performing arts group in SF for the untalented?
May 8, 2013 12:26 PM   Subscribe

I would like to be involved in a theater or singing group in San Francisco, but I am by no means talented. Where can I find a group where people are dedicated, but will accept practically everyone?

Groups that skew towards the 20-30 crowd would be even more awesome. I am mostly doing this for a hobby, and to give me a goal to work towards, so something with a performance at the end would be ideal. I would prefer not to have to pay for classes. Also, please no improv...I've tried it and I hate it. Thanks!
posted by lacedcoffee to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
I had a friend who did this (in L.A.) in a group called "Sweet Adelines." I think they function countrywide (maybe worldwide), and it was basically a fun, regular meet-up that involved singing. Women only, though.
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:56 PM on May 8, 2013


Sweet Adelines is a branch of the (international) Society for the Preservation of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America, which changed its name to The Barbershop Harmony Society in 2004.

Here's a link to local Sweet Adelines and the local men's chorus
posted by janey47 at 1:06 PM on May 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


So, I don't know the choral singing scene in San Francisco, but I would say two things up front about choral singing in general: it's pretty hard to find a chorus that is really skewed towards younger people. BUT it is not necessarily that hard to find a chorus that has a lot of younger people. Also, most choruses expect you to pay dues, and often to sell a certain number of tickets to each concert. Rehearsal space, conductors, and accompanists ain't free.

You might want to take a look at these lists:
Bay Area Choral Groups
Choruses of Northern California

So, those are long lists with not a lot of information and probably a lot of broken links. But I bet there's a chorus for you in there somewhere, if that's what you want to do! Click through to some of them and look for these keywords/phrases: "open" and "non-auditioned" and "no audition required."

Now, some no-audition choruses still expect you to have a certain level of musical ability - for example, they might expect you to be able to read music - but usually you can get a sense of that on the "join our chorus!" section of their website.

Some other types of singing that are often non-auditioned:

Church choirs (depends on the church, obviously - you want a choir/church that is maybe better known for its comittment to social justice than its commitment to beautiful music)

"Sacred Harp"/"Shape Note"/"Fasola" singing

Choruses/glee clubs associated with labor/activist organizations

Oh ALSO - it's worth asking a chorus that requires auditions where they would recommend that you sing. The directors and members of these choruses know the scene.
posted by mskyle at 1:18 PM on May 8, 2013


How weird do your musical tastes run? The Cornelius Cardew Choir performs awesome experimental vocal pieces that require no traditional musical ability whatsoever
posted by kelseyq at 1:41 PM on May 8, 2013


Sweet Adelines is a branch of the (international) Society for the Preservation of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America, which changed its name to The Barbershop Harmony Society in 2004.

Just a point of clarification: While both are barbershop singing groups, Sweet Adelines, Inc. and the Barbershop Harmony Society are completely separate and unaffiliated organizations. There is a third women's barbershop singing group that is a little more closely aligned stylistically with the Barbershop Harmony Society, Harmony, Inc., but I don't think they reach as far as the west coast.

I think the Sweet Adelines chapters in your area would love to have you drop in on a rehearsal. If barbershop isn't necessarily your thing, keep an open mind. Sweet Adelines groups tend not to be as strictly "traditional barbershop" as some of the other barbershop groups. That's not to say that they don't sing traditional barbershop (which in my opinion is pretty great on its own) but many of them don't only sing traditional barbershop. If you don't really like the feel of one chorus, I wouldn't automatically write them all off. And you won't find a nicer group of people anywhere.
posted by Balonious Assault at 3:01 PM on May 8, 2013


If you want to improve your singing, you can take lessons at Blue Bear.
posted by shoesietart at 10:51 PM on May 8, 2013


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