Walking through HNU’s campus this week, you may have been surprised to hear spontaneous music filling Corrigan Courtyard. Anne Hege, who began teaching music at HNU in fall 2013, has been leading a circle sing group on a monthly basis since October. Circle singing is an improvisational community practice where a leader teaches short musical phrases to a group that are layered together to create a song.
“Circle singing provides an amazing opportunity to step into a circle and immediately make music with strangers,” Hege said. “I love that this music is meant to be of the moment—it is created in the moment and when the song is over, it is gone. I find the creative and ephemeral nature of circle singing a beautiful combination.”
Hege was inspired to start circle singing at HNU to find students for her choir and voice classes, and to support the music and singing culture on campus. She grew up in the East Bay and sang with the Oakland Youth Chorus, where she learned to circle sing with members of musician Bobby McFerrin’s Voicestra.
“I think it is a wonderful, casual, accessible way for people to make music together and thought it would be a great addition to the activities on campus,” she says.
Circle singing is open to the entire HNU community and no experience is necessary. This semester, circle singing will take place in front of the Paul J. Cushing Library on the last Wednesday of every month from 4 to 4:30 p.m. The next circle sing gathering is on February 26. For more information, email Anne Hege at firstname.lastname@example.org.