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Community Sing

Saturday, August 10, Time TBA at the City Hall Stage Tent

Across America, in living rooms, churches, family reunions, campgrounds, bars, stadiums, and community centers, people have long gathered together for the simple pleasure of joining voices in song. Today, a newer version of this gathering of amateur songsters is growing in popularity.

In the Sunday, February 10, 2008 New York Times, in a feature story about this Mid-Michigan Community Singing movement, writer Ben Ratliff notes that these events-called song circles, community sings, singalongs, or singing festivals-  "draw together the average-voiced and bring old songs into common memory." In our increasingly digital and sometimes alienating world, the act of singing with others is both an immediately satisfying personal experience and a powerful tool for building community.  (read Mr. Ratliff's entire article)
community sing
In 2003, East Lansing, musician, producer, and educator Sally Potter, founded the annual Mid-Winter Singing Festival. Ms. Potter has strongly encouraged the Great Lakes Folk Festival to add a community singing component.  The first GLFF Community Sing was held in 2010, led by Ray Kamalay, Robert B. Jones and Potter. Over 100 participants overwhelmed the small Legacy Tent stage.  In 2011, over 250 people gathered to sing with Elizabeth LaPrelle, Joel Mabus, and Sally Rogers on Saturday afternoon under the much larger City Hall Stage.  For the 2012 Community Singing program, Potter and Singing Festival favorite Mark Dvorak will lead two hours of singing under a huge tent in the heart of the festival. There will be plenty of room for everyone who wants to join in song.

    Singing together at the Great Lakes Folk Festival, has proven quite popular. You are invited to join your friends and neighbors in song. You don't need choir experience or a great singing voice, just the simple desire to join others in making music together.