A few weeks ago at the Top Hat, the dance floor was filled with toddlers bouncing and running in circles to the sound of live music while parents sipped on microbrews. Family- Friendly Friday always features a band for kids and parents to enjoy, but on this particular evening everyone was partying to a live choir called Pura Vida
whose evening repertoire spanned from “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” to “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. But there was something different about this choir—unlike so many professional groups, this one seemed unrestrained, a little more free-form and often, well, off-key. Pura Vida, directed by musician Joshua Farmer, is one of two choirs in town that doesn’t require auditions. The other is the Missoula Community Chorus
directed by Ron Wilcott. These choirs are all about embracing people who probably love to sing in the shower but maybe don’t have the professional training or raw talent of, say, Dolce Canto.
What Pura Vida didn’t have in refined training that night, it more than made up for in its exuberance. There were great voices mixed in with average ones, like some kind of perfect singing democracy. The point is, nobody cared for perfection; everyone was just having a good time.