Open Voices During Covid … Getting Into This Wonderful Choir?

When the pandemic hit, we went into lock down in March 2020. Choral singing worldwide was particularly impacted by Covid. There were predictions and speculations about how long this would last and what things would look like when we were able to sing again. Choral Canada and Choirs Ontario did extensive research about this, and now that choirs ARE re-grouping, we have a clearer understanding of who is still with us. It is very likely there will be limited room for us to take in about some new members  to start singing next fall. We will promote our openings through members,  and through media and promotion. There is NO audition for Open Voices, any voice is welcome. But there is a process. We’ll promote widely to try to get as much diversity in our new interest as possible. Interested persons get a short info session about the choir, so that they know what they are getting into, and then if they are still keen, their name goes into the hat, for a lottery.  We do this by section, to retain great balance in our choir. 

This system has served us very well for many years. So keep in touch with your Open Voices friends and if you happen to hear that we are looking for new members… Read that poster or notice and act on it! 

Frequently asked questions about joining Open Voices Choir

Do I need musical experience to be a member of Open Voices?
Open Voices? No, Open Voices is a non-auditioned community choir and there is no voice check, required experience or musical training needed to join.  The current membership ranges from people who are new to singing in a choir to those who are very experienced. Some members read music well, some do not. Some members have beautiful singing voices, some do not. 

Print music, teaching recordings, beginning theory lessons (optional) and sectional rehearsals are provided to help members learn and have maximum fun. We are friendly and fun, and you’ll find you ‘belong’ very quickly! 

 What is expected of members regarding dues, attendance, and leaves of absences?
Weekly rehearsals are on Wednesdays from 7:00 to 9:00 PM at Cooke’s Portsmouth United Church. They start in mid-September and end in mid-June. Members are expected to attend rehearsals but for those who travel or have occasional things come up, extra practices are offered allowing everyone to do their fair bit preparing for our concerts.

Full Membership dues are $270.00 per year. However, the choir doesn’t want finances to be a barrier, so other amounts are acceptable, no questions asked. Our operating budget is planned around approximately 85% of members paying full dues. 

For more information about being an OV member, review our OV Membership Policy which outlines a consistent set of expectations and procedures for members of Open Voices. The policy aims to balance individual needs with choir needs.

How do I become a member of Open Voices?

The capacity to take in new members is assessed at the end of every concert season, after current members are offered the opportunity to register for the following concert year.

If there is enough room for new members for an upcoming concert year (starting in September), a “Call for New Members” announcement will generally be made in the early summer. It will be advertised through our current members, on the OV website, on the OV Facebook page, and in the local papers.


The call for new members will request that interested individuals fill out an Expression of Interest Form and submit it before the deadline date, which is normally around July 15th.

The form can be completed online, or mailed to Open Voices Community Choir, Box 1010, Kingston, ON K7L 4X8.


Andy Rush, Artistic Director, and a Board Member will hold orientation sessions in the late summer for interested individuals. These sessions will be an opportunity to learn more about the choir, the upcoming concert season schedule, and what it’s like to be a member.

If, after this session, you determine that you are still interested in being a member and are able to commit to participating in the OV concert season, you will have the opportunity to submit your name into the lottery.


After all orientation sessions are completed, the submitted names will be “put in a hat” and drawn at random, section by section. The Artistic Director also has the prerogative to select a few members specifically to balance or strengthen sections of the choir, and the Board has the prerogative to use affirmative action to help create diversity in the choir. 

You will be advised by phone about the results of the lottery.

More questions about OV membership? 

If we haven’t answered all your questions about joining the choir, please feel free to contact us at

Open Voices not for you?

Check out Kingston Community Choirs for a list of other community choirs in the Kingston area.

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