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About

SING THE NORTH is a virtual choir, based on Vancouver Island off the West Coast of Canada. We welcome singers to join us, wherever they may live across our land, or around the world.

Based squarely in the choral tradition, but with the desire to encourage choral singers to sing across stylistic and cultural boundaries, our concerts projects range from standard classical choral works, to collaborations with popular artists, to the creation of entirely new works some of Canada’s most exciting contemporary composers.

Our diverse line-up of artists, ensembles, and composers will offer you the chance to sing in your favourite musical style, whether it be classical, indigenous, folk, or country.

As a member of our choir, your voice matters. Your participation builds friendships, helps to alleviate feelings of isolation, and perpetuates the choral culture in Canada and around the world during the global pandemic.

Raise your voice and harmonise with SING THE NORTH. We look forward to welcoming you to the choir!

SING THE NORTH runs a series of individual concerts that we call Projects. Each Project focuses on a single piece that is associated with a different geographical region or cultural tradition in Canada.

To join the choir, simply click to register for any Projects through this website. Fill in your details, go through the check-out process, and check your email for our Welcome Message.
 

The Welcome Message contains your STN Password, which you will need when you first access your STN Account through this website.

Once you have logged in, you will see all the Project Material that you will need to sing with us waiting for you in your account.

A Project is like a choir mini-concert – a time during which a group of singers comes together to learn and perform a particular piece of music.

Most Projects last 4-6 weeks, depending on the length of the piece we are performing.

Some of our projects will showcase a single piece of choral music, while others will take the form of a collaboration with our featured Guest Artist, who may be a solo artist, band, or ensemble.
 
Each project features warm-ups, rehearsals, and some vocal technique instruction to help you sing more comfortably and freely. It also includes information sessions, such as a workshops, talk, or Q and A session related to the piece we are singing.
 
When you register, we provide you with a suite of project materials, including a timetable, your musical score, your Zoom link, sample recordings, and backing tracks to help you learn your music.
 
We also hold preliminary technical support sessions before each project starts to help you get ready to make music online.
 
Singers on an STN Project have the option to submit their own video or audio file to be included in our final concert video. There is no obligation to record yourself; you are just as welcome if you attend the rehearsals and participate in our final performance by singing along to the final concert video live from your home.
 
Unique to SING THE NORTH, each project also features a Virtual Choir Field Trip on board the STN Tour Bus to different location somewhere in Canada that is associated with the piece we are singing.
 
All our projects conclude with the live global concert premiere of a new virtual choir video. This takes place on the SING THE NORTH YouTube Channel, with all the singers on the project watching live with the friends and family around the world.
 
Each concert is followed by our STN Cast Party on the project Zoom link. These are wonderful gatherings where we get to see each other again, talk about the video, and share our common experience of taking part in the project.
 
The final video remains on the STN Channel for you and your friends and family to enjoy for years to come.

Thanks for asking! We love our virtual STN Choir Tour Bus and the very special places it takes us across Canada. Unique to SING THE NORTH, the STN Virtual Choir Field Trip is a hugely important part of what we do as a choir.

STN Virtual Choir Field Trips are social gatherings designed to replicate that very important part of choir life: getting together with our fellow singers outside our rehearsal times and doing something fun and interesting together as a choir.

During the coronavirus pandemic, when our opportunities for travel and meeting new people are so severely limited, the STN Virtual Choir Field trips help us to escape the four walls of our own studies and bedrooms. These trips carry us off, in the company of the rest of our choir, into the vast, healing lands that Canadians call home.

Each Virtual Choir Field trip is unique. It features virtual travel to a scientific, cultural, geographical, or historic site somewhere in Canada that is associated with the piece we are singing.

So far, STN has visited the Churchill Northern Studies Centre where the polar bears gather on the banks of Hudson Bay. We have had an intimate live tour of the Artists Collective where the fabled Cape Dorset Inuit artists make their priceless prints and sculptures in the Arctic. We have gone virtual whale watching with Captain Keith of West Coast Whale Safaris in Tofino on Vancouver Island, and we have been taken under the surface of the mighty St Lawrence River by Dr Brian Hickey of the River Institute to learn about the strange and wonderful creatures who live there.

At a time when so many of us are restricted to our homes and immediate communities, the STN Virtual Choir Field Trips deepen our feelings of belonging, break the monotony of lockdowns by getting us out of our bedrooms and into the virtual open air. They introduce us to new people and places we never thought we would visit.

Where will you go on the STN Virtual Choir Tour bus? Join our next concert project, take your seat of the STN Choir Tour Bus, and come along.

To celebrate the thousands of community choirs and vocal groups that making singing happen, SING THE NORTH invites collaboration from choirs across Canada and around the world who would like to become STN Feature Choirs.

An STN Feature Choir is an ensemble that partners with STN for one of our concert projects.

STN Feature Choirs receive a significant discount on our project fee for their members, feature prominently in our final virtual choir video, and are offered a special page promoting their choir on the international platform of our website.

Any ensemble is welcome to apply to be an STN Feature choir. There is no fee to participate. We ask only that you actively promote our project to your choir members and encourage as many of them as possible to join us.

If you would like to champion your ensemble, to encourage your singers to raise their voices again when in-person music-making is impossible in your area, or simply to make friends with other singers across our land and around the world, we hope you will apply.

Futher information about how to apply can be found on the STN Feature Choir page. We look forward to receiving your application!

SING THE NORTH meets on Zoom – the very special conferencing platform that is making it possible for us to engage in the pleasure of face-to-face music making with people all around the world.

Zoom is an absolutely wonderful platform for music-making. It allows us to see each other’s faces, to speak directly to each other in two directions in real time. Instructors can play a keyboard live for our choristers, or play musical backing tracks that can be conducted in real time.

Singers who want to check notes and ask questions can simply switch on their mic and sing or speak live to receive immediate feedback from the instructors or from other choristers. 
 
Zoom also has a chat function that allows choristers to text one another, comment on the rehearsal, and ask questions of our instructors without switching on the mics during our rehearsals.
 
Those who are shy can attend a Zoom session with their speakers on but their cameras off. This “fly-on-the-wall” choir attendance is also great for those with slower internet connections – or those who want to go to choir but stay in their pyjamas! However you want to attend our rehearsals, Zoom can accommodate you. 

How does it all work?

Yes! You are very welcome in STN, whether you attend live or not.

All our sessions are recorded and posted to a shared folder within 24 hours. These files are there for you to view as many times as you like.

We love it when people are able to attend live, since this is a great way for us to get to know you. Many people have already made lasting friendships with people they meet in our Zoom rehearsal rooms, whether in Canada or around the world.

But we know that our timetable will not suit everyone. On every one of our project, a significant proportion of the singers attend only by watching our rehearsal videos.

Others will join us live sometimes when their schedule permits, and will watch the videos for the other parts.

The important thing for you to know is that you are welcome, whether you attend live, via our rehearsal videos, or some combination of the two.

Zoom works by bringing singers together using many different internet connections. Each singer will have a different internet connection, and some of these connections will be fast, while others are slow.

Because the sound travels according to the speed of these different internet connections, alas, there is at present no way for all voices to line up and sing in perfect syncrony in a Zoom meeting.

For this reason, we ask our singers to leave their microphones off during the choral singing part of our Zoom full choir rehearsals and sectionals. The conductor will play a keyboard, or a full choral backing track and conduct this live. You will hear this music through your speakers or your headphones, and you will sing along, your mic switched off, at home.

While this may seem strange at first for some singers, many of our choristers report that it feels very liberating. No one can hear you while you are working out how your part is supposed to sound. Your mistakes are your own! And you can sing as loudly and freely as you like!

Some of our singers with noise-sensitive neighbours really appreciate the fact that they can sing lightly in live rehearsals, but then listen to the rehearsal video as many times as they like to be sure that they have the trickier passages. A great advantage of virtual choirs over “same-room” choirs, where once the rehearsal is over, you can’t access it again.

In every rehearsal, we break regularly to speak directly with the choir, when you can switch on your mic and ask questions. It’s also possible to switch on your mic and sing a tricky line for us on your own to see if you’ve got it right.

Zoom has a chat function as well that you can use to send questions to the conductor, or to other choristers, at any time during our sessions.

We always look forward to receiving the video and audio files from choristers at the end of the project. This is when we get to hear you at last! With the help of our videographers and audiographers, all the other singers – and your friends and family – get the chance to hear your voice in our final choir video.

This video will be posted on the SING THE NORTH YouTube Channel, where it will live for many years to come.

Yes. All our sessions are recorded, whether they are rehearsals, welcome or technical sessions, or our Virtual Choir Field Trip.

These recordings appear in our rehearsal video archive within 24 hours of the live session time.

The videos remain available to you in your STN Account for one year from the date of posting.

Yes, you are very welcome!  You are an important part of the choir, whether you submit a video or not.

Yes. You are welcome to submit an audio file only instead of a video file. All audio files received will feature on the soundtrack of our virtual choir video.

Yes, of course. Singing online is a new undertaking for everyone. We want you to be as comfortable with us as possible. For this reason, we offer the following with every project:

– live technical support sessions before the project starts to help you get used to Zoom

– live technical support sessions to answer questions about making your audio and video recordings

– a live technical support person in our rehearsal sessions to help you if you have problems connecting (that person’s email and phone number are circulated in advance in case you have trouble connecting)

– a written Technical Guide as part of your Project Materials that explains how to use Zoom, how to get connected, and how to make your video using different types of equipment.

– links to how-to videos on YouTube that can give you further guidance on how set yourself up and make your videos.

You are also always welcome to write to Kathryn Whitney or our tech support people to ask them any technical questions outside of our rehearsal times.

Yes! We use all files that conform to the submission guidelines outlined in the “How to Make Your Video” section of the Project Pack.

Technical Support

If you need further assistance please get in touch.

Your Welcome Email will normally arrive between one and two hours after your register for one of our Projects.

Because we use a professional email client (Mailchimp) to sent automated emails after purchase, some email accounts will think we are spam and will send our welcome email straight to your spam or junkmail folder.

If you registered but have not heard from us, please check your junkmail folder for our email.

Sometimes our correspondence also goes to a folder called “All Mail” (especially a problem for Gmail users).
 
You can perform a search in your email for “SING THE NORTH” or “Welcome” and this will usually winkle out our email from wherever it has been hidden. In some accounts, you have to go into the junkmail or All Mail folder and perform the search there.
 
To avoid losing our mail in the first place, you can add the emails “kathryn@singthenorth.ca” and “welcome@singthenorth.ca” to your email address book or contacts list before you register. This should stop your email from rejecting the mail before it arrives.
 
If you have completed these searches and you still have not received an email from us – we apologise! Please write to us via the Contact page on this site and we will reissue the email.

Please check your email for our Welcome Email. This contains the password you need to access your STN Account.

Your Project Pack is accessed through your STN Account. To access your STN Account, please click on the Log In symbol on the top menu of at singthenorth.ca.

Please ZIP your file before uploading it. To find out whether you have an app on your device that can ZIP files, please type “ZIP” into your device’s search window. If there is no app already installed, please go to the App store for your device and download one.

If the file is still too large, please change the recording settings on your device so that you are recording in SD rather than HD.

We hear you! Help is at hand with SING THE NORTH.

Singing online is a new experience for everyone and it is not uncommon to feel a bit overwhelmed at the thought of sitting in front of something as mysterious as a computer and trying to make music. 

We offer Technical Prep Sessions for every one of our STN concert projects. These are special leisurely tech sessions, given by a real human who meets you on our Zoom meeting link to take you through all the information you need to make music online.
 

These Technical Prep Sessions normally take place in the week before the concert project begins. They are listed on the timetable that you will receive after registration. 

Technical prep sessions are also video recorded so you can watch them at your leisure – over and over if it helps – to make you comfortable singing with us online.

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