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photo of Raffi with the Gettin' Higher Choir

Choir alto Kim Willoughby and guest artist Raffi perform with the Gettin’ Higher Choir in a 2004 concert. (photo by Andrew Kielbowicz)

the Power of Group Singing

“Performing in concert and hearing the Gettin’ Higher Choir up close, I was moved by the power of human voices to uplift the spirit. I’m sure that every town and city would benefit from the gifts of such a vibrant community choir.”

— Raffi, international entertainer, song-writer & author

Traditional cultures have always known that group singing has a power unlike any other to bind people together. There is an ancient African concept, ubuntu, which speaks of our interconnectedness and interdependence. It means “I am because we are.” What defines us as individuals is achieved through our relationship with others. Nowhere is this more evident than in a choir — a great place to learn and practice ubuntu spirit.

In today’s North American society, music has become largely commercially oriented toward performance by the few for the many. The deeper promise of music for all has been forgotten. Many people who loved singing as children haven’t sung since. Others were designated “non-singers” by thoughtless adults, and have carried this musical wounding all their lives. We believe singing is everybody’s birthright, and holds a key for the healing of the world.

For leaders who want to bring together communities of singers both confident and new, those who were wounded and those who haven’t yet found a home for their singing, the Community Choir Leadership Training Program will provide the tools for creating and maintaining a thriving vocal community.

While community choirs like this have become quite common in the UK, they are still relatively new to North America. People here are yearning to sing together — what’s missing is the leadership. There is a tremendously satisfying occupation awaiting musicians who feel the call to engage in this joyful and powerful endeavor.