Our choir members come from all age groups and backgrounds. We continue to grow and welcome new members of all orientations and gender identities. For many of us, being a member of Tone Cluster has been a life changing experience. Singing with a strong choir that speaks of our own stories and experiences is very powerful.
“Everyone is just accepting and it makes you feel comfortable”
Members who attended the Gay and Lesbian choir festival, GALA 2016 in Denver often commented on how enriching it was to see queer choirs from all over the US and Canada – and how moving and touching it was to hear these choirs sing about coming out, being in love, or just being silly, campy, and fun! We love to be in Tone Cluster and we invite you to join us as a singing or non-singing member, or most importantly as an audience member!
Sing with Us
If you are thinking of becoming a singing member, we’d love to meet you! There are two parts to our audition process:
- Song: Choose a short song (or an excerpt) from any style. You can choose to sing at the meeting or record it and send it in advance.
- Meeting: You’ll meet with our artistic director to do a few vocal exercises, ask questions and chat about the season. This can be done on Zoom or in-person.
Interested? Contact our Artistic Director to set up an audition: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tone Cluster typically performs three concerts in a season. The choir also hosts a special fundraising event called Show Tune Showdown™. All members are expected to be available for each of these events.
Each season, Tone Cluster participates in community events. We have sung at events hosted by Pink Triangle Services, EGALE, Canadians for Equal Marriage, Bruce House, the United Church, the St. Lawrence Stage, and the Tulip Festival to name a few. The choir generally receives invitations to sing during the course of the season. These opportunities are presented to the choir as they arise.
Rehearsals are on Monday evenings from 7:20 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at a central location in downtown Ottawa. The season consists of between 30 and 36 rehearsals, with an average of ten rehearsals per concert preparation period. Sectional rehearsals are a great opportunity to reinforce musical learning and to socialize with other singers. Each section (soprano, alto, tenor and bass) holds at least three sectional rehearsals per concert preparation period. The sectional is coordinated by the section leader in consultation with the members and usually takes place at a members’ home. The music director and pianist are not present for sectional rehearsals.
Rehearsals are vital, not only for learning the music for the concerts but also for building a high calibre ensemble and keeping our community spirit strong. Members are expected to attend all regular rehearsals and sectionals and to advise their section leader in advance if they will be missing a rehearsal with a valid reason for their absence.
Membership dues are $250 for the ten month season. Membership dues represent a significant portion of the choir’s revenue. They go to pay for things like rehearsal hall rental fees and honoraria for the artistic director and the pianist. We strive to be inclusive so if members are unable to pay their dues for some reason, they should talk to the person who collects the dues or make a note on their registration form. In order to be considered a member in good standing for the purposes of voting at the choir’s Annual General Meeting and attending and participating in any special general meetings, your membership dues (as determined) must be paid in full by the date of the meeting in question.
Throughout the year, Tone Cluster participates in events that count on volunteer support. These include concerts, events in the community and the choir garage sale, among others. While we are fortunate to have some wonderful non-singing volunteers, we also need help from within the choir. Every singer is expected to contribute some volunteer time to the choir during the season. Tone Cluster also relies on fundraising activities in order to expand our repertoire, attend choral festivals, produce recordings and continue to strive for excellence. These may include light-hearted activities such as the garage sale, selling garden bulbs or coffee, and caroling in the Byward Market. They also include Tone Cluster’s flagship fundraiser: the Show Tune Showdown™ event.