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Frequently Asked Questions

What style of music do the Capital Chordettes perform?

We sing barbershop, a vibrant form of 4-part vocal harmony.
The closeness of the notes in each chord creates the unique “ringing” sound associated with this style. This distinctive sound is created also because, unlike many other harmony styles, the melody is not sung by the highest voice. In the barbershop style, the melody is sung by the “lead” part, and the harmony parts sing above (tenor), below (bass) and around (baritone) the lead.

Barbershop arrangements are sung a cappella (without musical accompaniment).

This style of singing is characterized by strong visual performance, often including formal choreography.
Many kinds of songs can be arranged in this style. The Capital Chordettes repertoire includes pop tunes, rock and roll, country, and inspirational songs, as well as selections from musical theatre.

May I visit a rehearsal?

We hope you will! Visiting a rehearsal is a great way to get to know us and to watch us perform.
Contact Us to let us know when you plan to come, or just drop by at 7 pm on a Tuesday rehearsal evening. Someone will be there to greet you. We look forward to meeting you!

What happens when I visit?

When you arrive, you will be welcomed by one of our membership team. She will provide you with information about the chorus and answer questions you may have. As you prefer, you may join us on the risers for part of the evening, or simply enjoy being our audience. We will be happy to have you with us.

What do you do at rehearsals?

Our general rehearsal pattern starts off with body stretches designed to get us ready to sing. Then we do vocal warm-ups to get our voices ready. These teach us proper vocal production and singing technique. Following this vocal preparation, our directing team coaches us on songs we are learning or preparing for an upcoming performance or contest. We also learn and rehearse visual performance technique, and often specific choreography. There are short breaks for hydration and announcements, and we end our evening with a song at 10 pm. It’s true that time flies when you are having fun!

Do I need to have singing experience with a choral group?

We welcome all women who love to sing.
Choral singing is an asset but is not essential. If you have never sung with a group, you will be thrilled by the experience of singing in harmony with us. A motivated learner can readily develop the art of ensemble singing. And if you do have choral experience, you will find being part of our unique form of harmony somewhat different and quite exhilarating.

Do I need to read music?

You do not need to know how to read music to sing with us. While it is an asset, we provide learning tools and assistance to help our members learn songs.

Is there an audition?

We will ask you to attend a couple of rehearsals to get to know more about us. Then, if you are interested in becoming a chorus member, you may request an audition, which is the first step in our membership program. During the program we will ask you to learn some of our repertoire. We are looking for singers for all voice parts. We are happy to provide lots of help.

How much does it cost to belong to the chorus?

We pay membership dues that cover our local chapter costs and our fees to Harmony Inc. Like any hobby there are initial start-up costs such as for the contest costumes. There are also travel expenses for contests; however, we keep these costs down through our fundraising efforts.

Capital Chordettes are members of Harmony, Inc     Capital Chordettes are members of AOE Arts Council     Capital Chordettes awarded City of Ottawa Arts Grant, 2012 and 2010     Capital Chordettes are grateful for grants received from Sing Canada Harmony     Members Site
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