Every Rehearsal Night is Guest Night at Harmony Express!
If you would like to give a cappella singing a try, we would love to see you at an upcoming rehearsal. If you can reproduce a pitch, we will teach you the rest!
Harmony Express meets nearly every Sunday evening from 7:30 to 10:00 PM at St. Rose of Lima Church, 11701 Clopper Road, Gaithersburg (we are not a religious group - the Church offers us rehearsal space). You should plan to arrive pretty much exactly at 730, since the doors are open from 7:30 to 7:40.
Men of all ages are invited - you are always welcome at Harmony Express! If you are planning on coming please contact us in advance in case a particular rehearsal has been cancelled.
What our members say:
- "I should have started this 10 years ago"
- "Frank [the director] is an amazing teacher with unlimited patience"
- "I've been playing the piano since I was a kid, but I never thought I could sing. These guys taught me how to use a new instrument - my voice!"
- "By joining this group, I got the opportunity to sing the Star Spangled Banner at a National's game in front of 30,000+ people"
- "I'm an engineer by trade and I love the physics behind the harmonics"
- "I knew I'd love the music. But I wasn't expecting how great the fraternity aspect is."
- "I loved learning the choreography"
Can I join if I've never sung before?
If you've ever played a musical instrument, chances are you have an ability you are not aware of. When you come to your first rehearsal, we can determine if you can reproduce a pitch. If you can, we will teach you the rest!
Do I need to know how to read sheet music?
No. While the ability to read music is helpful, it is not a requirement. MP3's are provided for all repertoire songs.
What part will I sing? How do I know what my vocal range is?
At your first rehearsal, we will determine which part fits your voice the best. Some members can even sing in multiple vocal ranges.
Do I have to audition before becoming a member?
Yes, you will need to sing a song in front of our director as part of a quartet. If you have singing experience this audition can be at your first rehearsal, but most guests come to several rehearsals before deciding that they are ready to audition. If you don't pass, no sweat. We will work with you until you can do it!
What does it mean to "ring a chord"?
This is a name for a specific and well-defined acoustical effect, also referred to as the fifth voice. It occurs when the upper harmonics in the individual voice notes, and the sum and difference frequencies resulting from nonlinear combinations within the ear, reinforce each other at a particular frequency, strengthening it so that it stands out separately above the blended sound. The amazing part is that it is not heard in chords sounded on modern keyboard instruments, due to the slight tuning imperfection of the equal-tempered scale. Musicians who become singers are often amazed by this!
Can I use the sheet music when performing?
That's fine when you are first learning the songs. But we do expect each member to memorize our repertoire once they've been a member for a reasonable amount of time.
What if I get nervous singing in front of others?
That's perfectly normal. You'll discover that this will go away as you perform a few times and as your skills improve. The first step is being able to perform in front of the group. Then, you will be asked to perform during one of our smaller performances. Before you know it, you'll be able to sing in front of hundreds/thousands of people!