Ages, gender, race, creed and capabilities blend as young people stand shoulder to shoulder singing with the SingYourJoy chorus.
A no-cost, non-audition community chorus for young adults aged 16 to 29, “it’s bringing a real eclectic mix of people together,” said Christine Chepyha.
Under the direction of Chepyha and Gordon Miller, the 55-member, four-year-old SingYourJoy is an open community of people from all walks of life. “The chorus tends to cross-pollinate a whole range of people,” Miller said.
The diverse group includes, for example, those with hearing and mobility challenges; gender and sexual identification aren’t even a part of the conversation.
“We don’t even have to talk about it. These are not issues in the chorus because they shouldn’t be,” Miller said.
The group incorporates their sense of community with a trip to Our Place once in each six-week season. “It’s awareness for them of what the family at Our Place looks like,” Miller said. “It breaks down those barriers … and they’re there to help. We believe we’re building social capital.”
While building friendships and community, the singers also develop a skill-set they share with the public once each season. “They’re coming together and learning about being in community together,” Miller added. “The concert is one goal, it’s perhaps not the primary goal.”
“Yet it’s not secondary,” added Chepyha.
SingYourJoy offers Time Warp, featuring a few of their favourites and the titular song, April 10 and 11. “Our repertoire is eclectic and wide-ranging,” Chepyah said.
Lorde and Lady Gaga are on tap along with inspiring choral arrangements. “We’ve experienced some incredible growth in these four years,” Chepyha said.
Time Warp starts at 7 p.m. April 10 and 11 at Oak Bay United Church, 1355 Mitchell St. Tickets are $10 to $15. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit singyourjoy.ca or call 250-213-1948 or 250-882-5668 for details.