FAQ’s

We have a lot to offer your daughter! In short, our program teaches vocal excellence, as we create a wide variety of extraordinary and challenging music in a fun environment. Our singers learn the value of teamwork and discipline while forming lifelong friendships in a nurturing and close-knit community.

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Observe or participate in a free trial rehearsal

Depending on the time of year, we can arrange for your daughter to observe or participate in a free trial rehearsal so she can get a real feel for what weekly rehearsals are like.  Then you can determine if our choir is a good fit for your family.

Arrange an audition/voice assessment

If your daughter is interested in joining our choir when rehearsals are not in session (mid-June to September), we can arrange an audition for her.

For singers in grades 1 to 7: The audition is a low-key, friendly vocal assessment. The health and range of the singer’s voice will be assessed. A short ear-training exercise will determine whether the singer can match pitch, repeat rhythms when clapped and identify “high” and “low”.  A short, written worksheet will be provided so that we can assess your daughter’s level of musical literacy.

For singers in grades 8 to 12: The candidate should expect to sing easy scales, identify harmony notes and sing O Canada in E flat Major (starting note is the G above middle C). Previous choral and / or instrumental experience is an asset.

Auditions take 30 to 45 minutes.

Parents may watch the audition if this will help the singer feel more comfortable. Typically singers and parents know the outcome and placement the day of the audition.

Singer placement and advancement is the sole discretion of the Artistic Director.

Book your free trial rehearsal today!

Yes. Depending on the time of year, we can arrange for your daughter to observe or participate in a free trial rehearsal so she can get a real feel for what weekly rehearsals are like.  Then you can determine if our choir is a good fit for your family.

If your daughter is interested in joining our choir when rehearsals are not in session (mid-June to September), we can arrange an audition for her.

Book your free trial rehearsal today!

For younger singers (grades 1 to 7), the audition is a low-key, friendly vocal assessment. The health and range of the singer’s voice will be assessed. A short ear-training exercise will determine whether the singer can match pitch, repeat rhythms when clapped and identify “high” and “low”. The singer will be asked to complete a basic music knowledge worksheet.

For older singers (grades 8 to 12), the candidate should expect to sing easy scales, identify harmony notes and sing O Canada in E flat Major (starting note is the G above middle C). Previous choral and/or instrumental experience is an asset.

Auditions take 30 to 45 minutes.

Parents may watch the audition if this will help the singer feel more comfortable. Typically, singers and parents know the outcome and placement the day of the audition.

Contact us for more information

Of course! Depending on the time of year, we can arrange for your daughter to observe or participate in a free trial rehearsal so she can get a real feel for what weekly rehearsals are like.  Then you can determine if our choir is a good fit for your family.

If your daughter is interested in joining our choir when rehearsals are not in session (mid-June to September), we can arrange an audition for her.

Book your free trial rehearsal today!

No, your daughter does not need any previous formal vocal training to belong to our choir.

What your daughter should have is an enthusiasm for learning to sing beautifully with other girls, and a love for music and performing. We will provide your daughter with all the information and training she needs to become a confident singer.

Each year our Artistic Director selects music in wide variety of styles and languages that will appeal to choristers and audiences alike. Just as importantly, the repertoire is chosen to help build the singers’ vocal, musical and linguistic skills. Our repertoire includes classical, folk songs, jazz standards, show tunes, spirituals, pop, commissioned works, and the list goes on.

Some examples of music we have performed recently are:

  • Giacomo Puccini, “O Mio Babbino Caro” from the opera Gianni Schicchi (in Italian)
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, “Laudamus te” from Gloria (in Latin) and the “Papageno, Papagena” duet from the opera Die Zauberflote (in German)
  • “Old MacDonald’s Farm” a jazz version as sung by Ella Fitzgerald
  • “Heimr Árnadalr ” from the movie Frozen (in Ancient Norse)
  • Canadian folksongs:I’s the B’y & Bonavist Harbour” and “Ah! si mon moine voulait danser”
  • Benjamin Britten, “A Ceremony of Carols” for choir and harp (in Middle English)
  • Vancouver composers who write especially for us:
    • Larry Nickel, “Malala, Pakistani Girl”
    • Rodney Sharman, “song about forgetfulness”
    • Iman Habibi, “Lullaby to Hiroshima”
  • Adele, “Rolling in the Deep”
  • Pharrell Williams, “Happy”
Our age-related graduated system of choir levels provides each singer with the opportunity to feel comfortable in rehearsal, to be challenged, to learn new ideas and yet not feel overwhelmed. Occasionally, due to a singer’s skill and level of musical experience, she may be placed in a choir level that is outside the grade guidelines listed below. Singer placement and advancement is the sole discretion of the Artistic Director.

Vox Angelica Choir – Grades 1 to 3

A great place to start! Our beginner choir learns the foundations of musical literacy, good vocal technique, and how to follow a conductor through movement and musical games.

Learn more about Vox Angelica

Seraphim Choir – Grades 4 and 5

The second level of our Training Choirs is Seraphim. The girls start their camp experience and continue to develop musical skills through vocal exercises, songs in two parts and musical literacy games.

Learn more about Seraphim

Arietta Choir – Grades 6 and Up

The third level of our Training Choirs is Arietta. The girls attend camp and are given more intensive training with the senior choirs. Short mini-tours prepare the girls for International travel. This is also the perfect level for high school aged girls who have not yet had choral experience.

Learn more about Arietta

Bella Voce Choir and Allegria Choir – Grades 8 to 12

Our senior choirs are for girls who are musically ready for challenging repertoire and extensive touring and competitions.

Learn more about Bella Voce + Allegria

Zephyra Women’s Choir (18 years +)

Zephyra Women’s Choir is an auditioned, a cappella chamber choir open to women beyond high school who wish to sing the most beautiful, challenging and exhilarating choral music ever written for the female voice.

Learn more about Zephyra

Time
We ask all new choristers to make a one-year commitment and expect full attendance to all rehearsals and concerts. Attendance and commitment is essential to maintain the standard of excellence for which we are known. Think of the British Columbia Girls Choir as you would a Rep or high-level sports team; every member plays an integral part in the success of the whole team! A calendar is issued in September for the entire year so that families may plan ahead.

Volunteering
We rely on our families for their volunteer help throughout each season. We request each family to volunteer as a rehearsal chaperone for up to two rehearsals throughout the season (dates chosen by the family). Additional volunteer positions are available. We encourage all families to get involved!

Fundraising
The British Columbia Girls Choir Board of Directors and staff work hard to ensure the Choir is a viable and sustainable organization. Our current fundraising focus is PROJECT HOME, securing a permanent rehearsal facility.

Additional fundraising for the Tour Choir is optional.

Singing in a group is the perfect way for young girls who want to perform, but are too shy to step forward in a solo role! Each singer is an important part of the whole choir, whether she sings a solo, or supports her friends in a group setting. No singer will be asked to step forward for solo work unless she, herself, wishes to. The nurturing atmosphere of our rehearsals supports shy girls, as they are encouraged to fulfill their potential.

“When I first came to the BC Girls Choir, I was a shy, scared little girl, who was too afraid to share her voice with anyone. After six years with this amazing group, I can sing with confidence and I know I’ll never forget the amazing trips, and the wonderful friends that I’ve met along the way.” Jessica Cumming, BCGC alumna, student and member of Zephyra Women’s Choir

Our season runs from September through to the beginning of June. Our main intake times are September and January, however, we are open to accepting new choristers throughout most of the season depending on how far along we are with the music preparation and how quickly your daughter can catch up.

We encourage your daughter to attend a free trial rehearsal so that she can get a real feel for what weekly rehearsals are like. She will have a private assessment with our director and, if she is accepted, you can then determine if our choir is a good fit for your family.

Book your free trial rehearsal today!

To experience the full benefits of being a member of our choir, joining and committing fully is certainly the way to go. To maintain our high level of performance, singers must attend all rehearsals and concerts, Contact us to learn more about our Attendance Policy.

Twice a year we offer a 4-week choral program open to singers in grades 4 to 7 who have been nominated by their school music teachers: SpringSing in May/June and WinterSong in November/December. These workshops take place in various regions of Metro Vancouver.

Learn more

Our women’s choir, Zephyra, is an auditioned, a cappella chamber choir open to women beyond high school who wish to sing the most beautiful, challenging and exhilarating choral music ever written for the female voice.

Learn more

Our rehearsals are run in English and, in our beginning choir level, most of the songs are in English. We expect the singers in grade one to have started their basic knowledge of English; however, we also recognize that singers learn languages at different rates. Choral singing and language acquisition go hand-in-hand.

What we have found is that girls who are learning French in an immersion situation at school, actually accelerate their language skills in English when they sing in our choir. All the girls sing in numerous languages other than English and French – another benefit of joining our choir. Choral music and language go “hand in hand”.

Please contact us for more information.

We rehearse in Coquitlam, the epicentre of Metro Vancouver. This location affords most families a carefree commute to rehearsal on Saturdays. We do not publish the location on the website for security reasons.
Our age and experience related system of choir levels provides each singer the opportunity to feel comfortable in rehearsal, to be challenged, to learn new ideas, and yet not feel overwhelmed. Rehearsals are fast-paced and fun, with plenty of music, movement, and age-appropriate musical games and activities.

Learn more about Vox Angelica (Grades 1 to 3)

Learn more about Seraphim (Grades 4 and 5)

Learn more about Arietta (Grades 6 and Up)

Learn more about Bella Voce + Allegria (Grades 8 to 12)

The British Columbia Girls Choir is a charitable society. Program fees cover approximately 40% of the funds needed to provide quality musical education and performance opportunities for your daughter. The remainder of our expenses is raised through grants, donations, corporate sponsorships, and concert ticket sales.

Your program fee payments help to cover some of the following:

  • Vocal & choral training from our province’s top professional educators for an average of $10/hour of rehearsal – well below the cost of private lessons
  • Purchase of music
  • Rehearsal venue and concert hall rental
  • Rehearsal Camp
  • Administration costs

Vox Angelica Choir – Grades 1 to 3

Fees: Average of $65 per month

Learn more about Vox Angelica

Seraphim Choir – Grades 4 and 5

Fees: Average of $100 per month

Learn more about Seraphim

Arietta Choir – Grades 6 and Up

Fees: Average of $115 per month

Learn more about Arietta

Bella Voce Choir – Grades 8 to 12

Fees: Average of $155 per month

Allegria Chamber Choir – Grades 8 to 12

Fees: Average of $160 per month

Learn more about Bella Voce + Allegria

Zephyra Women’s Choir (ages 18+)

Fees: $49 per month ($435 for the year)

Learn more about Zephyra

Other costs

  • Annual registration fee – Individual $40; Siblings $30 each
  • Concert tickets
  • Additional workshops
  • Tours
  • Performance costume and rehearsal uniform

Payment options + terms available
Pre-authorized debit from your bank account;

  • once a year,
  • twice a year, or 
  • monthly

Bursary Program
A limited bursary fund is available. An application is required.

Yes, we pride ourselves on our appearance! For rehearsals we require the girls to wear a BC Girls Choir t-shirt, as well as comfortable clothing and regulation footwear. For performances, we have a casual and formal costume.

Required Personal Purchases

  • Black straight-leg pants
  • Black Character dance shoes – $30 to $80 (depending on style, consignment items are sometimes available)
  • Regulation colour tights or nylons (black or skin-tone depending on the season) $10 to $20
  • Performance dress – $90 to $160 (depending on style and date of order)
  • Cubic zirconia stud earrings – up to $10
  • BC Girls Choir t-shirts can be purchased for $15 each

For Zephyra Women’s Choir – a Henkaa concert gown in black is required.

Yes, we have a minimum of 5 concerts per year, two in December, one in March and two in June. All of these concerts showcase all the choir levels. There are also additional performances depending on your daughter’s choir level.  These may include festivals, guest appearances, community events, educational outreach, and charitable events.

Parents are given a calendar of the entire year at the beginning of September so they can plan accordingly.

Find out more about upcoming events

While choir is a team activity, in which each singer learns the important skills of cooperation, group accountability and leadership, there are opportunities for girls to sing solos. 

Our auditioned chamber choir, Allegria, is also meant for girls who have strong voices and are self-motivated.

Every two to three years, our Bella Voce choir members (grades 8 to 12) are invited to participate in our national and international tours. Going on tour gives our choristers first-rate performance opportunities, changes their lives by exposing them to different culture, and allows them to form global friendships.

The international tours are usually 2-3 weeks long. Mini-tours are arranged for singers in Arietta (Grades 6 and up). These 3-4 day concert tours, usually on a weekend, are the perfect transition for girls to experience being away from home and traveling for just a few days.

Learn more

Every October, we take all our choir levels, Grades 4 to 12, to rehearsal camp near Cultus Lake. The only exception is Vox Angelica (Grades 1 to 3); these girls do not attend camp, but have their own special rehearsal instead. Over the weekend, the girls bond with each other during rehearsals, team building activities, campfires and skits.

Learn more