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Meet the Members: Sophie Timms (Alto)

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Meet the Members: Sophie Timms (Alto)

In our first singer profile, Katharine Richman talks to first alto Sophie Timms to find out what it is about The Bach Choir that attracts London’s young singers.

Sophie applied to join The Bach Choir after she came to London, aged 19, as a music student at King’s College. She had been a member of her local youth choir, but had actually spent more of her childhood playing the violin than singing. I asked her why she chose The Bach Choir:

‘‘I looked into singing with other choruses, but they tended to perform similar repertoire each year. The Bach Choir has a wide range of musical engagements covering a variety of performance opportunities, including concerts, CD and film score recordings, and international tours.’’

Having successfully passed her audition, Sophie was thrown straight in at the deep end. ‘‘In my first year with the Choir, I sang in a world premiere, a film score recording at Abbey Road, two CD recordings, an a cappella concert in the Isle of Wight, a performance of Captain Noah and his Floating Zoo with 200 children from the Choir’s Outreach Project, and several different concerts in the Royal Festival Hall including both the St John and St Matthew Passions. But the one which stood out was the performance of Havergal Brian’s Gothic Symphony in the Royal Albert Hall as part of the Proms — the number of performers was just mind-blowing!’’

"I love performing choral music to a high standard and receiving expert guidance from David Hill"

Since then, Sophie has taken part in as many events as she could combine with the demands of a busy student life. ‘‘I particularly enjoyed recording the film score for Prometheus; and singing at Buckingham Palace, and having a chat with Prince Charles, is an experience I will never forget.’’

Despite arriving at her first rehearsal not knowing a soul, and fearing that she might find herself amongst a group of warbling old ladies, Sophie found the first altos to be a very warm and welcoming group of people of all ages and backgrounds — and there were certainly no warblers! Sophie describes them as a mini family: ‘‘I have met some of my best friends through the Choir, and we regularly meet up outside of rehearsals.’’

Having graduated last summer, Sophie now works as a marketing assistant with a major record label and is pleased that she can continue to sing in the Choir. ‘‘I was absolutely ecstatic when I found out that I’d been picked to go on the China tour next April — I’ve never been that far away from home and I can’t wait to sing on the other side of the world. We’re even performing the Brahms Requiem, one of my all-time favourites!’’

I asked Sophie to look back on her three years with the Choir and to try and summarise her experience. ‘‘I love performing choral music to a high standard and receiving expert guidance from David Hill — I like to challenge myself musically and the work he does with us on phrasing and articulation is really beneficial. Now I’d love to go on and study for a masters degree in singing at a London conservatoire, and hopefully even go on to be a professional singer.’’

JOIN THE BACH CHOIR!

For more information on being a member of The Bach Choir, click here, or consult our FAQs for prospective members.

To apply for an audition, click here.