by Carl Orff), very rhythmical, very well-known and it attracted a lot of people. So, we knew that it would be popular (and that) we had to put on a really really great show,” she said. …
“To see (they way) the audience react(s) is really great. I can’t put it any other way.”
Contrarily, her worst memory over the years took place a few years prior. “One year, we just didn’t manage to sell enough tickets and there weren’t many people in the church where we gave our concert,” she recalled. “But usually that doesn’t happen, and we manage to attract some wonderful audiences.”
Overall, Beauregard spoke very highly of the program and welcomed students, and other community members, to get involved.
“I think every musician knows this feeling—but, singing, because it’s very personal, it’s quite a challenge—but, it’s a wonderful challenge.”
For students interested in the choir, the last auditions will be held on Sept. 12. Hopeful students should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and to setup an audition.