FAQ

Sing With Us

FAQ

Across the UK there are hundreds of choral organisations, large and small. What makes The Bach Choir different from the rest?  Here are 10 frequently asked questions about being a singing member of The Bach Choir.

What sort of music does the Choir sing?

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, we are is committed to commissioning new works; since 2001, we have given seven world premieres, including Bob Chilcott’s environmental cantata The Angry Planet as part of the 2012 BBC Proms.

The Choir also undertakes a demanding recording schedule, which has produced acclaimed discs of music by Handel, Howells, Mahler, Carl Rütti, Vaughan Williams and Delius.  Recently, we collaborated with John Rutter and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on The Colours of Christmas, which reached No 3 in the Official Classical Charts at Christmas 2011. We are regularly asked to feature on soundtracks for films, and have recorded music for Kingdom of Heaven , Prometheus, Robin Hood, The Chronicles of Narnia, Shrek the Third, and Jack the Giant Slayer.

When does the Choir rehearse?

We rehearse every Monday between 6.15 and 8.15 from September to July in Westminster Cathedral Hall, Ambrosden Avenue, SW1 (a few minutes’ walk from London Victoria train station).

What does a typical season look like?

The Choir has a basic programme of about seven concerts each year, although corporate events, recordings and tours have often seen our demanding schedule rise to 15 or more engagements in a single season. Concerts are often on weekdays, and sometimes at weekends.

Does the Choir go on international tours?

Yes – we aim to tour abroad every 2-3 years; recent trips have included engagements in Beirut (2003), Germany (2005, 2007, 2009) and Australia (2008). In the past we have sung in the USA, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand, Sweden, France, South Africa and more. In April 2014 the Choir gave a series of concerts in China.

Do I have to audition to join the Choir?

Yes – it is necessary to pass an audition, with further re-auditions every three years to ensure that the Choir maintains a high standard. We hold auditions at various times throughout the year.

What happens in my audition?

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.

How much does it cost to join the Choir?

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 (first degree) pay just £15 per year for the duration of their course. Music can be bought through the Choir and hire copies are often available free of charge from the Choir’s library.

How can I apply for an audition?

To apply for an audition, click here.

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

Do members have to sing in every concert?

We have four or five core concerts each year in which everyone is expected to sing.  In addition we have concerts and other events, many with reduced numbers, for which people are asked to sign up, and singers are selected by the Musical Director.

Do members have to attend every rehearsal?

For all concerts, it is necessary to attend at least two thirds of the rehearsals, plus the final piano rehearsal and a mid-afternoon rehearsal on the day of the concert, which can often be a weekday.  For some events, where rehearsal time is very limited, singers are often required to attend most or all rehearsals in order to qualify to sing.