Bedford Choral Society - Joining the Choir

Joining Bedford Choral Society

Thank you for your interest in Bedford Choral Society. We are always looking for new singers to join us!

Sopranos and tenors are particularly needed. Also, some additional basses.

We present three or more concerts a year, usually accompanied by a local orchestra. Biennially, we present a Christmas concert. In August, we usually participate in the Bedford Proms in the Park. In addition, the smaller ‘Chamber Choir’, is available to sing at external events. We also often hold a training day in the autumn, as well as regular ‘Bring a Friend’ evenings, (when members are encouraged to bring someone else along to an open rehearsal to see if they enjoy singing in the choir, with a view to future recruitment).

Our year starts on the first Monday in September when we begin work towards a concert in November. The second and third concerts are in March and June. Please do come to hear one of our concerts, which are usually presented at Bedford Corn Exchange. Tickets may be purchased from the box office there - or bought on-line via the Corn Exchange website. A link to on-line ticket sales is placed on this webite a few weeks before the performance.

Rehearsals are from 7.30pm to 9.30pm on Mondays at St Gregory’s RC Middle School, Biddenham Turn, Bedford MK40 4AH. If you would like to consider joining us, it is best to start attending at the beginning of a series of rehearsals; we usually begin the next series on the Monday following a Saturday concert. Music is provided. Please bring a pencil and you may want to bring a bottle of water. (There is always a break during the rehearsal, but we don’t always provide refreshments).

Please contact the Chorus Secretary via e-mail: .

Alternatively, just turn up and make yourself known to a choir member who can introduce you.

Bedford Choral Society - Training day at St Gregory's
A recent training day at St Gregory's School
After attending for a few weeks, new members join by audition. (All members repeat their audition every four years).The audition is short and informal; it aims to place members in their appropriate part by establishing the range of their voice, as well as some ability to read music - perfection is not required! As well as singing a short prepared song or hymn, the audition will include some simple ear tests and a short piece of simple sight-reading.

Members are asked to commit themselves to regular attendance at Monday evening rehearsals, and to singing in our concerts. We trust all members will also do their best to publicise our concerts as we rely on members selling tickets.

You will need to equip yourself with concert dress soon after joining: For men , this is usually a black dinner jacket suit and black bow tie with white shirt and black shoes and socks; for ladies plain black top with ¾ or full length sleeves and a full length black skirt or trousers. The latter must be tailored and not jeans, leggings or any form of casual trousers. You may wear your own choice of discrete jewellery - but nothing too bright as it will be picked up by the spotlights. We will provide a chorus music folder for you.

Unfortunately, we have to ask you to pay an annual membership subscription. For the current season 2015 - 2016 , a single membership costs £130 . A double membership is £230 . Persons under 25 and in full-time education are asked to pay £65 . For a student still at school there is no charge for membership (but a returnable cash deposit is required, to ensure return of music)

Whilst this might seem a lot of money, it actually works out at about £3 per rehearsal/concert and includes music hire. In cases of financial difficulty, we can usually work something out; please don’t let money put you off singing! Our Treasurer keeps the subscription as low as possible; high ticket sales offset subs levels! Completion of a Gift Aid form also enables the choir to gain maximum benefit from your subscription.

We hope that you will enjoy singing with Bedford Choral Society and look forward to meeting you.

Page updated: November 2016 (changes to concert dress for ladies).

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