What is a “virtual choir”?
A virtual choir is a video made from many individual videos and mixed together to sound–and look–like one big choir. Here’s an example of what a “virtual choir” video looks like, albeit much smaller than what we’ll be doing.
Why are we doing a Virtual Choir?
Until we can meet again in person, this is a way we can create music together and stay connected. We’ll have regularly scheduled online rehearsals, and finish our season with a video of us all singing the same song in harmony.
When does this take place?
Rehearsals will start the week of July 27 and conclude at the end of the week of August 17. During this 4-week time period, there will be an online rehearsal one night per week. For example, the default group to join (Tony Lechner’s group) meets on Tuesday nights from 7:00-8:30pm, but that doesn’t mean you need to watch that night. After the rehearsal is over, it will be posted to the choir’s Facebook page where members can watch later, as many times as they like. This kind of flexibility can accommodate anyone’s schedule and makes it easy to participate.
Can anyone join Rock Voices’ Virtual Choir?
Yes! Whether you have sung with Rock Voices before or not, you can join us. And Rock Voices is a no-audition choir, so you can just sing with us, no pressure at all.
How many virtual choir mini-sessions are there?
Our first one was in May, and we ran another in June/July. Each mini-session focuses upon one song for the four weeks of rehearsals. Our first song was Lean On Me; the second song was Shed a Little Light by James Taylor.
I’m already a member of Rock Voices. Can I still learn from my usual choir director?
In most cases, yes. And if your specific choir isn’t holding these virtual rehearsals, you will be able to sign up and participate with our founding director, Tony Lechner. Just like our regular rehearsals, all choirs will be working on the same song.
What will this cost?
We realize that the current economic climate is tough on everyone, and we want to make sure this amazing, fun, rewarding experience is available to everyone, regardless of your personal situation. So we’re offering a sliding scale from $20-$60 as the cost to participate in the mini-session. It can be paid all at once or in weekly installments. This fee is greatly reduced compared to our regular (in-person) seasons because we don’t want money to stand in the way of anyone enjoying Rock Voices. Of course, if you’re able and would like to pay more, we’ll gratefully accept donations above what we’re asking!
All incoming tuition is used to pay the directors, print sheet music, and cover the costs of professional audio/video editing, as well as Rock Voices’ operating costs.
Is financial aid available?
For anyone who would have a hardship paying even the lower end of the sliding scale, click here to request a scholarship.
How will this work?
You’ll enroll in one of the mini-sessions (details below) and choose a payment plan. You have to do both of these steps, and then an email confirmation will be sent to you, along with information on how to access the virtual rehearsals in a private Facebook group, and how to download customized recordings for your voice part (soprano, alto, tenor, or bass).
All our sessions start at 7PM local time, but the sessions will be archived so that even if you can’t join us “live”, you can play the rehearsal any time you want to. For four sessions, you’ll learn with one of Rock Voices’ established directors. You’ll observe them directing the song, and you’ll sing your part at the same time that everyone else is singing their part – in your respective homes, so you won’t be able to hear or see each other at rehearsals. Some directors will also do “sectional” rehearsals, which are an optional portion of a rehearsal focused on specific voice parts.
After a couple of rehearsals, you’ll be given instructions on how to record yourself on video, singing your part of the song’s harmonies. When you are done, you’ll upload that video using a simple link we send you, and that’s it!
Will there be sheet music?
Yes! Since we can’t email music digitally, we’ll distribute copies of the sheet music to everyone who wants it. This will involve volunteers from the different choir locations bringing stacks of music to central spots where members can pick up a copy with minimum contact. Once you enroll in the season you’ll receive an email with details for where and when to pick up your copy.
Great! How do I get started?
Simply go to our enrollment site, rockvoices.pike13.com – we are using that site so we can keep track of members, and send you a weekly email about the upcoming rehearsal. If you’re already a member of Rock Voices, this site is familiar to you; it’s the one we’ve been using for the last four seasons. If you’re new to this experience, you’ll need to sign up first, creating a new login and password. Then, choose a choir to “join”. Typically you’d pick a choir near you, but for this virtual arrangement, you can sing with any choir you want.