Queer Quoir is an intergenerational choir focusing on queer and trans voices. It welcomed queer and trans community members 16 and up before registration closed on Nov. 29.
Queer Quoir is facilitated by Skylar Shelley and Charlie Dunsmuir as part of their capstone project for the Community Music program at Laurier.
The Quoir begins in January with a performance scheduled for Mar. 5.
“I think one of the main goals is to just rebuild the queer community in Waterloo because it seems pretty regimented. [We want to do] some work and rebuilding, creating a space that like allows for music and also allows preparedness and just kind of like fills that gap their long-term goals,” Dunsmuir said.
Alongside the co-facilitators, the Laurier Graduate Student Association will help fund the project. Queer Quoir is set to start on Jan. 15 and end before March Break 2023. Queer Quoir’s’ song choices will consist of a classic collection of queer anthems.
“That that didn’t make me realize I was queer but definitely like had a huge role in like me kind of finding my voice and finding that self-confidence to come out and stuff like that. Music has always gone kind of hand in hand with my career journey, for lack of a better term,” Shelley said.
Both Shelley and Dunsmuir’s goal was to give ever voice the opportunity to sing and make music together.
They wanted to have an environment that is supportive and empowering. Queer Quoir is meant to be a space about connection, empathy and learning.
“I have identified as queer for a really long time…But I never really thought much about how like music impacted,” Dunsmuir said.
“I joined an all-guy’s choir in my high school. And that was, a moment of euphoria for me that I kind of been, building up to,” he said.
Dunsmuir missed being in a choir and wanted to co-create a gender-affirming music space for the people in KW. They really value friendship, humour and learning.
Shelley also said connection, empathy and learning is important to them.
The Quoir will reject gendered arrangements in favour of arranging voices as high, middle or low. Each choral member will be able to choose where they will be placed based on their vocals.
“We’re hoping to structure with mostly three-part harmony. Instead of sort of the traditional men sections and women’s sections,” Shelley said.
“So that lets participants kind of sort of self-select a bit more where they want to save depending on their comfort levels and where they’re at with their voice,” they said.
The Quoir is meant to be a very positive experience, one that is inclusive and fun for participants. The Quoir also has room to evolve as the participants become more involved.
“[The] format of the showcase will kind of evolve as we work with people. And as we kind of see where their comfort levels are and what they want it to look like to write,” Shelley said.