Why Join The Choir?

Sing With Us

Why Join The Choir?

Between September and July, rehearsals are held every Monday between 6.15pm and 8.15pm in Westminster Cathedral Hall, Ambrosden Avenue, London SW1 (a few minutes’ walk from Victoria Station). Members of the Choir are friendly and approachable, and around the weekly rehearsals there are frequent opportunities to socialise.

An international reputation for musical excellence

Founded in 1876, The Bach Choir is recognised as one of the world’s leading choirs, building upon a tradition that combines musical excellence with creativity and innovation.  Directed by eminent conductor and choir trainer David Hill, we regularly perform and record across London and the UK in prestigious venues, from iconic concert halls like the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Festival Hall, to stunning cathedrals such as Winchester and St Paul’s, and world-renowned recording venue, Abbey Road Studios.

Our commitment to challenging repertoire

From oratorio to film scores, our repertoire covers works from the 16th century to the present day.  As well as regular performances of larger scale choral works, such as Mozart’s Requiem and Bach’s Mass in B Minor, the Choir has, under David Hill’s directorship, undertaken a demanding recording schedule, which has produced acclaimed discs of music by Handel, Howells, Mahler, Carl Rütti, Vaughan Williams and Delius.  We collaborated with John Rutter and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on The Colours of Christmas, which reached No 3 in the Official Classical Charts in 2011.

The Choir has given seven world premieres since 2001 and has a commitment to commissioning new music.  In 2012 we gave the world premiere of Bob Chilcott’s environmental cantata The Angry Planet as part of the BBC Proms, which also featured the National Youth Choir and over 250 children from The Bach Choir’s Outreach project.  More recently, in the iconic setting of St Paul’s Cathedral, we gave the first performance of David Goode’s Blitz Requiem.

We are also regularly asked to feature on soundtracks for blockbuster films, and have recorded music for Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven, Prometheus, Robin Hood, The Chronicles of Narnia, Shrek the Third and Jack the Giant Slayer.

An ambitious touring schedule

We try to tour abroad every 2-3 years; previous trips have included engagements in Beirut (2003), Germany (2005, 2007, 2009) and Australia (2008). We have also sung in the USA, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand, Sweden, France, South Africa and more. In April 2014, the choir travelled to China and gave a series of successful concerts in Shanghai, Hangzhou and Hong Kong.

A demanding season programme

We have a core programme of about five concerts each year, although corporate events, recordings, tours and other engagements have often increased this number to 15 or more in a single season. To qualify to sing in a concert, members must have attended at least two-thirds of the rehearsals for that concert. Concerts are mainly on weekdays, but occasionally at weekends.

The audition process

In order to join the Choir, it is necessary to pass an audition, with further re-auditions every three years to ensure that the Choir maintain its high standards. We hold auditions at various times throughout the year. At your audition you will be asked to sing scales or arpeggios, perform various musical tests and sight-read from a vocal score.  Sight-reading needs to be of a good standard in order to cope with our demanding programme.

Our membership subscription

Since The Bach Choir is a charity, all members are asked to make a contribution towards the costs of running the Choir through a subscription. The Choir’s subscription costs £25.50 per month, paid over 12 months, or £282 per year (although any difficulty with this would be viewed sympathetically). Full-time students or those who have graduated within the last four years (first degree) pay just £15 per year. Music can be bought through the Choir and hire copies are often available free of charge from the Choir’s library.

Singer profiles

Find out what life in The Bach Choir is really like by reading profiles of two of our current members, Kate and Sebastian.

How to apply for an audition

For more information on joining The Bach Choir, please contact Julie Greenacre, the Choir’s Membership Secretary by emailing her at: auditions@thebachchoir.org.uk

To apply for an audition, click here.