Boulder is host to 79 underpasses that allow people safe and easy crossing from one side of busy local roads to the other. Did you know that they also serve up great acoustics? Just ask the Boulder Bike Underpass Choir.
We caught up with Lisa Seaman, one of the group’s founders, to learn more about this fun, local group.
When did the choir form?
In the summer of 2009, there was a three-day music festival in Boulder called Zimfest. I was in a singing workshop, and after the 1.5-hour class, we went down to the creek path under 17th street and sang in the underpass. That was the first official underpass singing. After that, some of that same group sang a song or two at Kutandara Center (a local marimba school) sharings (aka, recitals). Then we took a few more workshops from other teachers, and slowly built our song repertoire.
What is your role with the choir?
I was the original organizer. I commute around town on my bicycle, so I already knew about the awesome accoustics in Boulder’s wonderful underpasses. Now the logistics of the choir are organized by Mark and Evelyn Keller. Yay! We don’t have a musical director, not to say we wouldn’t welcome one.
What kinds of songs do you sing?
We sing all kinds of songs, but most of our songs are from Zimbabwe and South Africa.
How many members are there?
We have about 10-15 regulars. We have other aliases, too, like the Underpants Choir, or just Choirpants!
Can anyone join?
Are there any requirements for membership?
How often do you perform?
About 5 times a year. We usually sing at Winter Bike to Work Day, Summer Bike to Work Day and the B360 ride (though not this year, unfortunately). We have performed at Zimfest music festivals, elementary schools, summer camps and the Farmers’ Market. For our twice monthly singalongs, we usually sing at someone’s house. But when the weather gets nice and the days long, of course we like to sing outside. We sing in the wide, safe underpasses where we won’t cause a collision. We sometimes sing at Scott Carpenter park between the silver disks, and once we sang at NCAR, just for fun, in the echo-ey courtyard.