ABOUT OUR CHOIR
The Summerside Community Choir is an unauditioned, mixed-voice (SATB), community choir that rehearses weekly (Tuesday evenings) in Trinity United Church from September to December and from January to June. We perform at least one end-of-term concert each season, and host additional concerts and events throughout the year.
We perform a large and challenging repertoire each term which includes both traditional and contemporary music, and of course, a healthy dose of Canadian works! For our celebratory PEI 2014 "Together in Song" Concert Tour, our entire program consisted of music that was composed, arranged or inspired by Canadians.
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JOINING THE CHOIR
We welcome new members for the first three weeks of rehearsals at the beginning of each term in September and January. There is no formal audition process for new members. Those who wish to join as a new singer can simply show up to the first rehearsal, at which point music will be distributed to all singers and you will choose your voice part (Soprano, 2nd Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone, Bass). You are welcome to contact us ahead of time with questions, and we encourage a note just to let us know you might be coming so you'll get all the same pre-term prep info and notifications as our registered members, but it's not required.
All new members will be automatically accepted on a trial basis for a probationary period of approximately one month. This is to ensure that you and the choir are a good fit for each other. You will not be required to formally audition, but our Director may choose to meet with you privately to discuss your fit with the choir, or within your vocal section. This may include listening to your voice privately.
We welcome dedicated, enthusiastic singers of all experience levels to start at the beginning of a new term. Although we are an unauditioned choir, it should be noted that our choral arrangements are challenging and will require personal practice outside of rehearsals to learn notes, as well as the ability to carry a tune, sing in harmony and blend with the group. We also have a strict attendance policy, so commitment to weekly rehearsals and keeping up with any assigned "homework" is important. All choir members will receive a copy of our full policies and member responsibilities at the beginning of each term.
Previous choral experience is an asset, and is expected, but not absolutely required. It is assumed (but again, not required) that you know your voice type and which vocal section you wish to join.
If you have never sung choir pieces in four-part (SATB) harmony before, we do recommend that you show up early before practice or contact our Director ahead of time so that you can be placed in a vocal section. More information about choosing a vocal part can be found in articles such as: What’s My Voice Type? and What Is My Voice Type?
If you have any questions about joining the choir, please feel free to contact us. We encourage you to make your interest known before the choir term starts, if for no other reason than to make sure you get the invitation to Betty's Corn Boil at the end of August before rehearsals have started! ;)
PRACTICAL REHEARSAL INFO
Rehearsals are held weekly, Tuesday nights from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Trinity United Church at 90 Spring Street in Summerside. These rehearsals, as well as any change to our normal schedule, can be viewed on our calendar page or by subscribing to the Summerside Choir's Google Calendar.
The door is usually unlocked by 6:30 p.m. and there is ample parking in the church parking lot. Most rehearsals, especially early in the term, are held in the basement. Please show up early enough that you are in your seat and ready to start warm-ups at 7:00 p.m. sharp!
In the case of snow or rain, we ask that you leave your wet shoes/boots upstairs at the main entrance and bring slippers or indoor shoes for rehearsals.
Please bring a pencil and eraser for making (temporary) notes on your music but NO pens or highlighters! Please also bring a binder or sturdy folder to protect the music you'll receive. Feel free to bring a water bottle, to keep you hydrated.
BURSURY FOR PEI HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
The Summerside Community Choir is a registered organization participating in the Community Service Bursary Program. Grade 11 and 12 students may count up to 100 hours singing with the choir (at a rate of $5/hour) towards a post-secondary bursary.
In January 1978, William Leuty approached Czeslaw Gladyszewski, the Director of the PEI Symphony and Music Director of the Societe St. Thomas-d’Aquin (1978-1983) with the idea of forming a choir in the Summerside area. Gladyszewski (remembered as a dynamic, even flamboyant personality) laid a bet that Leuty could not muster adequate members to form a choir. If he could, the conductor would agree to conduct the choir for free. The rest, as they say, is over 35 years of choral history.
Gladyszewski was first succeeded by Robert Wilkie (1983-1984) and then by Elswyth Fryer (1984-1986) both of whom moved on to professional work in other provinces. They were succeeded by Barbara Hagerman (1986-2002) who retired to pursue other musical interests. From January 2002 until December 2009, Christine Anderson-Gallant served as the choir's fifth director and was followed by Mark Ramsay who directed from January 2010 until our 35th anniversary concert in June 2013. Our current director, appointed in the summer of 2013, is Dr. Margot Rejskind.
The choir’s first pianist was Carol MacDougald, who worked under three of the conductors. Others pianists have been Monique Brisson, Kathleen West, Marcia Clark and Jennifer MacDonald. Our current pianist is (once again!) Tanya Bernard.