Community chorus brings music to JP

May 25, 2012
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A new all-ages community chorus, SingPositive!, aims to bring music to Jamaica Plain’s art scene.

“Jamaica Plain has so many artists, musicians and community-oriented residents, but no community chorus” until now, Executive Director Krissy Skare told the Gazette.

The first concert was May 20 at Saint John’s Episcopal Church in Sumner Hill to a capacity crowd of 200. Next, the chorus will perform June 7 in the First Thursday art event in front of First Baptist Church on Centre Street.

“It is such a delight to be making music with my own friends and neighbors in JP, and to have so many ages represented and singing and learning together,” Artistic Director Joel Sindelar said.

Sindelar, a veteran chorus leader, “wanted to try out a new model that is truly intergenerational, welcoming and accessible to all the music lovers in JP, professionals and shower singers alike,” Skare said.

Skare and Sindelar do mean all ages: the youngest participant is 3 and the eldest members are in their 70s, Skare said.

“I don’t know who’s the oldest, because we don’t ask,” she said.

Rehearsals are structured for “maximum engagement,” Skare said. Sindelar works with the adults on more difficult pieces while Skare leads the children in music games and in learning easier pieces.

The adults and kids sometimes sing the same number. Sometimes they sing different harmonizing pieces.

Sindelar has led other choruses in JP: the adult-only Loose Canon Chorale and the all-ages Churchless Church Choir, both now disbanded.

“It makes so much sense to have [a chorus] here [in JP] that it seemed like an easy task, an assumption that was corrected by my short-lived first attempts at actually doing it with the Loose Canon Chorale and the Churchless Church Choir,” Sindelar said. “Starting something is one thing, sustaining it is another.”

“Thankfully, this time around, I found a terrific team in Michael Glashow and Krissy Skare,” he added.

Skare and Operations Director Glashow are also both professional musicians, and when Sindelar approached them in the fall of 2011 about forming a new group, they jumped at the chance to make music in their own community, Skare said.

The name of the group is Sindelar’s brainchild, Skare said.

“The name was sort of an inspirational flash. I didn’t know why I Iiked it so much initially, but then I realized it came from ‘Think positive,’” Sindelar said. “To me it’s about doing something positive with your singing, like binding the community together or sharing an emotion, as opposed to just putting your ego out there for a stroking.”

Sindelar is already fielding inquiries about new members for the next season, which begins this fall. There is no audition to join, he said. For more information, see singpositive.com.

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