Thank you for sharing this beautiful, unique practice and community with us. We’re so glad you’re here!
During these times of quick and unexpected change, we have done a lot to move our community online. I will try to provide you with everything you need to feel integrated into this community, but I of course welcome feedback as this is a steep and quick learning curve.
We normally have an Orientation in person at the beginning of a session. I’ve enclosed the Orientation Packet which may be good to read anyway, since it will give you history on this choir, the Ubuntu Choirs Network, teaching by Oral Tradition, and the culture we’re building here. Read It Here: Orientation Packet.
Please at least make sure you are familiar with the Zoom Orientation Adendum, even if you don’t read the full Orientation Packet. Read It Here; Zoom Orientation Adendum
Thank you for doing the work to make this a safe space for all!
Videos of our rehearsals
As a choir member, you’ll be able to re-watch our rehearsals, or watch the ones you missed. These are unlisted videos, so please don’t share them.
I do occasionally pull from our recorded rehearsals to share with a broader public, just as, when we met in person, I would occasionally take a short video of rehearsal and post it to Instagram. Know that I never single anyone out but rather I try to capture the feel of the group dynamic, and emotionally or especially tender moments stay between us. That being said, if you are uncomfortable being featured or seen this way, please let me know and I will keep it in mind if I ever need to pull footage for wider sharing.
Click below for rehearsal videos:
6/4 (orientation/first night)
6/11 Rehearsal #2 (includes orientation to the Website and Zoom packet)
6/18 Rehearsal #3 (Solstice Song, Bambelela, My Eyes Are Opened, Bele Mama, Rise Up, Slow Down, Angel Wash)
6/25 Rehearsal #4 (Rickie Byars Beckwith song with Deborah, Love is Love is Love is Love, Rise Up with Sara, Surrender, Mochinumba, We Let It Be)
7/2 Rehearsal #5 with Melanie DeMore
7/10 Rehearsal #6 (She Gives Me Life, Bele Mama, My Eyes Are Opened, Hineini, Rise Up (final harmony), Standing Stone, Angel Wash)
7/16 Rehearsal #7 (Om Ah Hum, Ning Yeda, My Eyes Are Opened, Come Come Come, Heart Wide Open, Hangaiwa, Singing Ourselves Home, Angel Wash)
7/23 Rehearsal #8 (Rise Up, Bambelela, Ning Yeda, Time Will Tell, There is More Love Somewhere, Heart Wide Open, Tending the Spark, Cho Kurima, Ancestor Sky People, Angel Wash)
8/6 Baby Shower!
8/13 Rehearsal #9 – final night! With Angel Wash and other wonderful songs (Including two beautiful ones from Deborah)
8/20 – Water Prayer
These tracks will hopefully bring you joy, an opportunity to sing with me between rehearsals, and a chance to learn the songs better! Teaching Tracks are always part of Living Room Choir, but they are more important now perhaps than ever given our current format. Please know these were created and shared with YOU in mind – they are not designed for public sharing. If you’d like to share them with someone else, please ask me first so I have some sense of where the songs are going. The exception are my original songs, which I freely give you permission to share (in all cases, please make sure source credit is attached when sharing any song).
You’ll notice many of these are password protected – the password will be in your email upon your enrollment for the Summer Session.
A note on oral tradition:
As an oral tradition song carrier, it’s important to me that I carry these songs (and share them) with integrity, and as much information attached as possible. Oral tradition songs do sometimes get separated from their source and go through changes as different teachers teach them. If you know an attribution I have left off or gotten wrong, please let me know. If you have heard another version of the song, you are welcome to share it with me; oral tradition songs often have many variations and I sometimes will modify a song after I’ve taught it one way previously (made a little more complicated when we’re working off recordings instead of simply live singing!) If I have learned something wrong in pronunciation or spelling from a different language or culture, I definitely want to know about it.
I will always do my best to share all the information I have, and update the new information when I get it. Especially since I do teach songs from other cultures, I am forever on an mission to continue my learning about the songs I carry and the contexts they were born in – even if we are working on a modified version. I like to know the source, and know enough about a song that I feel confident carrying it with integrity. I try to be sensitive in what I choose to share and how I choose to share it, to give back to communities that freely gift us songs, to ask direct permission from song writers whenever that path is possible, and trust and allow music from around the world to find me, teach me, and guide me through the process.
Ancestor Sky People – Harmony Grisman
Angel Wash – by Aimee Ringle, Mia Kelley, Rafe Pearlman and Saphir Lewis
Bambelela – a Zulu Children’s Song
Bele Mama – from Camaroon, “Call Mother”, page coming soon
Cho Kurima – a song from pre-1900s Zimbabwe
Come Come Come – Jes Karper
Find the Cost of Freedom – Originally by Stephen Stills, written during the Vietnam War. Dr Ysaye Maria Barnwell arranged it for voice; this is my re-arrangement of her arrangement.
Hangaiwa – a Shona song about the everlasting love of the pigeon doves
Heart Wide Open – Lea Morris (on Youtube)
Hineini – Kaitie Ty Warren
I Rise Up – Beautiful Chorus.
Love is Love is Love is Love – Abbie Betinis
Mochinumba – an ancient song from Nigeria; a celebration of the Earth and a reminder that we are the Earth
My Eyes Are Opened (the Saturn Returns song)
Protection March – Kaitie Ty Warren and Sara Stutz, inspired by a conversation with Melanie DeMore
Ning Yeda – Northern Ghana, a song of welcome
O Water – Kaitie Ty Warren
Om Ah Hum – taught to us by Evelie Delfino Såles Posch
Sending You Light – Melanie DeMore (on Youtube)
She Gives Me Life – Alexa Sunshine Rose (on Youtube) – watch the version we did together on Facebook
Shine On Me – Melanie DeMore (hosted on Lisa G. Littlebird’s song library)
Singing Ourselves Home (This is Home) – Sophia Efthimiou
Slow Down – Kaitie Ty Warren
Solstice Round – taught to us by Evelie Delfino Såles Posch
Surrender – Kaitie Ty Warren
Tending the Spark – Heather Houston
There is More Love Somewhere – an African American Spiritual. Listen to the original by Bessie Jones on Youtube. Listen to the well-known version from Bernice Johnson Reagon also on Youtube!
Time Will Tell – Kaitie Ty Warren
We Let It Be – Rickie Byars Beckwith. Listen to her sing it with the choir at the Center for Spiritual Living here!
Virginia’s Nurse’s Lullaby – Melanie DeMore (on Youtube)