Canadian -based choir that brings together strangers to learn songs and perform them will be at Border Field State Park for a concert on Oct. 13.
“Choir! Choir! Choir!” plans to have singers performing on both sides of the border during the event, scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.
“When you sing with others, you become bonded in ways that strengthen yourself and expand your sense of community,” Nobu Adilman, one of the group’s founders, said in a statement. “The opportunity to experience this with the people of San Diego and Tijuana, across borders and languages, is very exciting.”
The event, sponsored on the U.S. side by ArtPower at UC San Diego, is free and open to the public, but registration is because of state park regulations. As of Friday afternoon, the event was near capacity.
On the Tijuana side, there is no limit on participation, and it is open to people from both sides of the border, organizers said. People will be meeting there at Las Playas de Tijuana.
Started in 2011 by Adilman and Daveed Goldman as a weekly drop-in night in Toronto, “Choir! Choir! Choir!” has gone on to stage shows throughout North America, including some at famous venues such as Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall. They’ve opened for Patti Smith and sung with Rufus Wainwright. After Prince died, they filled Toronto’s Massey Hall with almost 2,000 people for a tribute of “When Doves Cry.”
Here’s how it usually works: The audience becomes the choir. There are no auditions, and all skill levels are welcome. Participants are handed a lyric sheet when they arrive, and then grouped by pitch to learn the songs. Past performances have included pop tunes as old as the Everly Brothers’ “Bye Bye Love” (1957) and as new as Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” (released this year).
“The simplicity of it is kind of frightening in this day and age,” Goldman told the New Yorker. “You sell yourself short by connecting with 10,000 people in 140 characters over the Internet. People don’t even go to movies anymore. People feel something in that room that we’re in.”
Or, in this case, along a border wall.
“The event,” ArtPower executive director Jordan Peimer said in a statement, “shows that the arts can overcome obstacles that separate us and resonate with the harmonies which connect us all.”