Wholehearted is a non-audition, heart-led, joy-based community chorus with 135 members, ages 6-91, in Monterey & Big Sur, CA. Led by Lisa G. Littlebird, we sing a diverse blend of largely contemporary and original songs from around the world, selected for their ability to soothe, empower and enliven ourselves and the world.
Founded in 2008, we are Monterey county’s largest community chorus, and distinguish ourselves from most choirs in that we learn all our songs by heart, in the ancient art of oral tradition. We are open to all who are inspired by the power of song, and welcome you to come raise your voice with us.
Our spring season begins in January and features a very special musical collaboration with our friend Glen Phillips, of Toad The Wet Sprocket. We will sing several of Glen’s songs next season and he will join us for our spring concert on Sunday afternoon, May 5th in Pacific Grove.
Our 14-week spring season includes a two-week spring break at the end of March and a weekend campout retreat in Big Sur on April 13th & 14th. We will love to have you singing with us.
In-between the spring and fall concert seasons we meet most weeks for drop-in classes. During the concert seasons we learn more complex songs over time with richer harmonies, culminating in two concerts. New and returning singers are welcome anytime with no commitment, although consistent attendance during the seasons is recommended. Drop-ins welcome by donation ($10-20 suggested.)
All songs are learned by oral tradition with no sheet music. Practice recordings and lyric sheets are provided during the seasons to support learning.
During the concert seasons we request singers pay for the season in advance, however no singer is ever turned away from Wholehearted for financial reasons. If you would like to sing, pease join us and we will make arrangements with you that fit your needs.
Choose the location most convenient for you. Most singers come to one each week but all are welcome at both. Our two communities join and sing together in our season concerts.
*NEW LOCATION!* We now meet on Mondays at the Monterey American Legion near Veteran’s Park, 1110 Veterans Dr, Monterey, CA 93940.
Join this group and leave a review on Meetup.com.
We meet at the Big Sur Grange Hall. The Grange is located on the west side of Highway 1 just south of the Big Sur Roadhouse.
Our chorus never turns away a singer for financial reasons. The scholarship fund allows us to welcome all singers, and your support is creating a circle of generosity… thank you!
Our singing tribe is sustained through subscriptions of our singers. If you wish, you may become a regular, ongoing subscriber instead of paying drop-in and season fees. Your subscription is a wonderful support to our chorus – thank you!
Singers who can’t join us often may become honorary subscribers.
Subscribe with Paypal here or make a one-time annual payment with Lisa. Annual rates are: $60 Honorary, $780 Standard, $1200 Legacy.
Just show up! Wholehearted is open to men and women 14 and over. (See our kids choir page for younger members.) No experience or audition is ever required. We meet year round on most Mondays at the American Legion Hall in Monterey (1110 Veterans Dr, Monterey, CA 93940) and Wednesdays at the Grange Hall in Big Sur. During our spring and fall seasons we sings songs that take more time to learn so we recommend more consistent attendance. Drop-ins are always welcome as well.
The Wholehearted Chorus requires no commitment, although consistent attendance will support your learning and greatly contributes to our sense of community. If you wish to sing in the concerts at least 50% attendance is requested.
Singers who come consistently are requested to contribute an up-front donation of $250 for each season. Scholarships are available upon request for singers in need. Singers are also welcome to drop-in and offer a cash or check donation per class.
Yes! There are no attendance requirements. You can use the practice recordings to support your learning if you miss meetings and still want to sing in the concerts. We do request that you endeavor to come as often as you can though, as it significantly assists our sense of community. Singing in the concerts is optional.
Yes! If it is within the first six weeks of the season or so, please come join us. If we are more than halfway through the season, it may be too challenging to get up to speed on all the material, however if you are an experienced singer you may have no problem with the help of our season practice recordings and I welcome you to come give it a shot.
Please drop in! You are very welcome to join us for our season classes on a drop-in basis. The first half of the season is the ideal time for new singers to join us, or at the drop-in classes between the seasons. If you drop in or join us more than halfway through a season it may be more challenging to keep up with our learning.
Lisa also offers a Tuesday night drop-in class of spiritual, healing and devotional singing in Carmel. All are welcome, year-round. Learn more here:
Singers are welcome to attend the Monterey (Monday) or Big Sur (Wednesday) classes, or both. Your season contribution covers them all. Visiting the other tribe is fun and encouraged. Both groups sing together at the retreat and concerts.
We sing songs from a wide variety of genres, but they are largely contemporary and original songs in English and 2-4 part harmony. All songs are learned by oral tradition, with no sheet music. We sing a diverse mix of traditional chants & rounds, spirituals, gospel, folk, pop and original compositions.
During the fall and spring seasons we use lyric sheets and practice recordings to support learning.
Wholehearted has a closed group Facebook page for regular singers to share information. Request to be added here:
Wholehearted is on Meetup! Welcome new singers and help them find us by RSVPing to classes and leave a review:
Songs with recordings of individual parts will begin being posted on the website early in the season. Custom practice CDs become available about halfway through each season.
It's amazing how people sing out and even do their best when they just feel free ``like birds`` to sing and have fun. No one is yelling at them to raise their pitch, etc. People under Lisa's leadership seem to naturally be in musical harmony.
I am blessed to have a beautiful singing circle here in Monterey at last! I consider it my song sangha! The leader is Lisa Goettel. She is lovely, sings like a bird, with such a generosity of spirit and is a very skilled and delightful teacher. She is spreading the joy of singing together around the world and making these songs accessible to all.
I find it strange that with all the psycho-therapeutic modalities I've explored, I never really put singing together with healing. How did I miss that ? (rhetorical) There was a moment during last weeks class that Lisa said (in a rather quiet voice) ``We're Healers.`` That was the moment it crystallized.
Lisa is a whiz at bringing out the best in us with a Buddhist approach - total acceptance, no judgment, great support, empathy and compassion. My friends at our spring concert were wowed and loved it all - they all commented on the great assortment of songs, the fact that we all seemed to be in complete joy and that they were infected by our passion.
I feel like I’ve found my heart’s home with all of you. Lisa and her vision are a gift from the Divine.