“C’mon Baby Light My Choir!”
Membership of Carlton male Voice Choir is made welcome to all who can hold a tune, can attend rehearsals (live or virtual) and who are prepared to listen and learn. It doesn’t matter if you live in Nottingham or not; as long as you can get to us you are very welcome to be part of Carlton Male Voice Choir. If you love performing and singing whilst having fun and socialising then Light My Choir and give us a try!
“It’s All About The Bass”
We are now actively recruiting to rebuild the choir following the pandemic of 2020/21, so if you were promising yourself to get involved with a choir following that dreadful time then please let it be us. We are especially focusing on bass singers at the moment but welcome all to get involved.
Joining a choir is a big thing to do, especially if you’ve not sung with others before, we know that as we have all gone through it, including me! But I can’t recommend it enough and those that give it a go reap the rewards in plenty singing with a great bunch of people, making new friends, having great fun whilst performing varied music at some wonderful and interesting venues. Carlton Male Voice Choir is a great place to start if you are a total novice, but is also a renowned and respected choir if you want to join with ability and experience; we cater for all at all levels. The choir has the skills and people to be able to develop your singing, repertoire, confidence and stage-craft and provide you with experiences that some people only ever dream of! We are currently building for our future by encouraging new members and with a group of some 7 or 8 younger guys now well established, things are looking good! 2021/22 will continue as our ‘years of recruitment‘ for Carlton as we rebuild ourselves up again, we are performing in some key public places with the aim to get people to see us, join us and get involved; so look out for those opportunities in the Concerts & Events tab of this site and come give us a try – you won’t regret it.
Ian Watts (Musical Director)
Here are 10 good reasons why YOU should Join Us…
- Contribute to the big sound and great history of a large professional male voice choir
- Take part in something that benefits your health and recovery, through improved breathing, reduced stress and overall better well-being
- Sing on stage in high profile performances at famous venues, as well as intimate concerts for local audiences and in and outdoor public places
- Enjoy subsidised concert tours to places such as Germany, Canada, Holland, Ireland, Greece, Italy and the Czech Republic, as well as weekends away in various parts of the United Kingdom
- Help raise thousands of pounds for deserving causes – local, national and international
- Become part of our proud history for a choir that celebrated it’s Centenary in 2008
- Immortalise your voice as you sing with the choir on its next recording, distributed worldwide digitally in a choir with a record deal and chart success
- Enjoy new friendships with people who share a common interest – a love of singing – have fun
- Take part in the choir’s busy social life, including pub crawls and picnics, plus events organised by our Choir Support Group, who raise thousands of pounds for the choir, choir meals and outings
- Get involved in a pastime which can become seriously addictive – just ask any of our members who, once they started singing, simply could not stop! Here are some of their comments:
“I was made very welcome by everyone I met and things have not changed”
“The pleasure of singing and the challenge of new music”
“Everybody was friendly and encouraging”
“The first song made the hair stand up on the back of my neck!”
“I wished I’d joined years ago”
“I believe, to my great satisfaction, that my singing, has improved and I feel much more confident”
“I enjoy Choir tours which are very well organised”
“Carlton Male Voice Choir should be available on the NHS!”
Further Info on Joining Us
Prospective members join as ‘probationers’ and attend choir rehearsals until they feel sufficiently proficient in their voice and ability to take a short 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 do an informal voice check and assign them to a section, introducing them to their Section Leader. The Section Leader will provide 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, support and guide the prospective member through their probationary period. Access to learning material for their voice part in the songs will also be provided. The mentor will help make things easy for you as you learn.
Life in the choir is not all work! Rehearsals and concerts, which are great fun, are usually followed by a voluntary visit to a local pub for much needed (and earned) refreshment. Our Choir 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. Speak to us if your commitment levels differ from this expectation as we can often explore ways to make things work for both parties.
Scroll to the bottom of this page for Frequently Asked Questions.
Our Latest Members – Andrew Moffat (Top Tenor), Garry Roberts (Top Tenor) & John Greasley (Second Tenor), other members include Geoff and Jake who are yet to be pictured.
Andrew came along to the choir recently, joining as we started learning the repertoire for 2019, he quickly got himself established as a key top tenor to the future of the choir and auditioned his way to a uniform and a place in our 2019 Festival Concert at the Albert Hall (what a first gig!) where he excelled himself. Since then he has already sang at the Castle Rock Brewery, Newark Show, Dumfries and Newstead Abbey! Andrew has a fine voice with excellent control and pitching and his solo live performance of Eric Claptons’ Wonderful Tonight at Dumfries showed the choir his (as of yet) untapped potential.
Gary, passed his audition recently singing Stay With me ‘Til The Morning, Garry has been in the choir some years ago leaving due to work commitments and has now decided that he will join us once again as things have become easier at work, he sings beautifully and has now been heard singing the top tenor part in concert with the choir once again. As an Engineer Garry is a top hand at electrics and now helps with the choirs technical equipment, he also gets on the mic and sells joining our choir to the audience which is much appreciated, he also notably became Choir Secretary in 2020 – well done Garry!
John is the latest member to join Carlton choir as a Second Tenor choosing Stay With me ‘Til The Morning as his audition piece, John is a great example of perseverance as he worked really hard and passed on his third attempt. The audition process can be a little nerve wracking but it is essential to ensure consistent quality in the choir – especially for the second tenors which is possibly the most challenging section, the Musical Director will often make suggestions for improvements of challenge singers to meet further expectations – not a problem to most including John – well done sir! John is a light aircraft pilot – we have all sorts of wonderful people with interesting backgrounds at Carlton.
We hope to welcome more new members as soon as we can!
Chairman Nigel Slater welcomes Andrew Moffat to the choir.
Chairman Nigel Slater welcomes Garry Roberts to the choir (who soon becomes Choir Secretary!).
Chairman Nigel Slater welcomes John Greasley to the choir.
Another recent member – Mr Charles Beaumont (Bass)
Charles recently passed his audition singing Gwahoddiad. Charles has great potential as a deep bass with his low register, he will admit himself that he needs to grow his experience but so do we all! Charles has gone headfirst into doing just that singing his first concert at West Bridgford, then following it up with some great sings at Christmas 2018, Albert Hall 2019 and Dumfries on his first choir tour – well done mate!
Chairman Nigel Slater welcomes Charles Beaumont to the choir.
This has been a fruitful few months for the choir with an influx of new members joining: John Greasley (Second Tenors), Andrew Moffatt (First Tenor), Ian Gibson and Nigel Wildgust (First Tenor) – good luck gentlemen in your first few months with the choir! We also had two new prospective Baritones walk through our doors in the last weeks. Keep them coming…read on to discover more.
New members at their first Festival Concert (L-R) Charles Beaumont, Carl Spencer, Ian Gibson and Andrew Moffat
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, learning tracks are provided to make this easy. 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 Choir Support Group through various social activities. The trips are voluntary.
A small deposit is required prior to a music pack being given to you, but don’t worry; this is returned should you not wish to go forward and when you return the music, if you do join us then the deposit amount is deducted from your first year’s membership (in effect being returned to you on joining).
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, of all ages, some working, some retired, all coming together to create something that they really love and which our audiences will enjoy.
Q. Will I like the music you sing?
A. Carlton Male Voice Choir prides itself on maintaining a large, wide and eclectic repertoire of music to suit ALL tastes, you may not like everything of course, but you will certainly like much of it.
We sing a mix of well known songs from films and shows such as The James Bond Theme and a medley from Oklahoma to classical/operatic repertoire such as Nessun Dorma and Speed Your Journey from Nabucco to religious music such as Cwm Rhondda and Amazing Grace to contemporary pop music including Perfect by ed Sheeran and Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol, 60’s classics such as Bridge Over Troubled Water and Unchained Melody to fun spirituals/gospel such as Dry Bones and The Gospel Train and of course traditional classic Male Voice repertoire such as Gwahoddiad and Morte Criste.
Rest-assured that 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. Why not give it a go?
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!