Salmon Arm singers have a place to gather and share their voices in a casual environment thanks to Kristina Jessen and the Earth in Harmony Community Singers.
Jessen has been hosting the singing group Earth in Harmony for the past five weeks, with attendance growing each week. An average of 19 singers come to raise their voices, learning new songs in call-and-response fashion without strict lyric or music theory education or compliance.
Earth in Harmony Community Singers perform a cappella, with no music or instruments, learning songs from different time periods and cultures.
“Within five minutes, we knew a song completely, and within ten minutes, we were singing in harmony,” said singer Nan Dickie. “No rows of singers, no piano, just a gifted song leader and a group of people wanting and willing to free their voices in a safe, comfortable environment.”
Jessen took violin lessons at the age of seven and has always loved singing and music. She released a solo album in 2016 and is working on her second album now. She discovered community singing in 2017, working as an outreach worker on Vancouver’s downtown east side. She and a song-loving client went to a singing group’s free drop-in choir and that launched her into a passion for creating similar groups.
“It absolutely blew my heart and mind,” said Jessen. “I completed the Ubuntu Choir leadership training in Victoria in 2018, and I’ve been creating group singing spaces on and off since then.”
The Salmon Arm group has been meeting since last May at Blackburn Park and in indoor spaces in the winter.
“We are a growing but equally solid group, focused on community and connection just as much as singing.”
The group meets Tuesday evenings at 5:30 p.m. at Galeria Estima, downtown Salmon Arm.
No experience or preparation is necessary for singers to join the group. Drop-ins are welcome weekly to the song circle.