Sing to the Season with Q Choir

Image courtesy of Q Choir

By Rachel Rosenberg

The holidays are coming! ‘Tis the season for twinkly lights, spending time with loved ones and enjoying feelings of merriment. One way to experience joyful feelings is with singing, and Q Choir is looking to help with that. On Sunday, December 15th, this queer-centered choir will be performing alongside non-binary drag show-stopper Rose Butch at The Warehouse (550 Malkin Ave).

The set will be comprised of popular music that emphasizes queer artists, and for this show it features songs by The Wailin’ Jennys, B. Steadwell, Robyn, Brandi Carlisle and more. Music is arranged and conducted by Elyse Kantonen, who is doing a Masters in Conducting at UBC, and she is co-directing the show with Erin Deighton. Rose Butch, who is local, will be performing two numbers.

Q Choir

I spoke to Maureen Orman, manager, self-professed “choir nerd”, and founding member of Q Choir. Previously, she was a member of Femme Choir for three years; when that group disbanded, Orman and co-member Janelle Zwarych created Q Choir together. Kantonen was then recommended by Lau Mehes and Kate Parnell, the former directors of Femme Choir.

For those of you thinking that this sounds like something you’d enjoy both watching and participating in, they are open to everyone! The group meets from September to June, culminating in two big shows a year. You don’t need to audition as they both accept beginners and experienced choir members. Orman emphasized that it’s important that there is “equity in the process” — not everyone in the group reads music, so while choir experience is beneficial, it isn’t required. Orman’s idea was to make sure that the group is a safe space for all, and she praises the way that Kantonen “teaches in a way that allows members to blossom”. To further entice you, previous performances have included songs by Janelle Monae, Fleetwood Mac and Freddie Mercury.

You can contact Q Choir through their Facebook for more information, and tickets can be purchased for the December 15th show through Eventbrite ($12-15).


Rachel Rosenberg is a writer and library technician who is a proud member of the LGBTQ2+ community. She writes for Book Riot and can be found on Twitter @LibraryRachelR

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