Ten years ago, Nobu Adilman, Daveed Goldman and their friend Amanda Burt hosted a choir at a surprise birthday party. Today, that choir has evolved into a community, meeting weekly to sing in Toronto's most iconic music venues and beyond. Many of their songs have gone viral, from Prince and David Bowie tributes, to sing-alongs led by famous musicians like David Byrne, Rufus Wainwright, and Patti Smith.
*“Every single time we go out there, we're looking to make a connection with people-to make people feel like they came to the right place and that they can carry that forward. A critical number of people have shown us or told us that what we're doing is important to them and that keeps us going.” - Nobu Adilman
In 2010, Nobu Adilman and Daveed Goldman posted on Facebook asking if anyone wanted to sing in a choir with them at a real estate office where a friend worked in Toronto. He and Daveed prepared some minor arrangements to "Nowhere Man" by The Beatles and "Just A Smile" by Pilot. "It was kind of extraordinary what happened that night. People we didn't even know showed up," Nobu told us.
At the end of the evening, people wanted us to do it again the next day. Choir! Choir! Choir! was born. They ended up hosting the Choir! every Tuesday for the next year.
To participate in a Choir! Choir! Choir! event, you simply show up to their venue, pay five dollars for a lyrics sheet (more if they're touring), rehearse a three-part harmony, and then perform it with a crowd of strangers. Many of their videos have gone viral, from Prince and David Bowie tributes, to sing-alongs led in-person by famous musicians like David Byrne, Rufus Wainwright, and Patti Smith. In our interview, we ask Nobu about how Choir! Choir! Choir! went from something he and some friends started in a real estate office in Toronto to the phenomenon it has become.
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The Get-Together is a podcast about the nuts and bolts of community building. Hosts Bailey Richardson and Kevin Huynh of People & Company ask organizers who have built exceptional communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to thousands more members?