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FAQs about the Choir and being a member

Download our information sheet





Join the Choir

We are a friendly and purposeful group of about 80 adult singers of all ages and diverse backgrounds. We currently have singers living in Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire and, of course, the West Midlands.

We welcome good singers from many countries around the world, recognising the universal appeal of choral singing.

Choir members pay a season’s subscription of (currently) £196 per year. There is a reduced yearly fee for students of £48. Anyone else of limited means may talk to the Treasurer in confidence regarding payment of subscriptions.


Student Bursary Scheme 2016-17


The Choir has been fortunate to secure funding from the John Feeney Charitable Trust for a limited number of bursaries to support both the development of the choir and the development of promising student singers.

The bursaries are open to singers aged 18 - 30 who have student status. Although tenors would be particularly welcome, bursaries are open to all voices; eventual selection will be at the discretion of the conductor. Bursaries run for periods of up to twelve months and are for up to £500 each.

Download:
Student bursary information
Student bursary application form


Why not find out for yourself?

This is the feedback we received from one recent first-time visitor:

"I thought you might like to hear my reaction to the rehearsal I attended earlier this week. In a word, brilliant! It was so refreshing to see the whole choir listen and respond to the conductor throughout the rehearsal. The standard, too, was dauntingly high. I would like to apply for an audition."


The best way to join the choir is to begin rehearsing with us when we start a new programme, which is usually (but not always) at the beginning of a term. For 2016/17, we start new programmes in 2016 on 7 September, and in 2017 on 4 January, 15 March and 6 September. If you like what you see and hear, you will be able to attend an audition session a few weeks into term with others who would like to join. Our FAQ sheet probably answers most of the questions you might have about singing with the choir, and there is more information about auditions below, but please get in touch if you have other queries. If you wish to visit later in the term, with a view to joining the choir, we will also arrange that for you at a suitable point in the programme.

To arrange a visit to a rehearsal, or for other information, please contact info[at]birmingham.bachchoir.com - and please mention what voice part yousing!


Rehearsals

We rehearse every Wednesday from 7.15pm to 9.30pm at Newman House, Harrisons Road, Edgbaston, B15 3QR (map). Our rehearsal hall has plenty of free car parking.


Auditions

Auditions consist of:

  • Scales to test range
  • A simple aural test - pick a note out of a chord
  • Singing a piece of your own choice
  • Sight reading

    Further details can be downloaded by following the link to Choir Audition Guidance

We can vouch for the friendliness of our choir, but let the Birmingham Post speak for our musicianship in performance:

“Performing Britten's 'A Boy was Born' must be rather like taking part in an Olympic Decathlon: you need stamina, technical command, awesome breath-control, agility and loads of nerve. The Birmingham Bach Choir breasted the tape after an impressive display of discipline, concentration and resource”.

Bach’s 'B minor Mass' in Symphony Hall:
“Conductor Paul Spicer has trained these highly committed amateurs to sing as though members of one of the tiny chamber choirs he directs so brilliantly. Phrasing is supple and almost instrumental…”

Mozart 'Requiem' and Haydn's 'Nelson Mass' in the Adrian Boult Hall:
“From the unforced steady tread of Mozart’s opening Requiem Aeternam to the closing bars of Haydn’s Dona Nobis Pacem this was an evening of disciplined choral singing, full of concentrated energy with vocal lines at the loudest seemingly carved out of granite, and at the quietest bathed in a vibrant glow”.


Join the Choir
Photo: Adrian Burrows

Paul Spicer
Photo: Adrian Burrows

Student Bursaries

 

Rehearsing at Durham Cathedral April 2005
Rehearsals

Birmingham Bach Choir
Photo: Adrian Burrows