Why Choose Eclipse? Eclipse is more than just a choir; it’s a performance group aiming to entertain audiences with a mixture of pop, rock, gospel, and a pinch of jazz. Singing solos, trios, duets, full choral pieces, with band, without band — it’s all part of the mix that gives Eclipse its own sound. Think about it — how often are you going to get to sing on Broadway (at the Broadway Theatre of course)! But we don’t just limit ourselves to full stage concerts — we also perform other small gigs around town, including the memorable time we sang our own arrangement of Hockey Night in Canada at an NHL pre-season game in Saskatoon. We also get to do a bit of touring from time to time, taking our show to audiences in smaller centres — and always have a great time singing in a variety of small but mighty performing facilities, to audiences that pack the theatre and love to see us perform!
Most of our performances are with our band — and what a band! Keyboard, bass guitar, lead guitar, drums, and other instruments provide us with backup that energizes our singing and brings depth and interest to our performances.
We also own the group. We formed our own charitable corporation, with each singer in Eclipse automatically becoming a voting member of the corporation. We elect our own board of directors, who work closely with the music director to make certain the Eclipse remains true to its mandate, and sing the type of songs closest to our hearts. The performance money we earn goes back into Eclipse.
It’s also part of our mandate to sing songs composed or arranged by Saskatchewan and other Canadian songwriters. Many of our arrangements and compositions are the work of our director, our accompanist, other musicians in the community and in Canada, and sometimes our very own group members.
You are not one of a hundred. We stay smaller than a lot of groups, which lets us perform in smaller spaces. It gives you a chance to shine, if that’s your gig, or to lend your voice to tight choral teamwork. It gives you a chance to lead, if you want to step up and show us your leadership qualities.
And it’s fun. We know each other. We like each other. We support each other. We are family.
How do you become a group member? For information about openings and auditioning for Eclipse, contact Artistic Director Roy Sydiaha at email@example.com.
Before you call, read on for the answers to your most frequently asked questions:
When do we rehearse? We rehearse two hours per week, each Tuesday evening, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Additional rehearsals may be called before a performance. Our regular rehearsal schedule is from the beginning of September to the middle of December, and the beginning of January to the middle of May.
Is there an audition? You will be asked to do a small audition to check your pitch and to determine your range. Sight singing abilities are an asset, but not a requirement.
Does Eclipse limit the number who can join? As long as we all fit on the risers, and you pass the audition, and we have a good balance between the sections, you can join.
When is the best time to join? The best time to join is either at the beginning of September or the beginning of January, since we start learning new music at the beginning of each term.
What are the expectations for group members? We are expected to attend most rehearsals. Eclipse performs off-book, so we all spend time learning our music outside of rehearsal. We offer a bundle of tools to help you learn your music — paper versions of the music, pdf versions online, rehearsal tracks online, and if you really need it, rehearsal CDs you can rock to in your car. Sections will often get together on their own, outside of rehearsal, to go through more difficult parts of the music.
Because we want to spend our time at rehearsal as productively as possible, we also expect that members will take the time to warm up their voices before they come to rehearsal. Humming in the car or doing scales on the way to rehearsal is great way to warm up those vocal chords!
We have a major self-produced concert each year at Christmas. Second term will be another self-produced concert or touring to other smaller centres, or both. We may also have other smaller local performances throughout the year. Not everyone will be able to attend all performances, but we would like to see you there at as many as possible. For the first year, you may decide not to sing at the smaller performances until you are comfortable with the music. What is most important to us is that you enjoy your experience with Eclipse.
We do a little bit of fundraising most years, such as selling hamburgers in front of Canadian Tire. We try to keep our activities simple, as we are all busy people!
We ask everyone to do what they can to help out during the year. We always need people to organize, sell tickets, handle with setup and takedown, manage costumes, and help with a variety of small tasks that keep us running.
How much does it cost? The basic cost to be a member is $150 per term. Payment options are personal cheque, credit card (with a $5 surcharge), and electronic transfer. And remember, your fees go directly to the our charitable corporation. As a voting member of the organization, you have the ability to sit on the Board of Directors and have a say in how those monies are spent.