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Sing Pop Yk makes noise
Pop choir returns - this time, with more Justin Timberlake

Jessica Davey-Quantick
Northern News Services
Friday, September 8, 2017

Sing Pop Yk is bringing choir back - starting with Justin Timberlake.

NNSL photograph

At the first Sing Pop Yk get together over the summer, organizers were expecting 25 people. They got 60. The informal choir met up again this week, the first of four fall sessions planned. - photo courtesy of Jason Doiron

Inspired by similar choirs in Toronto and Prince Edward Island, the group has met twice this summer to take popular songs and put them in three-part harmony. So far, they've tackled Bon Jovi's Livin' on a Prayer and Whitney Houston's I Wanna Dance With Somebody. This month, they're moving on to Can't Stop The Feeling by Timberlake.

"Sing Pop is what we call a non-auditioned, all-inclusive drop-in choir," said Jason Doiron, one of the organizers. "It's a no-commitment type of atmosphere. You come, you show up, you sing and you have fun."

The informal group doesn't do auditions, or even use choir terms like soprano, alto and bass. Doiron says people self-select whether they have a high voice, a medium voice or a low voice.

Co-founder Mary Kelly then distributes lyrics and takes each group through their part by ear, while co-founder Brian Weadick handles the instrumentals.

"It's open to anyone, you don't have to have any signing experience, you don't have to know how to read music," said Doiron.

The parts are taught by ear, very slowly, and eventually, they put it all together. The session ends with a recording of the song, posted online.

"By the end it sounds phenomenal," said Doiron.

He said his team has been surprised by how many people have shown interest. At the first sessions, they were hoping for 25 people. They ended up with 60. The age range also varies, with everyone from teenagers to seniors turning up to get their groove on.

Doiron and Kelly are both involved with the Yellowknife Choral Society and he says while many people from that community come out, there are also some surprise guests in the mix.

"We have people who none of us have ever met before and they show up and they sing along with us," he said.

To keep that going, the title of each session's song isn't released until the day before. But Dorion said it's not just the peppy song choices that keep people coming.

"You can see on people's faces they're smiling constantly. It's about two hours of smiling," he said. "It makes you feel good, it makes you go home thinking, 'Wow what a great night I just had, I can't wait to do it again.'"

Sing Pop YK plans four sessions this fall, the first was Thursday at the Yellowknife Elks Lodge.

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