Singing as an individual is one thing, but add a few more people, and you’ve got a choir. A choir is simply defined as a body of vocalists who perform together in a group. Within this definition exists a whole world of creative styles and artistic identities. Each choir group, composed by unique individuals with a set purpose, combine as an impressive force to perform together. Here is a brief outline of some useful categorize that exemplify the diversity within choir.

Traditional Choral Singing

Choirs usually consist of at least 3-4 singers in four sections (Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass – also known as SATB), to sing in four part harmony with each other. Choirs can be accompanied with a musical instrument, or singers can sing a cappella, without instrumental accompaniment. Conventional choirs are mixed gender in order to include the full vocal range. Chamber singers are a small or medium sized group of about 10 to 40 singers who sing religious or classical music in concert performances.

Many choirs are recreational. Community choir is a great way for people to be express themselves in an art form that they’re passionate about while building relationships with neighbors and coworkers. Choir is popular at colleges and universities, especially in the form of a capella groups.

Some choirs are purposefully community-building, such as workplace choirs that emphasize teamwork and communication. These are popular in the United Kingdom. In retirement homes, Senior Choir offers retirees a refreshing way to stay involved while singing favorite songs. Another popular type of choir is black gospel choir, tracing its legacy to the slave trade in the 1700s and infused with powerful jazz and blues. Another example of the inclusive nature of singing is Stonewall Chorale, the country’s first ever LGBTQ Choir.

The list doesn’t end there. The restorative benefits of singing in a group has been recognized in groups dealing with various personal traumas. Atlanta, Georgia is home to Homeward Choir, made up of 26 homeless men who stay at the same night shelter. They will perform at the White House this Christmas. Prison choirs are also increasingly recognized as a transformative tool in rehabilitating prisoners.

People join choirs not only because they learn music and improve their singing, but because it’s fun to be a part of something. When you join a choir, you join a team. Choir is an opportunity to make something special and with so many different varieties to choose from, there’s bound to be a perfect fit for everyone.