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Cool Choir concert comes 'from the heart'

Members of Cool Choir’s Cochrane and Airdrie chapters are gearing up to sing at the choirs’ end-of-year wrap-up concert, From the Heart, June 21 at St. Mary’s Parish in Cochrane.

“I sent out a message to the members saying I wanted to do a theme for the final concert, and that was the first one that came in,” said Cool Choir Outer Calgary North (OCN) director Tyler Fitzgerald. “I thought it was pretty accurate – people in this group are real human beings, with real feelings and real stuff going on in their lives. When they come into the room and sing, I think it’s, quite simply, from the heart.”

More than 80 members are expected to sing at the concert, according to Fitzgerald. The performance will feature more than a dozen rock and pop songs, he said, including covers from artists like Adele, U2, Cold Play, Guns n’ Roses and ABBA.

“It covers a pretty wide genre,” Fitzgerald said. “There’s a little something for everyone’s taste. There are a couple ballads, but most of them are upbeat, rock tunes.”

Originating in the United Kingdom, Cool Choir is an adult rock and pop choir that launched in Calgary in January 2016. Founder James Serafi said he wanted to flip the idea of a traditional choir on its head and create a non-conventional choir for people with little or no musical experience.

The popularity of Cool Choir in Calgary led to its expansion to Cochrane and Airdrie in September 2018. According to its website, Cool Choir currently boasts more than 500 members in Calgary and area.

Fitzgerald said the OCN branches include a wide demographic, with members ranging from mid-20s to seniors in their early 70s.

“People love to sing, and this is the perfect outlet for them,” he said. “They don’t have to audition or come in and feel pressure to be great.”

While Cool Choir performs many small pop-up shows throughout the year, Fitzgerald said large concerts like From the Heart are more rare, taking place two or three times a year. The last concert was in March at New Horizon Mall.

“There are a lot of people who have really grown in this choir,” Fitzgerald said. “They’ve grown in confidence, and some people are auditioning for solos and things they never thought they could do.

“People come in with the perception that they can’t sing, but that’s just not something I believe. I think it’s a cohesive group and we’re excited to sing for whoever is going to show up.”

The event is free, but Fitzgerald said attendees are encouraged to bring donations for the Cochrane Food Bank.

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