EveryBodySings co-founders Cyndi Doell

EveryBodySings co-founders Cyndi Doell

Singers celebrate anniversary

NANAIMO – EveryBodySings holding anniversary celebrations at St. Philip by-the-Sea Anglican Church.

Near the very heart of Lantzville lies a church surrounded by thick trees.

It’s a place where a particular group of adults have congregated for nearly 15 years to socialize and sing their hearts out.The adults are part of EveryBodySings, a music group that meets on Tuesday nights at St. Philip by-the-Sea Anglican Church.

“It’s a huge amount of fun. There are no expectations. We just relax and have fun,” said Shirley Whitelaw, EveryBodySings co-founder.

On Tuesday (Oct. 13) EveryBodySings will be entering its 15th season and will be holding anniversary celebrations at the Lantzville church.

“It is one of our regular singing nights, but we are making it into a party to celebrate the start of 15 years,” Whitelaw said.

EveryBodySings was founded in 2001 by Whitelaw and Cyndi Doell. The group, which gathers once a week, sings a wide range of easy-to-learn music.

“We sing multicultural music,” she said. “Songs from around the world. Generally … folk songs.”

Whitelaw says the group is open to all kind of music and that they teach everything by ear.

“We are open to absolutely anybody,” she said. “We’ve had many people join us who said they couldn’t sing and they have learned how to sing with us.”

Unlike traditional choirs that sit in arrangements facing individuals’ backs, members sit facing each other.

“People who want a formal choir and they want to know what is going to be happening every time are not comfortable with the way we do it,” she said. “Because we are as loosey goosey as you can get.”

EveryBodySings tries to avoid choir terms, instead of calling warm up “exercises” they call them “listening games.”

Whitelaw says the group is all about having fun and the unexpected.

“We are adults, but we promote a child-like kindergarten atmosphere, where you just come and you don’t know what is going to happen and you just join in and take part.”

Entering a 15th season, Whitelaw says the best part is seeing the emotion from the participants.

“The best part is the smiles, tears of joy and sometimes the sadness because these songs touch our hearts,” Whitelaw said.

EveryBodySings meets on Tuesday nights from 7-9 p.m. at St. Philip by-the-Sea Anglican Church in Lantzville. There is a drop-in fee of $10 or $32 for four weeks.

For information, visit www.moresingingplease.com.

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