Welcome to our 2022 / 2023 Choir Season!
Table of Contents:
- Choir Google Calendar
- Member Discord Server
- Benefits of Group Singing
- Attendance Policy
- Westside Peeps
- Online Choir Members
- Support for Members at Practices
- Parent Volunteer Positions Needed at Practices
- Snack at Practices
- Neurodiversity Now Radio Show
- Minecraft Realm
- Voice Lessons
- Registration Form
We accept applications to join the choir throughout the year.
IT IS GOING TO BE OUR BEST SEASON EVER AND I LOVE YOU ALL!!! This season, my focus is getting us back up to our standard where we were pre-pandemic. (I actually believe we sound better than we did before the pandemic) but I am referring to the immersive experience and the cool things we got to do. I want to make another album (way more details to come if we do pursue this), do cool performances in different cities and go out for milkshakes after :D, and host our April talent show plus 2 new private events which will be the voice lessons recitals at Christmas time and at the end of the year. I want to get more people involved in the radio show (more info below), and get more people involved in the newsletter hopefully spread it to more people. (spread it in the cool way, not like the gross virus way).
Please read through all the information below because it contains all the info you need to know for this season!
Here are the rules:
1) Members only! No parents allowed! Booyeah! Unless obviously you share a discord or something – point is, this is for the members to socialize, not like share official choir info or anything.
2) No bullying. I know no one in Mayday Club ever does bullying on purpose, cuz you’re all the nicest people ever, but sometimes it happens by accident, like you say something that hurts someone’s feelings without realizing it. It happens to all of us sometimes. If that happens, try to be open about hearing the other person’s point of view and maybe take a break from the topic you’re discussing for a while.
3) Swearing is only allowed in age-restricted channels. The text channel “sus-talks” and the voice channel “sus zone” are age restricted so you can only go in if you’re over 19.
Subscribe to Choir Google Calendar
Subscribe to our Google Calendar – Kristin will be updating this regularly with practice, performance, and event info.
$40 annual registration fee due Sept. $30 / month per family
This year, because we are returning to full-scale operation and have more expenses, we will be more diligent in collecting payments from members. We are not increasing the cost of the program this year, and are instead relying on donations, grants, and merchandise sales to help cover the operational costs of the program.
Amounts due (Abbotsford Practices):
- September $70 ($40 registration (includes this year’s shirt) plus $30 choir fee)
- October $30
- November $30
- December $30
- January $30
- February $30
- March $30
- April $30
- May $30
- June $30
Like usual, prospective members for whom cost is a barrier are welcome to apply for a bursary. Please be respectful and only select this option if you are unable to pay. There will be 3 fundraisers throughout the year that we encourage members to take advantage of – a Neufeld Farms Food fundraiser, a Poinsettia fundraiser, and a hanging basket fundraiser. All members are welcome to take part in these fundraisers to assist with the cost of the program. *Note – individuals requesting bursaries are encouraged strongly to take part in the fundraisers to cover as much of the program cost as they can, so we can keep offering bursaries to as many people as possible.
Options for payment:
- etransfer to email@example.com
- card at practice (tap via square reader)
- cash at practice
- AFB funding (talk to us about how to set this up)
Choir fee payments can be made monthly ($30/month) or annually ($300/year).
ONLINE CHOIR MEMBERS
Amounts recommended (Online Practices):
- September $55 ($40 registration (includes this year’s shirt) plus $15 choir fee)
- October $15
- November $15
- December $15
- January $15
- February $15
- March $15
- April $15
- May $15
- June $15
Benefits of Singing in a Group
Please this section because I am going to refer to it throughout the next items.
Choir singing is very beneficial to your mental (and apparently physical) health. Here are some cool resources I found that explain it in scientific detail:
- Study on The Benefits of Singing in a Group
- Article on Choir Singing and Mental Health
- 6 Benefits of Choral Singing
(Also, to be randomly vulnerable and open here – as a neurodivergent person, making friends is really hard for me even though I am pretty outgoing. I often feel little or no connection to them and talking to people I don’t know that well yet (talking purely to socialize, like having no work goal or project or anything) can be hard and draining. Part of why I started Mayday was because I had sang in a children / teen choir before and I know the following facts:
1) Singing together feels better than chatting and getting to know each other. I don’t know why. In choir, I always felt a little bit deeper of a connection to the people I was standing beside because I could hear them singing in my ear and I knew they could hear me too, and it was a little exchange in vulnerability and something personal, and it caused a connection for me that I could not get, as a neurodivergent person of my age and skill level, from talking or getting to know them.
2) Singing uses your voice like talking, but even if I don’t have the capacity to talk with the group that day, I can sing with the group. It is the one way where I could use my voice in a group setting and not get tired. Instead of using my voice and hearing voices in a group draining me of energy and making me feel like an outsider, it energized me and made me feel like a part of something big.
3) Even if I didn’t know the names of the people in the choir I sang in at the time, and even if I didn’t know the first thing about them, I found that I cared about them because they were part of the same thing I was. Like I felt connected to them in a way that was meaningful to me. I felt like I wanted to protect them and I found myself caring if they were happy or sad, and I randomly just knew that they felt the same way about me. I can’t guess why, other than the fact that we had spent so much time singing together.
4) I felt comfortable sitting next to them without talking, because we had already used our voices together.
5) I felt comfortable talking in what ever capacity I wanted to, whether it was just a quick ‘hello’, or a small-talk based conversation, or even a deeper conversation. I found that I cared what they had to say, because I already cared about them as a person and I knew the feeling was mutual.
6) I could go home that week and feel refreshed and energized and know that there were people who cared about me and people I cared about, and loneliness was less of an issue.
THAT is what I want for Mayday Club – and I know that members already experience that. Covid has sadly interrupted it though, and for the past couple years, we had to rely on the memory of what it was like to sing as a group. So this year, I am going to do my best to help people transition back into singing in person at practices, and helping to grow the relationships and feelings of connectedness and community in Mayday Club.)
Practice Attendance Policy
You must attend 2/3 practices offered to you in order to be considered performance-ready.
This year, as we move back into our usual operations, we are going to slowly start becoming more strict about attendance (while still following all provincial health guidelines).
With what I said above, I am going to be more adamant that people attend practices in person in order for the choir to be beneficial to all, like I described. The more people are there, the more magic there is. When you enroll for choir, you are making a commitment to being part of that magic, and that by showing up, you contribute to the magic in a way only you can. Members have better practices when more people show up (I can sometimes hear choir peeps saying things like “wow, it sounds so good today because there are so many of us!”) The whole point of choral singing is having your voice get lost in the sea of other voices, and this is only possible when the whole choir shows up. It is respectful to the other singers (and to the leaders, oooooh gosh do I ever love it when I have a massive choir) to attend all rehearsals.
(Also, as a neurodivergent person, I take a lot of pleasure in seeing familiar faces all together in the same group they usually are. I have no idea why. I just take so much comfort in familiar faces being present all together where they should be, it really gives me a deep calm that I can’t fully explain, but again, it makes me feel like a part of something, and it gives me a sense of belonging deeper than I can get from just chatting with people).
Also, the choir is renown across BC for its great sound, exciting performances, and close-knit team members. In order to preserve this image now that we are going out to performances again, we have to do our best to attend all practices. We ask that you commit to attending 2 out of every 3 practices that are offered to you.
These are my reasons being being strict with attendance this year. It’s not to be like all dictator-ish, it is to make your experience better and give you the magic that I know I can give you.
We will start taking attendance again at practices to help us enforce this.
That being said, if you are sick, even if it’s not Covid, we ask that you stay home to get better and avoid spreading viruses at choir (cuz we now know that singing is a high transmission activity, woohooooo).
If you need to miss a practice, please email me in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org or text me at 604-807-1018.
*Surrey folks are exempt from this policy until we have enough members to start up Surrey practices again. West side people can attend practices online or in Abbotsford if they choose to, or they can just practice the songs at home and attend performances if they want to.
West Side Practices
Ok, this is super sad and I have been feeling sick over this for weeks, but we just don’t have enough people enrolled in the Westside practices at the moment to make them work. I know we have had to jump locations a couple times over the years and that is a big part of it, but now that gas costs are so high and facility rental is up, we just don’t have the capacity to run the practices with this small amount of people.
All Westside people have already been told about this.
We will run the pratices again when we have 10 people signed up. We currently have a ‘waitlist’ with everyone from the Surrey practices. Once we have enough people, we will email you guys that we are starting them up again. We are doing a membership drive, and doing more performances outside of Abbotsford and online, and so hopefully we can spread the word that way. I am hopeful that we can restart them soon.
Westside people, you can attend online practices (and Abby practices whenever you can / want to), you can attend any Mayday Club event, you can perform with the group, etc – just make sure you practice the songs at home.
Online Choir Members
If you live outside of the Lower Mainland of BC / Fraser Valley areas, you are welcome to sign up for virtual choir practices!
Online practices will take place approximately every 2nd week, not every week – see choir calendar for more details on which practices will have online options. They take place from 3:30 to 5:00PM Pacific Standard (and Pacific Daylight) time. They take place over Zoom. During online practices, members will sing choir songs with the choir, but will not be able to hear the choir – we mute all mics during the singing so that there is no feedback.
Each choir practice consists of a question for the group – you can listen to people’s answers and type your answers in the chat and we will read them out!
Then we do 5 – 6 songs, followed by a break. During the break, in-person choir members will usually go have a snack. During this time, we will often play a group online game like Uno or something, and we will send the link in advance in the chat.
Then we will do the 2nd half of our songs, followed by our group cheer!
Some performances will have online components. You might be asked to pre-record some of the songs, or attend performances live on Zoom. More details will come on these types of opportunities.
The fees for online only practices will be different than regular choir fees. Please contact Nicole to learn more about this.
So in terms of online practices, we started it so we could keep practices going during the pandemic and it worked AMAZING for us. Then, we offered hybrid practices all year last year, where you could choose if you attend online or in person because of the rapidly changing Covid situation and to limit spread. This year, we are going to try to limit the number of online people, and make it so that online practices are mostly for people who live too far away to attend. The reasons for this are:
1) Practices are WAY funner when more people are there. I hear members talking about how “cool it sounds” when there are a bunch of voices together as one. (I also get SO HAPPY when conducting a massive choir). See the thingie above about how great it is to sing in a big group.
2) It is difficult to moderate / run the online practices and the in-person practices at the same time, especially when there are a bunch of people online. In order for everyone to get the awesome experience they deserve, we are going to limit online people to 10.
That being said, if you live in the Lower Mainland / Fraser Valley and can’t attend practice one day and want to see if there is space in the online group instead, you are 1000000% welcome to message me and ask if there’s room, and if there is, I will send you the Zoom link!
Support for Members at Practices
All Mayday Club members are family to me, and I love each moment I get to spend with all you beautiful people! We all need support in different ways, and I totally encourage you to do what you need to do to get the support you need to have your best experience!
If a members needs 1:1 or extra support, please have a parent or support worker attend practice with the member <3
My focus is typically on the group, running the practices and conducting the choir. There are volunteer members, but their job is to be more like emotional support / friends for members. So we don’t have the capacity to support individual members (not because we don’t want to, but because we are with a big group and our focus is mostly on the music and the practice). You know yourself best, so please make the necessary arrangements to be fully supported however you need!
*For people who want to attend but don’t need their parent / guardian in the room with them but would like to have them on standby just in case, there is a lounge in the flying club where parents and support workers are welcome to relax during practices.
Parent Volunteer Positions Needed at Practices
For any parents that would like to help out at practices, here is what we need help with so far:
- Checking people in (keeping attendance list)
- Running online practice – muting and unmuting people, moderating the chat, hosting a game during break.
- Putting out snack during snack time
- Serving snack
- Cleaning up after snack
Snack at Practices
- Halfway through each practice, we take a break, which includes a light snack and some time to chill out in the games room, on the patio, in the practice room, etc.
I find that snack helps members feel less anxious, because eating with others is a bonding experience, if only in a small way. I have seen members go from being too anxious to stand with the group, to singing in the choir after having snack. I have no idea why psychologically this happens, (if you know why, tell me haha) but it works. It is also the time that members get to chat and get to know each other, and for some reason, its a little bit easier when you’re munching on something delicious. (Again, no idea why. Humans, am I right?!?)
We ask that each member signs up to bring snack at least twice during the year. Last year, because of covid, Mayday provided most of the snacks. This year, we are going to generate a list of members, and then email you the date that we have you down to bring snack. We will also email you a reminder and confirm with you the week prior so that we make sure you are ok with it! If you need to switch dates, please let us know asap.
We will send out the list the last week of August when we have everyone’s registrations in.
- not too sugary
- no peanuts
Some examples are chips with dip, or fruit, or popcorn, or cheese and crackers, etc.
Neurodiversity Now Radio: Mayday Club's own radio show!
We have our own radio show! We have been taking a break from the show this year, but are already batch recording some new episodes, and are getting ready to start it back up again. I am not sure if it will be on Vancouver Coop Radio again or if it will be on Abbotsford’s Civil Radio – which ever one it’s on, it will be awesome, and all episodes will be available live on iHeartRadio, on our podcast site, or on the radio show’s archives.
We will be having group recording sessions at practice some weeks! These days, anyone who wants to record can stay a bit after practice to record the show (I will send more details and put these recordings into the calendar). If we go with Civil Radio, we will also be doing much more in-person live radio sessions, so we will send you details about that too. Basically, we want you to get involved!
We also need your voice clips! Once we have finalized which station we will be working with, I will send you out some “open recording” requests, and you can submit your voice to our voice bank for shows.
More details to come!
Would you like Mayday Club to own a Minecraft realm? A Minecraft realm is a world that is shared, but anyone can access it at any time and we can all build and play together. The realm would be on Bedrock Edition (previously Pocket Edition) so that people could play on either PC, console, or mobile device. The realm would be pretty much un-moderated but there would be rules like no griefing (destroying othe people’s things), no swearing, and no people outside of Mayday Club.
VOTE YES OR NO HERE:
Voice Lessons Mayday Club Youth Choir
*Scroll down to book lessons, for info on coaches, and for FAQ’s.
- vocal warm ups and exercises
- practicing choir songs (Nicole (choir director) will assign songs to practice each week).
- practicing solos in choir songs
- practicing songs of your choice for fun and new tips
- choosing a song for Christmas and Year End recitals and practicing for it.
- chatting with voice coach about music, post-secondary music options, choir, your interests, anything!
<- How to Book Voice Lessons
Book One-Time or Multiple Meetings
Please sign up for either weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly lessons.
Sessions will focus on your solos, songs Nicole assigns the choir to practice in voice lessons that week, your song for the recital, and a fun song of your choice.
**Please book multiple time slots at once, so that you have your spot reserved in advance for multiple weeks / months at a time.
Tentative dates for Christmas and Year End voice recitals: Sunday December 4th and Sunday June 4th.
Voice lesson students will have a recital in December and in June to showcase the songs that they have been working on with their coach during the year. All will be welcome to attend and watch!
Book Voice Lessons Here
Scroll down for more info on each coach.
Voice Coach Kristin Loewen
Kristin is primarily available on Thursday and Friday afternoons and evenings, and Saturday mornings.
Voice Coach Adi Reitsma
Adi is available Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings. She has limited availability and is able to take 5 regular students.
We understand that our voice coaches schedules may not match yours – if this is the case, please contact a Mayday Club administrator and let us know. We also understand that online coaching doesn’t work for everyone. If this is the case for you, again, please let us know (nicely) and we will help you sort something out 😀
About The Coaches
She / Her
Hey!!! I’m Kristin Loewen, I’m so excited to be returning as a vocal coach for Mayday choir!!! For those who don’t know me yet, I’m 20 years old and I’ve been working for Mayday for around a year now!
I’ve been obsessed with everything music related since I was really young and other than singing, I have been playing piano for most of my life! I love musical theatre and performing, crafts, and playing with my dog, Remi 🙂
They / Them
If you did lessons with one of the coaches last year and want to stick with them, please go ahead and book some time slots with them.
I recommend booking multiple sessions at once, so you have your weekly (bi-weekly) (monthly) time slot reserved.
I recommend sticking with one coach, unless you want to switch for any reason.