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Building Communities One Song At a Time

“Choir! Choir! Choir! is as much about community as it is about music. In some ways even more so,” explained Nobu Adilman, one half of Toronto’s interactive chorus group.

Adilman, along with Daveed Goldman, formed Choir! Choir! Choir! out of happenstance in Toronto. The two were invited by their friend Amanda to put together a choir to sing at a birthday party for one of their friends. It’s been eight years since their first event, a drop-in singing event that they hosted at Clinton’s Tavern.

They now have put the Tavern on the map. They host two nights a week when they do not have other obligations – like touring and performing at other venues. The sessions cost a mere $5 and as described by their website: “You show up, get a lyric sheet, and become a part of Choir! Choir! Choir! You will join a group of highs, mids, or lows, and by the end of the night, master three-part harmonies for a pop song, folk song, rock song, or even theme song.

Choir! Choir! Choir! has become somewhat of a viral sensation since their inception. They have payed tribute to Prince at Massey Hall, sang Hallelujah with Rufus Wainwright and performed Never Gonna Give You Up with Rick Astley. Adilman’s favourite so far has been when they “did Thirteen by Big Star and Jody Stephens (the only surviving member) at The Great Hall. That was a special moment.”

Adilman suggests that one of the reasons why Choir! Choir! Choir! has become so popular is that people are “always struck by how quickly we can turn people who don’t know each other in a room into a really good sounding choir – sometimes even great and amazing.

With Goldman and Adilman as the conductors in the performance, they aim to connect people, and urge people to let go, to buy in, in hopes that they feel more connected to themselves and the community surrounding them.

“Watching these relationships grow has been a beautiful part of this journey. We get to see people really open up and that’s a really special perspective to have, because in our day-to-day lives, we can all be kind of closed off,” said Adilman.

“That first night we knew we had something special, but we weren’t really sure what it was. It was very innocent and we had no strategy for what we were trying to do. It was pretty humble. We were just trying to get friends together and sing in a room and it kept on growing despite ourselves.”

Choir! Choir! Choir! perform at the Robertson Theatre at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre on February 1

Written by Chris Illich

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