Membership of the Choir is open to all who can hold a tune, can attend rehearsals and are prepared to listen and learn.
Prospective members join as probationers and attend choir rehearsals until they are sufficiently proficient in their voice and ability to take an audition and become a full member, from there they can appear with the choir on stage.
The first visit of a prospective member is considered an introductory one. They will be warmly welcomed by our Membership Secretary, introduced to the Musical Director who will assign them to a section and introduce them to a Section Leader. The Section Leader will loan them a Welcome Pack which contains a letter from the Chairman, music and other essential choir details. In return, they are asked to provide contact details and return the pack at the end of rehearsal. On the next visit, it is assumed that they wish to join the Choir and the Welcome Pack is theirs to keep.
The Section Leader will assign an experienced ‘Mentor’ to help and guide the prospective member through their probationary period. Access to learning material for their voice part in the songs will also be provided.
Life in the choir is not all work! Rehearsals and concerts are usually followed by a visit to a local hostelry for much needed (and earned) refreshment. Our Ladies Support Group organise a number of fundraising events throughout the year including a summer barbecue, cream tea and various quizzes. There is also a wonderful opportunity to tour with the choir annually.
However the Choir seeks to put on professional and entertaining concerts to a high standard. This is achieved by attendance at Wednesday rehearsals throughout the year and Friday rehearsals from November to the end of April, regular attendance in excess of 70% is expected. We also ask that apologies be given for any none attendance to the Section Leader and that a professional attitude is shown at all times.
Q. Am I good enough?
A. You don’t need to be able to read music to sing with us. A core of members do read music and help and support the majority of us who don’t. Every newcomer sits alongside an experienced singer, to help and guide them during their early days in the choir and to make their joining as easy as possible.
As well as being provided with the score for each item of music, choristers also have recordings of the song parts for their particular voice to make the learning process easier.
Prospective members can take as much time as they need and our aim is to give newcomers every assistance.
Rehearsals are really enjoyable – hard work and learning tempered with good humour, banter and reward. All that is asked is that individuals attend rehearsals regularly, be professional, are willing to learn and are prepared to put in a little time outside rehearsals to facilitate the learning process. ‘Little and often’ is an established formula for success in learning both music and words. You will be supported as you continue to develop your love of singing.
At the end of the day, the only real answer to this question is to ‘give it a try’, so why not come along and see us in rehearsal? You will find that we are a friendly bunch and very keen to help you enjoy your singing with us.
Q. How much time will the choir take up?
A. Most of the year (except for the summer break in August), we rehearse weekly for two hours on Wednesdays. During November (the lead-up to the Christmas season) and in January through to April (learning the new repertoire for the Festival concert) we rehearse on Fridays as well. It also helps if choristers can spend a little time between rehearsals by going over the song parts and again before concerts. Apart from our Christmas repertoire, all songs are sung without music copies so these need to be known ‘off-by-heart’ and the the ability to do this only comes with practice. Music copies can be used in concert for the first six months only after becoming a full member. Choristers are expected to attend rehearsals on a regular basis.
Having learned the repertoire, we enjoy around 20-25 public performances a year, usually in the evening. Whilst most concerts are in the Nottingham area, some can be a little further afield. Our annual Festival Concert includes an afternoon rehearsal before the Saturday evening concert. Most concerts are followed by an optional ‘afterglow’, a visit to a local pub for refreshments and sometimes a fun and informal sing.
Q. How much will it cost me?
A. Choristers pay an annual membership subscription, this is a reasonable amount for a choir of decent repute. This covers essential running costs as well as paying the music team, purchasing music and subsidies for the likes of uniforms. The choir puts aside some funds for members who may have difficulties meeting costs, so finances need not deter those who want to sing with us. Details of the current subscription amount can be requested via the contact page.
While most items of the main uniform are provided, members are expected to have their own dinner suit, dress shirt and shows for formal occasions.
Members are usually expected to make their own way to concerts and other events, although there is a very active car-sharing scheme within the choir to offset costs.
From time to time, national or overseas tours are organised for the choir to sing with other choirs. The cost of such trips has to be borne by the individual members, but there is often a valuable subsidy from the funds raised by the Ladies Support Group through various social activities.
Q. How will I fit in?
A. Fitting-into the choir is very easy. Rest assured that regardless of your background, experience, ethnicity or age you will be warmly welcomed and supported. Encouraging new members is one of the ways in which our choir has maintained its numbers, standards and reputation over many years. The choir comprises of people from all walks of life, some working, some retired, all coming together to create something that they really love and which our audiences will enjoy.
Rest-assured, every newcomer is assigned to an experienced choir member and singer to help and guide them during their early days in the choir and to make their joining as easy and as fun as possible.
We meet on Wednesdays from 7:30 to 9:30 pm at Gedling Road Methodist Church, Gedling Road, Carlton, Nottingham, NG4 3EX. Parking is available in adjacent streets or behind the Park Medical Centre (approached from Burton Road).
Whatever you think your ability may be, you are warmly invited to join us at Gedling Road whether you would like to sing or just sit in to get an idea of how a choir works. You will find that we are a friendly and sociable bunch, so why not come along and see for yourself?
Interested? Contact Us here!