December 1 2017 & February 16, 2018
First Ontario Performing Arts Centre, St. Catharines
Niagara eagerly awaits the arrival of Choir! Choir! Choir! a sensational musical event guaranteed to warm the heart and soul. “People sometimes don’t know what to expect when they come to their first Choir! event. It’s simple. You’ll laugh, you’ll sing, you may cry, you will probably meet some new people and you’ll leave feeling great,” says Nobu Adilman, co-founder of Choir! Choir! Choir!. Adilman and his business partner, Daveed Goldman, met with Today Magazine to discuss their upcoming event at the First Ontario Performing Arts Centre.
Tell us about Choir! Choir! Choir!
Choir! Choir! Choir! is a singing event for everyone. You get lyrics for a tune at the door. We split you into sections (lows, mids, highs), teach the parts, encourage people to get out of their shells, and have an incredibly fun, interactive night.
Where did the idea for Choir! Choir! Choir! originate from?
First it was a thing we threw together for a friend’s birthday party. People loved it. A couple years later we invited our friends out in a slightly more formal way to hang out and sing. There was no plan to turn this into a weekly event but the enthusiasm from that night inspired us to do it again and now here we are!
Tell us about your backgrounds.
I was born in Toronto and exposed to the arts from a very young age. It led to a theatre degree, playing in bands, and making films. This led to a career in television in front and behind the camera. The unifying element with all these things was working with friends to create something we couldn’t do solely on our own. Choir! is very much in line with this idea. Daveed was born in Montreal and was always playing guitar, but mostly in isolation from others. He moved to Toronto where he managed a popular brunch spot called Aunties and Uncles for 15 years. He wrote lots of songs but mostly kept them to himself. Choir! has given him a place to share and expand his talents as a musician and entertainer.
What activities and programs do you offer?
In Toronto, Choir! is a twice-weekly event where we turn the audience into a three-part harmonious group over the course of an evening. We now tour often around North America doing the same and we offer private team-building singing events for companies. For the past couple years, we’ve been giving interactive keynote addresses at conferences all over. We once had a weekly event for kids called C!C!C! minor. It was adorable but we got too busy!
What geographical area do you service?
We started in Toronto but have branched out to across Canada and the US. We’ve been getting lots of offers to go overseas so I’m guessing we’ll head over soon.
How many participants do you have?
It can be 200, sometimes it’s 2000. Our Facebook groups total close to 30,000. Since there are no auditions and no official membership, we never know who will come out until they do!
What are the benefits of being involved in Choir! Choir! Choir!?
This isn’t scientifically proven but studies will show that going to a Choir! Choir! Choir! event increases your lifespan by (at least) 10 years, and transforms feelings of self-doubt into unbeatable confidence! The benefits are different from person to person. But mainly it’s a really fun time out that gives you time to play and be creative. The event brings out a diverse cross section of the city from so many different backgrounds so you never know who you’ll meet. Singing requires a lot of air and the effort it takes to sing with confidence has a rejuvenating feeling that carries you to the next night or week.
What are the future goals for the program?
We want to keep touring and get people singing all over the world in amazing spaces. A television show has been talked about and it would be great to find the right fit. A permanent home would be incredible.
What artists do you work with?
We’ve collaborated with Sloan, Tegan & Sara (at the Juno Awards), Joel Plaskett, Patti Smith, Rufus Wainwright, Tim Baker (from Hey Rosetta!), Kathleen Edwards, Bruce Cockburn, Sarah Harmer, Buck 65 and Public Recordings for a Summerworks show, Damien Rice, Lanai Gabriel, Joseph Shabason, Giant Hand, Ought, Maylee Todd, Spookey Ruben, Colin Hay (from Men At Work), Hannah Georgas, and many other amazing musicians.
Can you tell us a little about your charity work?
Our first gig was as part of fundraiser for Japan after the tsunami. We’ve raised money for Sketch, The Stop Food Community Centre, and sponsored two Syrian refugee families. Charity has always been central to what we do, supporting causes we believe in. Last year we teamed up with the Toronto Foundation to start the Choir! Choir! Choir! Foundation. Our first big initiative is now an annual fundraiser called 25 Days Of Charity! Charity! Charity! Members of our group select a charity that they support, all the money goes into a fund, and whatever we make is divided to the 25 organizations, big and small. The idea is giving. We’re preparing this year’s edition.
What can participants of expect from your upcoming event at the First Ontario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines?
We’re really looking forward to it. We’ll warm up by singing some tunes and then dig into teaching harmonies to one EPIC number, to be announced real soon. And it’s not just the singing. We tell stories, get the audience/performers to share theirs. It’s a very spontaneous back and forth. One second you’re in the back of the room, the next you’re on stage with us!
If you are interested in getting tickets to the upcoming Choir! Choir! Choir! Event in St. Catharines, visit firstontariopac.ca/