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The Daily Tar Heel

Pop Up Chorus in Durham attracts a diverse audience

No auditions, no mandatory attendance: just show up and sing.

Designed to be low-maintenance for people with a busy schedule, Pop Up Chorus is a local vocal ensemble that meets on Mondays in Durham to learn and perform with a completely different group of people each time.

Lauren Hodge, organizer of the group, said anyone is welcome.

“We meet on Mondays at 6:30, learn two songs and finish recording each usually after about an hour and a half,” Hodge said.

With the philosophy in mind that people sing better after a beer or two, Pop Up Chorus not only provides a musical environment, but also a social one where people of all singing capabilities can come together with friends to sing and have a good time.

Jennifer Prather, a regular participant in the Pop Up Chorus, said, “I just saw a flyer in my building one day and thought it sounded like ‘Glee’ — I have gone each time.”

Prather said since the group is open to people of all ages and singing experiences, anyone can sing harmony in the back or sing the high notes out front — it’s a very comfortable, fun experience.

Seamus Kenney, the conductor and composer for Pop Up Chorus, works with the rotating chorus members in a way which serves to help people of all ages and musical backgrounds contribute to their massive ensemble.

Kenney takes time away from teaching music at Smith Middle School to compose chorus adaptations of contemporary pop, indie rock, and ‘60s songs for the Pop Up chorus on Monday night.

With famous musical experiences outside of the classroom in Hollywood with his indie rock band, SNMNMNM, and his experience directing Saxapahaw Concert and Show Choir, Kenney demonstrates his musical knowledge successfully in teaching two completely new performances to each Pop Up Chorus practice group with a final product of a video recording so that each chorus member can re-watch it on YouTube and share with friends.

After meeting only three times, Pop Up Chorus has recorded six songs including “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman, “Creep” by TLC and “Ride” by Lana del Rey.

The group has had turnouts of over 60 people from ages 17 to 70 each time.

With loving to sing as their only requirement, they welcome all new people to come out to Motorco Music Hall in Durham to sing with them on Monday nights.

“To my knowledge, we haven’t had any UNC students come yet, but we’re always looking for more singers,” Hodge said.

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