The Pandora Chorus FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is The Pandora Chorus?
The Pandora Chorus is a non-auditioned indie pop rock choir, founded and directed by Glenna Garramone. We make music together in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. We typically work towards a concert at the end of each seasonal session (participation in the concert is optional, though encouraged). There are usually between 70 and 90 singers registered per session. Most songs are learned by ear, through call and response. You do not need previous choir experience in order to sing with us, or the ability to read sheet music. We welcome singers of all levels, and our members have really varied backgrounds... you may have sung in a choir for years, or you may have never sung in a group ever before... either way, you are welcome and you won't be alone! The choir is accompanied by Brooke Maxwell, who is also a guest co-director from time to time.
When does The Pandora Chorus rehearse?
When in session, The Pandora Chorus rehearses weekly, on Wednesday evenings, from 7 to 9pm. We operate in seasonal sessions which last between 11 and 16 weeks. The Fall Session usually runs September to December, and the Winter/Spring Session runs January to April or May. Our Winter-Spring 2023 Session will run in-person rehearsals, from January 25 to May 17 (no rehearsal on February 15), 2023.
Where does The Pandora Chorus rehearse?
We rehearse at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church (corner of Douglas Street and Broughton St., entrance at 643 Broughton St.) in downtown Victoria, BC. We rent this beautiful space and are not affiliated with a church, or any religion.
How do I join The Pandora Chorus?
Typically, you register for a seasonal session and pay one fee for the entire session, which lasts 11-16 weeks. Our Winter-Spring 2023 Session will run in-person rehearsals, from January 25 to May 17 (no rehearsal on February 15), 2023. $275 for 16 weeks. Registration is now open online.
Will we be wearing masks? Will we be socially distanced?
Masks are optional at this time. We will be following Provincial Health Guidelines, which may change throughout the session. Masks and sanitizer will be available at each rehearsal. We also ask all choir members to follow a symptom-free attendance policy. Please stay home if you are feeling unwell or have any symptoms. Practice tracks are available so you can catch up on your own time.
For concert performances and pre-concert rehearsals, we will be returning to our pre-Pandemic traditional choir formation- standing/sitting shoulder to shoulder. We usually stand close together in order to blend voices and sing as one instrument. As with any other physical activity, singing comes with a certain amount of risk.
In our typical weekly rehearsals, you will be able to decide if you want to distance yourself from other singers or not.
What about Winter weather (snow, icy roads)-- do rehearsals get cancelled?
We use these guidelines to determine whether or not to go ahead with rehearsals on a snowy day: if schools are closed, and/or Environment Canada has issued an official weather warning, and/or if roads are especially icy and treacherous, and/or if local police have asked people to stay off the roads if possible, then rehearsals are cancelled so as to not endanger any of us. When a rehearsal gets cancelled, I offer a make-up rehearsal later on in the session. I will always send out an email to confirm a cancelled rehearsal on the night of the rehearsal, and post on the website, and The Pandora Chorus Facebook Page by 5:30pm. If you don't see a cancellation message, then rehearsal is a-go!
Can I just drop-in instead of registering? I don't think I can make it to every rehearsal.
Participation in The Pandora Chorus requires a weekly commitment, for the duration of the session (between 11-16 weeks at a time). We learn and build repertoire gradually and usually work towards a concert at the end of each session. The structure of this choir works best when people are committed to the full session, so that the choir is cohesive and the attendance is predictable each week (approximately the same number of people in each section so that the sections are balanced).
What kinds of songs does The Pandora Chorus sing?
Over the years we've sung songs by these artists: Feist, Imogen Heap, Fleetwood Mac, Beyoncé, Dua Lipa, Hozier, Bahamas, K'naan, The Head and The Heart, k-os, Gnarls Barkley, Cindy Lauper, Adele, U2, 4 Non Blondes, Bill Withers, Coldplay, Pharell Williams, James Bay, The Beatles, Kiesza, Kimbra, Serena Ryder, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeroes, Bonnie Tyler, Amber Run, The Killers, Foster The People, Shakey Graves, Prince, Rae Spoon, The Tragically Hip, k.d. lang, Tom Petty, Queen, Tears for Fears, Dolly Parton, Sia, The Lumineers, Lorde, Paul Simon, The Weakerthans, Lady Gaga, Simon & Garfunkel, The Flaming Lips, Styx, Steve Winwood, Taylor Swift, and many others.
You can also check out the videos on The Pandora Chorus page to get a sense of some of the songs we have sung.
Who started The Pandora Chorus?
The Pandora Chorus was founded in 2015, by director Glenna Garramone, out of a desire to sing in harmony with other people on a regular basis, and is based on the concept that if a person can speak, they can sing. Singing together is a source of health and happiness. Glenna completed her Community Choir Leadership Training in 2011, and has over 20 years of experience as a performing musician. When she's not directing the choir, she performs her own music, as well as performing regularly with Tower of Song (a Leonard Cohen Tribute) alongside Oliver Swain, and is a keyboard player and vocalist for Shane Koyczan and the Short Story Long. You can read more about Glenna's musical life here.
The choir is accompanied by, and occasionally co-directed by, special guest Brooke Maxwell.