Many of our members have not sung for many years or been a member of a choir. In either case the first visit to a rehearsal can be daunting so please don’t let that put you off. We do try to start singing by 7:45pm so please arrive by 7:30pm at the latest. Doors are open from 7.10pm.
When you arrive at the door you will see people queuing to pay their £3 weekly entrance fee. If you have not come with anyone then this is the best place to start (in fact, if you have come with someone who is already a member then this is where they will start too!). Once we have taken some basic details (name is useful, as is email address for our records) – we don’t take any payment on the first week – then we will find a member of the committee to discuss some very basic questions which are principally “Do you know whether you have a high or low voice?” and “Do you read music?”. Doesn’t matter if you don’t know the answer but we just like to know so that we can place you into an appropriate part of the choir. We will always endeavor to sit you with someone who is reasonably musically proficient – this is to help you fit in; it’s certainly not an audition.
The rehearsal generally starts with a quick warm-up exercise and then it’s straight into singing. We usually start with a few songs we are confident with and then we move on to the pieces we are learning.
Our music is generally accompanied by backing tracks, or an accompanist. We learn short phrases at a reasonable pace – always checking with the members whether the phrase is largely learned before moving on. The repetition of short phrases is the easiest way to learn music in a large group (don’t forget that over 90 people come to sing each week). Everyone is actively encouraged to speak up if they don’t “get” a part, because with those numbers there is often someone else who doesn’t too.
There is always a 10 minute break where people just stop and have a chat (and a glug of water – remember to bring a bottle). At the end of the break we normally have an open floor for announcements and messages so if you want to tell people about an event or something of interest you can.
The second half of the evening is much the same as the first half except we start with learning a piece and then we finish by singing some songs we know well. We start to pack up at 9:15pm as we have to be clear of the premises by 9:30pm.
We also organise a number of social nights through the year where we spend much more time eating cake and spending time with our fellow singers making new friends.
So hopefully you can see that we like to sing and to bring people together. If you don’t like us then we don’t mind. Music and singing are very personal things. Any activity you do in your spare time must be enjoyable and singing isn’t for everyone. We promise that you will be welcomed and we hope that you will stay: nearly everybody does!