Adventures are unique and intimate events, designed to offer our TEDx community unparalleled, behind-the scenes access to the people and places that make the local area so dynamic.
Singing Our Hearts Out With A People’s Choir
Cozily clustered around candlelit tables, we perk up when four women walk through the door in blue short aprons embroidered with, “Sing with us!” A sleepy Saturday night at The Waypost transforms into a lively sing-along as The Delicious, a Portland artist collective, kicks us off with Buffalo Springfield’s “Stop, Hey What’s That Sound?”
Formed out of nostalgia for communal singing, A People’s Choir was launched by Decoteau Wilkerson, Paige Reitz, and Adele Hauser in 2011 and now includes regular assistance by Poppy Miliken. Two years later, A People’s Choir has not only hosted monthly sing-a-longs at The Waypost, but also events at Portland State University’s Open Engagement, New York’s Art in Odd Places Festival and Last Thursdays on Alberta.
On this night, the three women have handed out lyric sheets filled with velocity-themed songs suggested via social media crowd sourcing. It truly feels like a choir of the people. We all start up the vocal vibrations in the back of the masses, but by Willie Nelson’s “On The Road Again,” we’ve cast off any self-consciousness and are now singing, shimmying and shaking our hearts out.
Our initial group of 30 has multiplied during the intermission, and we’re packed in The Waypost like sardines. If you really try, maybe you can make your way to the bar for a drink… but you’d better sing on your way!
As the songs unsung dwindle and our list becomes thin, the energy is in the room continues to rise. How can I tell? Probably from all the broad smiles that permeate our ranks and garble crisp lyrics; or there’s someone ripping a sweet air guitar solo in a circle of groupies.
This ADVENTURE! was a comfortable feeling for the vocally inclined, but for those of us who are shy with our pipes, it was a welcome chance to indulge, with the support of many other melodies. What a great way to practice singing, suggest songs you like and meet like minded rock stars, and all through the (well organized) democratic process!
TEDxConcordiaUPortland (now known as TEDxMtHood) ADVENTURES! are unique and intimate events, designed to offer our TEDx community unparalleled, behind-the scenes access to the people and places that make the local area so dynamic. Click here to learn more about TEDxConcordiaUPortland (now known as TEDxMtHood)’s upcoming ADVENTURES!
Lisa Anderson is a storyteller, adventure lover and a dress-up queen with an aspiration of becoming an eccentric Southern cat lady. She’s one of several storytellers who will be sharing write-ups, interviews, and perspectives on the many extraordinary people from our surrounding community.
Hunter Brookshier is a Portland, Oregon, based writer, marketer and musician. He’s passionate about grassroots communal organization and he loves the free market of ideas that TED and TEDx events and media help to spread. He’s thrilled to be part of this year’s TEDxConcordiaUPortland planning team. He’s one of several storytellers who will be sharing write-ups, interviews, and perspectives on the many extraordinary people from our surrounding community.