When I lived in New York City, I was in a group called the Renaissance Street Singers. This was an amateur group (auditions required to test sight-reading skill) that sang tons of Renaissance sacred polyphony and performed every other Sunday on the street. This choir was unique for a few reasons: 1) we did not pay excessive attention to detail, 2) not everyone was a great singer, but everyone learned their notes, and 3) we performed frequently, in modest locations, with distracted audiences, so performance anxiety was basically not an issue for anyone.
Now that I’ve moved to Northern Virginia, I’ve become interested in establishing a similar group in this area. I teach music theory at George Mason University, so I would make the club GMU based, but not exclusive to GMU faculty or students. Instead, this choir would be open to students, faculty, staff, and community members.
My plan for now would just be to have casual rehearsals/reading sessions, maybe with snacks and drinks and such, with no plans for a performance until the group is more established.
- improve your sight reading skills
- decrease anxiety around sight singing and performing
- learn new repertoire
- meet community members
- eventually, perhaps begin to share renaissance music in casual venues for average folks.
The project is just in its nascent stages, but if you are interested, please email me using the Contact link. Make the subject “RSC”.