Filed Under:

In Toronto, An Ad-Hoc Choir Becomes A Community

Play associated audio

Let's say you live in Canada — say, Toronto — and you like to sing. You're not in a band, you don't get asked to sing at weddings, but singing just kind of makes you happy. Well, every Tuesday night at a local bar, you'll find a crowd of people just like you, singing their hearts out.

At the front of the room, conducting, you'll find Daveed Goldman. He's not exactly a pro either: "I sang in choirs in elementary school," he says, "but once I got to a certain age, it just wasn't cool anymore."

Goldman and Nobu Adilman are the founders of Choir! Choir! Choir! It's an ad-hoc group: no auditions, no commitment, just show up and sing. Adelman says that when they first came up with the idea, they weren't sure it would work — but at their first official gathering in February 2011, 20 people showed up.

"It was the Snowpocalypse in Toronto. We expected the whole city to be shut down," Goldman tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "At the end of it, we said, 'OK, we'll do this next month.' And everybody was like, 'No, next week!' "

Now the weekly songfests are packed, with more than 100 people jammed into one room. There's almost no space for an audience, and they don't really want one.

"We are the show," Adilman says. "Daveed and I will arrange a couple songs, people show up, we give them lyrics and they learn the songs. It's hit-and-miss, but we've got a really high batting average. We record the songs, usually on video and audio, and we've got songs that sound really good."

This holiday season, Goldman and Adilman decided it was time to start to sharing the music — by taking the choir on the road to hospitals and community groups. To hear more of their story, click the audio link on this page.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Not My Job: We Quiz The Duplass Brothers On Sibling Rivalry

Mark and Jay Duplass take a break from writing, directing, acting and producing to play a game called "Hating you is like hating myself."
NPR

Florida Says Its Fruits, Vegetables Are Safe From Invasive Fruit Fly

Since September, Florida has been fighting an infestation of the Oriental fruit fly, an invasive pest that threatened more than 400 crops. The state declared the insect eradicated as of Saturday.
NPR

For Nevada Democrats, A Lot Will Depend On Latino Voters

How instrumental is Nevada's Latino community in next week's race there between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders? NPR's Linda Wertheimer asks Nevada state senator Ruben Kihuen.
NPR

Colonialism Comment Puts Facebook Under Scrutiny

A Facebook board member lambasted a decision by regulators in India, the social network's second-largest market. He thereby sparked new scrutiny of Facebook's intentions in that country.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.