Carol Shortis

I am a choir director, song leader, composer and community choir mentor living on the beautiful Kāpiti Coast of Aotearoa New Zealand. I have 15 years’ experience of leading choirs both regular and for special occasions. I'm the chair of the Song Leaders Network Aotearoa and stay in regular touch with song leaders throughout the country and worldwide. This helps to fuel my passion for collecting, researching, sharing and living the human insights that are so often ‘coded’ within the songs that we sing.

I currently lead three choirs: Gale Force Gospel Choir in Wellington, The Whakaahuru Singers in Wellington, and Kāpiti Community Choir in Paraparaumu. During the recent Covid-19 pandemic lockdown in Aotearoa, I was working online to provide weekly Zoom choir rehearsals for my established choirs, and I started weekly singing workshops open to anyone, anywhere to join me for a sing. I’m still learning this new way of teaching, but Choir at Home  means we can sing a duet together across the airwaves.

I aim to provide a safe, supportive environment for people to explore their singing potential in a group situation. Each choir is a bit different, according to location, genre, and commitment levels, but all of my work is based on the understanding that everyone can sing, and we get better at it with practise.

Stepping Back and Going Deep

There are some events in our lives that are so big they call on us to revisit our core values and can initiate a chain reaction of responses in us that range from the mundane to the revolutionary. The Covid-19 pandemic is affecting everyone’s life the world over, and I’m no exception. I’m moved to alter my working life in two ways at the moment: to step back and to go deep. Stepping back involves the decision to work from home as much as possible for now, to find some space in my life and in my busy-ness, and to establish some grounding in the virtual workplace (the phrase seems like an oxymoron even as I type it). Going deep is about honouring the songs, the people behind the songs, and the meanings within the songs. This is all very experimental, “messy” even. If you’re interested in my progress in these areas, I’ll be journaling my experiences in the next little while on two pages here on my website.

 You know you can This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to enquire about my work.