Amateur choral singing is ubiquitous in North America. Church and synagogue choirs abound. Secular groups are everywhere, ranging from classical choruses, mixed and single sex, to doo-wop, barbershop, and college-style a cappella. Yale singers are found throughout these associations, but they are harder to find than are the groups.
The web provides the best medium for locating outlets for choral singing. In several regions (New York, San Francisco, the North Carolina Triangle, Central Massachusetts, Connecticut, Austin) people have taken it upon themselves to create website directories of regional singing groups. The New York directory alone (Vocal Area Network, founded and maintained by a Yalie) lists over 500 groups. The American Choral Directors Association’s ChoralNet site has a directory of about a zillion choirs that can be searched by state.
The Contemporary A Cappella Society of America has an on-line directory of nearly 3,000 groups that can be searched alphabetically and by musical style, and, with extra effort, by location. A smaller consortium is the American A Cappella Alliance (a good smattering of Yalies are in this bunch).
The Barbershop Harmony Society (formerly SPEBSQUA) enables you to find a group within 5 to 200 miles of your zip code. Harmony Incorporated has links to hundreds of women’s singing groups, clustered by region. BHS links itself to several other consortia.
We know of singing groups that should be in some of these directories, but, for some reason, are not. Thus, personal networks are also a way to locate singing opportunities. Googling “choral music in CITY X” always comes up with something: sometimes a local directory, or a set of links to local groups.
Local Yale Clubs, if they are active, have been used by alums singers to find others with whom to sing. In one case, the Club sent out a shotgun email to its list at the request of the organizer, and it worked.