New to the Choir? – FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Will I need to have an audition : We strive to maintain a high standard of music-making. To achieve this all new members will be auditioned after a few weeks, and existing members will be re-auditioned periodically.
    • The purpose of your audition is to make sure you are comfortable with your place in the choir and to allow the Musical Director to hear every voice individually, to identify possible candidates for semi-chorus and solo opportunities and to make sure you are singing the voice part best suited to your voice.
  • How often does the Choir stage concerts : We generally put on three or four main concerts a year and also get involved in other activities, such as Carol Singing at Christmas and occasional music-themed Saturday workshops. Check the Choir website for latest details.
  • Is there a timetable of events : The Choir Secretary produces a schedule of dates for rehearsals, concerts, half-term closures and other events at the start of each season, which is distributed with the weekly newsletter and repeated on the Members Page of the Choir website.
  • Social Media – Does the choir have a Twitter/Facebook page : You can follow us on Twitter at @rlsbc, and on Facebook at @RoyalLeamingtonSpaBachChoir. Please add us as a Friend and don’t forget to Like and Share with your friends and families too.
  • When & Where are rehearsals : The Choir meets on Wednesday evenings throughout school term-time in the main hall of Lillington Primary School in Cubbington Road, Lillington.
    • Rehearsals start at 7.30pm prompt and finish around 9.45pm*. We have a 15 minute break mid-rehearsal during which refreshments can be purchased (hot/cold drinks 50p, cake/biscuits 50p). Each week there is a raffle in aid of Choir funds (prizes of wine/chocolates etc. donated by Choir members).  * Any change to Start/End times is included in the weekly newsletter, and announced at the beginning of rehearsals. 
  • Rota for refreshments and raffles: Two willing volunteers are needed each week to set up and serve the tea/coffee for the interval, and two to bring a raffle prize (chocs/wine etc) and sell raffle tickets. Members are asked to sign up on the sheet by the entrance to take their turn at least once per term. Instructions are provided if you don’t know what to do!
  • Pre-concert rehearsal : An additional rehearsal with orchestra will take place at Lillington on the Thursday or Friday before a concert. Please make a note in your diary!
  • Concert day dress rehearsal : On the day of a concert all singers are expected to attend an afternoon dress rehearsal, starting around 2pm and finishing by 5pm.
  • What if I can’t sing in a concert : We ask people to sign up for concert attendance during the rehearsal period. We know that sometimes holidays or events mean that you know you can’t attend. This shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the rehearsals, but don’t attend the final couple of rehearsals. In case of illness or emergency let the Stage Manager know.
  • How is attendance at weekly rehearsals monitored : Members tick an attendance sheet at the entrance to the rehearsal room, and use the registers to indicate if you are unable to attend (e.g. holiday/sick) – or notify the Membership Secretary via email or text message (see below).  Our aim is to achieve 100% attendance – so if in doubt whether you are ready to sing in the concert, please check with the Musical Director Chris Cromar directly.
  • When do I need to pay my subscription : When you have passed your audition, you will be invited to pay an annual or pro rata subscription, and you will be asked to complete a Gift Aid declaration. Payment can be made by online Bank Transfer* or by cheque/cash to the Membership Secretary or Treasurer. (Sortcode & account number on request)
  • Are there any concessions for membership fees : The current annual membership subscription is £150 (due in September) and anyone finding difficulty with this should refer to the Membership Secretary, who will treat any enquiries confidentially.
  • Will I have to provide my own music : Scores are ordered by the Choir Librarian a term in advance and can be hired or bought, often at discount prices. Members who choose to use their own copies are expected to use the correct edition for a concert.
  • Will I have to sell tickets for Choir performances : We rely on our members to promote our events wherever possible, and all members are expected to try and sell at least two tickets for each concert.
  • What do I need to wear for concert performances : Concert dress will be advised before each performance.
    • Ladies normally wear long plain black skirts or trousers and long-sleeved black shirt/blouse, with a teal Choir scarf. Black shoes and tights, and only discreet jewellery should be worn.  Handbags should not be taken on stage.
    • Gentlemen typically wear a DJ with white dress shirt and black bow tie and socks/shoes.  Any change for a specific concert will be announced in advance.
    • Music folders – You will also need to provide a plain black folder

Rehearsal Music Sound Files

Links to performances of some of the music we will be performing at the Christmas 2019 concert are available online on Youtube – type in or click on the links attached below to play, and use for practice at home between rehearsals.

Cecilia McDowall – Christus Natus Est – The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey, Anne Matlack – Conducting Grace Church Chorus and Soloists 2017 https://youtu.be/VTNhOuoZN-4

Performances from 100 Carols for Choirs are widely available on Youtube. Here a few of the pieces which we may be performing at the Christmas concert (subject, of course, to dynamic interpretation by our Musical Director Chris Cromar!)

New term? – It’s rehearsal time!

Rehearsals are held in Lillington Primary School on Wednesdays from 7.30pm-9.45pm. Members are expected to achieve 80% minimum attendance in order to prepare fully for the next performance – check out the <Members> and <Events> pages for details.

Anyone considering joining or re-joining the Choir is very welcome to come and try out with us, but the attendance cut-off for singing in the next concert requires that you don’t miss more than a couple of weeks – and then subject to successfully completing an audition it will be the Musical Director’s decision whether you should wait till next term!

If you require more information please contact the Choir Secretary.