Join the Ottawa Gay Men’s Chorus
Sing With Us
We are a non-auditioned TTBB (Tenor 1, Tenor 2, Baritone, Bass) community chorus. Membership is open to those that identify as a man or non-binary, whose singing voice can be placed within the standard TTBB singing parts, and contributes to the distinctive sound of a male choir.
Join us for Open Rehearsals
Our Next Open Rehearsals are in September 2024
Why We Do It
Since 1986, the Ottawa Gay Men’s Chorus has provided a community space where 2SLGBTQ+ identities can be celebrated through artistic expression and choral excellence. Such spaces are needed now more than ever, as the voices of anti-LGBT hate groups grow louder and 2SLGBTQ+ spaces become harder to find.
About The Chorus
We offer two categories of membership: Singing Members and Associate Members for non-singers.
Who can join as an associate member? Everyone! While our singing members need to be able to sing in the standard TTBB range and contribute to the distinctive sound of a male choir, there are no restrictions on who can become an associate member. The only requirement is that they must be interested in furthering CGOGMC’s purposes.
the difference between volunteers and associate members
We are thrilled to have volunteers, but one of the “perks” of becoming an Associate Member, is that you have voting rights at our Annual General Meeting and you are eligible for election to the Board of Directors.
CGOGMC is always looking for diverse talent. Whether it is in the thrilling realm of corporate finance or the exotic flair of stage production, your skills and talents can be an immeasurable help to the chorus.
About The Chorus
We are an accepting and accommodating organization with a wheelchair accessible rehearsal space. We are happy to discuss ways that we can make singing with us more accessible for you. Some options include providing music stands, seating during our performances and the choice to either not participate in dance choreography or participate to the extent that works for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I sing well enough to be part of a performing choir?
Our choir is a community chorus which invites all to participate regardless of musical knowledge or background. Many of our members have some experience singing; we have several professional singers in our group but also members who had never read sheet music until joining.
Developing a new talent and learning to sing in a choir requires patience and dedication and success depends how much of a commitment you are ready to make. Our advanced choir members are always happy to provide extra feedback or support to help you attain your best possible performance.
I don’t read music, how will I sing with the group?
Reading music is a part of choir practice but also quite easy to learn. Many supports and tools are provided to help members achieve their musical and vocal potential. These tools include mp3s in every voicing (tenor 1, tenor 2, baritone, bass), a music theory guide and computer files which can be used with free software to help you learn. We also periodically hold singing workshops for more interactive learning.
Of course, our weekly rehearsals are where we all gain most from working as a group toward perfecting our sound and gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation of individual pieces. The Musical Director is able to assist with any questions during this time.
What typically happens at a rehearsal?
Regular rehearsals last 2.5 hours with a ten-minute break. We meet at 7 pm sharp and take our places in our different vocal sections ( i.e., Tenor 1, Tenor 2, Baritone and Bass). The Musical Director will select the pieces we will be rehearsing. Our accompanist will play the piano to guide us through the piece. As we typically sing in four sections, each vocal section will also be led though a review of their part. Some music may also be accompanied by simple choreography as well as opportunities for small group performances outside the regular season repertoire (for more see below).
Prior to break, we will run through a few choir announcements as well as hear about other activities in the community.
Following rehearsal, the group moves on to an optional social activity.
What is the time commitment?
The choir meets weekly on Wednesdays from 7 pm – 9:30 pm for the duration of the season. The winter season runs for approximately 13 weeks (usually from the first week of September to the first week of December). The Spring season runs for about 21 weeks (usually from the first week of January to the first week of June). There are typically two all-day Saturday rehearsals (9 am – 4 pm) during each season. There are also sectionals (e.g., just the Baritones or just the Tenor 2’s rehearsing together) lasting 2-3 hours. You are also expected to rehearse on your own in preparation for the next group rehearsal.
It is choir policy that members participate in a minimum 75% of rehearsals
We also have some singing engagements outside the regular singing season. For example, caroling in mid-December, singing O Canada at a summer sporting event, and of course Capital Pride. We understand that not all choristers can make these events, and they are certainly not mandatory, but where members can participate it just is a lot of fun!
Are there any fees to join?
Approximately one third of the choir’s annual budget comes from member fees.
Current dues for singing members are $150 per semester (2 semesters per season) and $120 for the first semester of registration for new members in their first year.
Members who are unable to pay the fees (in part or in full), may have a private conversation with the Treasurer to discuss the available options under the Policy for the financial support of members with financial difficulties.
Current fees for Associate Members is $25 per season.
Do you sing in a church or have any religious affiliation?
While we rent rehearsal space at St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, the Choir itself has no religious affiliation. We sing a variety of music – from sacred to secular, traditional choral pieces and pop numbers. Our goal is to challenge ourselves musically while broadening the styles of music members will have the opportunity to sing. Our community performances bring us to many different settings and we sometimes perform in church spaces and may be invited to accompany a religious service. Members are always free to choose whether or not to participate in an event at which the choir is performing depending on their comfort level.
I don’t sing. Are there other ways to get involved?
We get by with a little help from our friends. Volunteers are needed to help in many areas. Here are some examples of how we could use your assistance:
- stage and event production
- graphic design and web maintenance
- organizing Pride presence
- fundraising events
- facilitating group meetings
- seeking sponsorships and donations
- promotions, marketing and social media
- and more…
You can also join as an Associate Member.