10 February 2007

aparently, this is how you make a choir

Some time ago I was listening to this webstation, which I recommend, when I heard a series of songs performed by a choral group who called themselves "The Suspicious Cheese Lords." They are an all male a capella group who a really quite good. Intrigued, I googled the name and clicked on "I'm feeling lucky," (because how many groups with that name could there be?) and I hit this website, and found their history. As someone who belongs to two choirs which are chronically undersized I was interested in the leader's recruitment method: he promised some singers dinner if they joined him:

The Suspicious Cheese Lords was founded by Clifton "Skip" West in 1996. Skip had the typical American dream of wanting to sing Thomas Tallis' Lamentations of the Prophet Jeremiah. To accomplish this goal, he enticed a core group of five amateur singers, friends who were current and former members of the Cathedral Choral Society, by promising a home-cooked dinner to those who would come and bellow.
Now his practices sound like celebrations of food and drink as well as song:

Since then, the Cheese Lords have consisted of between 10 and 15 members. They still gather in Skip's dining room once a week to sing, drink, talk, eat, drink,sing, and did we say drink? In spite of this—or perhaps because of it—this male a cappella ensemble has been able to prepare and perform high-quality and
heart-felt music throughout the Washington area.
Perhaps this is the way to go for the choirs: Make the gatherings a social event. If all else fails, find some hungry singers. Sing for your food, and all that.

That, and get a really cool name.

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