Siobhan Robinsong, who founded the choir in 1996, believes that within the warm community of this supportive choir, even the shyest of voices can rediscover the joy of singing.
“We’re all born with a voice,” says Robinsong, “and it’s our birthright to sing. I would even say that we need to sing, because when we sing with other people it makes us feel so much better.”
In keeping with that philosophy, Robinsong has ensured that, from day one, the Gettin’ Higher Choir accepts anyone, no audition necessary.
“Forty people showed up that first night, and it just kept growing, and growing, and growing,” says Robinsong.
The choir, with 70 to 100 members in each of three weekly sessions, is now co-directed by Denis Donnelly, along with Robinsong.
“I loved arranging, so I gave [Siobhan] some arrangements, and then I joined the choir because I wanted to hear how the arrangements were getting sung…then she asked me shortly after that to be a co-director,” says Donnelly who joined the choir 1998.
Now, Donnelly and Robinsong are passing the baton to Cathy Baker and Dick Jackson, who will become the new co-directors of the Gettin’ Higher Choir.
“They’re such incredible mentors and guides,” says Baker. “Denis and Siobhan just provided us so many lovely opportunities to practice what we knew…and bit by bit I think we gained the community’s trust, and proved that we can do this.”
“We’re looking forward to growing the choir,” adds Jackson. “We’re hoping to open a Wednesday chapter out in the Westshore, to add some more opportunities for people to sing.”
“People need to sing together because it’s how we connect. It’s how we bond,” says Robinsong. “It’s how we stay healthy in body, mind and spirit.”