JOIN THE NORTHWEST FIRELIGHT CHORALE
Interested in joining The Northwest Firelight Chorale? Are you wondering what we’re all about, or whether or not this is the right choir for you? Read on …
- ♦ Rehearsals are on Wednesdays from 7 to 9:45, at St. John United Lutheran Church on Phinney. (Need directions?)
- ♦ For choir dues, we use a sliding scale based on income. Members who make upwards of $50,000 annually pay $53 a month during the choir season (September-June). Members who make under $50,000 pay $43 a month. Scholarship help is available for those in need, upon approval by the director.
- ♦ Dues are billed on a quarterly basis, and paid online via PayPal.
- ♦ To get started, email Deeji for an audition.
Q&A WITH THE DIRECTOR, DEEJI KILLIAN:
“Who are your members?”
We are a fabulous, spirited, loving group of individuals who enjoy making fantastic, soul-stirring music together. We are currently between the ages of 18 and 74. We are gay, straight, black, white (and various combos), working in a variety of professions and living anywhere from Renton to Bothell to Kirkland to Edmonds and into Seattle proper. We’re all beautiful beings who are passionate about coming together every week to make insanely incredible music!
“Gee, that sounds lovely. What type of singer are you looking for? Do I need to have choral singing experience?”
Our singers come from a wide variety of musical backgrounds; from musical theater and opera, to jazz and folk. Some read music very well and others are experienced choral singers who learn quickly by ear. A total beginning singer with no choral singing experience would likely feel overwhelmed in our choir.
“Hey! This is sounding better and better. What kind of music do y’all sing?”
We sing everything from world music, sacred and secular folk music and spirituals to show choir, musical theater, jazz and classical. In other words, quite the variety. Some music is chosen because it has fantastic rhythms and/or harmonies, some is chosen because it’s so beautiful it makes you want to cry, and some is chosen because when I hear it, I can just see the choralography! I have a theater and dance background and enjoy enhancing our performances with movement when the music just begs for it.
“Fun! Tell me about the performances.”
We have concerts 3 times a year in December, March, and June. In addition to our regular concerts we enjoy doing outreach performances regularly at senior living homes. We have also sung for NW Folklife festival, The Leavenworth Tree Lighting Festival, Seattle Green Festival, Sustainable Ballard, conventions, hospitals, weddings, memorial services, and more! We have been invited to perform for local fundraising organizations where we have to date helped to raise over $100,000 for charity.
“Wonderful! Does the choir ever go on tour?”
Why yes, we do! We have had 3 fantastic concert tours spreading the love in France, Italy, Belgium, Germany, and Ireland. When we tour all ticket revenue from concerts go to support local charities in the communities where we perform.
“What can I expect at an audition?”
We will chat a bit and you can tell me about your singing experience, then I will vocalize you. After that you can sing something of your choosing a cappella. Choose something you have memorized and that you feel you can really express yourself on!
“What can I expect at a rehearsal?”
To have lots of fun and to work hard. I begin each rehearsal with stretching and breathing exercises. And then I give a mini group voice lesson, which is your vocal warmup. I’m a voice teacher, and it is important to me that you all sing with strong, healthy, supported, free voices. We then sometimes do rhythm/movement exercises and always end our warmups with a vocal exercise that moves us about the space, engaging with one another before we head up to the risers. Next we learn music. This often involves splitting into sectionals led by section leaders. We then meet back together for some glorious choral singing.
“I play a mean saxophone. Will there be any opportunity for me to play for concerts?”
Yes! We have several singers who also skilled on various instruments, including clarinet, flute, guitar, drums, and more. Whenever possible I try to find opportunities for them to play!
“Do you memorize music for concerts?”
Yes! I really believe in the importance of connecting with our audiences. When we hold our music up in front of our throats and hearts, we create a barrier between us and our audiences. I believe in singing “by heart,” from our hearts directly to the hearts of our audiences.
“That makes a lot of sense. Can you tell me what you expect from your choir members?”
First and foremost, I ask that choir members be responsible for the energy they bring to rehearsals. It is extremely important that the atmosphere at rehearsals be positive, upbeat, friendly, supportive and safe. Leave any negativity or judgments about yourself or others at the door. If you’re committing to being at rehearsal, you’re committing not only to giving your focused attention and sharing your beautiful voice but also to helping create a loving environment for all of us, including yourself. When we lift one another up in this way, we open up our hearts and voices to our most beautiful, expressive singing ever.
We also ask that our members use their individual talents to help the choir thrive. Some will offer their technical skills, some will distribute flyers, etc.
“Wow! This all sounds fantastic. I can’t wait to dive in. So what’s the next step?”
E-mail me. We will arrange a time for you to come sing for me.