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There are no auditions and you do not need to be able to read music to sing in the choir.

We meet most Thursday evenings during school term times with a break for half term so are approximately 11 weeks long. Sessions are held at St John’s Church, Wellington, 7.30 – 9.15 pm.

The choir is currently at capacity and we currently have 30 people on the waiting list, so we have decided to close the list for the time being. 

For more information, please email our membership secretary at blackdownchoir@gmail.com or  contact us through this website

We sing a wide variety of songs, modern or traditional, from around the world. They are all learnt by ear. Some are sung as rounds and some in two, three, four or even, as this term, as five part harmonies. The choir is loosely grouped into parts which will depend on the songs being taught. Singers choose to stand with the group which they feel best suits their singing voice. For convenience we are grouped into four parts and are often referred to by their conventional names.

So we have the Tops (Sopranos)

the Tops (Sopranos)

the Tops (Sopranos)

The Middle Uppers (Altos)

Middle Upper (Altos)
Middle Upper (Altos)

 

The Middle Lower (Tenors)

Middle Lowers (Tenors)

Middle Lowers (Tenors)

and finally the Bottom (Basses)

the Bottoms (Basses)
the Bottoms (Basses)

For most enjoyment and satisfaction it is important to sing the part where your own singing range feels comfortable. We are frequently encouraged to move around and try out singing different parts, to the ones we usually sing. It is just from habit that we tend to end up singing  where we were standing  the last time!

Recordings of the harmony parts to the main songs learnt each term are available to listen and download from the members area. The lyrics and music scores for most songs can also be downloaded and printed. New members are given a username and password on joining.

Concessions are discretionary and being over 60 does not automatically give a concession.

Fees are payable in advance in full, or at the first session.(New members pay after the taster). On-line payment is preferred.

Fees normally average £55 for an average of 11 sessions (see below) 0r £60 for 12 sessions.

A limited number of post-dated cheques for the second half of the term are accepted if necessary at the time of booking – please ask.

 

FAQs

Who can be in the choir?

  • depending on numbers, for anyone who wants to sing who is over 16

Do you hold auditions?

  • Never!

Do I need any experience of singing?

  • No experience is necessary- just enthusiasm!!

Do you have to read music?

  • No – all the songs are taught by ear, all you have to do is listen!

I prefer to sing from music- can I?

  • Songs are all taught by ear but some music is available for some songs for those who want it.

I’m not sure I can hold a part in harmony

  • The songs are sung in parts (sometimes as rounds). Each part is taught separately and you choose a part and sit between others singing the same.

If a song is in another language how will I manage?

  • Many of the songs are in languages that are phonetic i.e. the words sound as you would expect from the written form. For other songs we have a phonetic version to help us sing the words correctly. It is surprising how quickly everyone picks it up.

Does the choir perform to the public?

  • The choir performs at some public events (once a term if possible) but this is voluntary. Performance at particular events will only go ahead if enough people sign up. The main purpose of the choir is to sing for pleasure, to entertain friends and families and we also raise money for good causes.

Does the choir sing unaccompanied?

  • There is no musical accompaniment although Claire, our leader, will start the choir off on the right note!

How much does it cost?

  • The cost is approximately £5 per session:  £55 for eleven weeks and £60 for twelve weeks.

Who can get a concession on the cost?

  • People with low income (self defined) who really can’t afford the full fee. This is not necessarily because they are over 60! We are self- financing and do not sing for profit but have basic running costs.

Is there parking near the venue?

  • Although the venue is fully accessible, there is only limited parking at the church for those with mobility difficulties. Most choir members park in the car park next to ASDA.  

Do you cater for people with disabilities?

  • The choir is inclusive and open to all, but this particular choir may not suitable for those with learning disabilities – please enquire

I’m not sure this style of singing is for me – can I try it out before joining?

  • When you near the top of the waiting list, the membership secretary will let you know and offer the opportunity of a taster session, after which if you decide to join the full fee will be payable.

Do you have a repertoire and will I have to learn a lot of songs when I join?

  • A few of the choir’s favourite songs from a particular singing year are often carried over to the next year, but from September a new repertoire is started as well. If you join, new members can access words and parts for these songs from the website. Sometimes old favourites are re-visited and are revised in greater depth. Most new members who join later in the year find they are able to pick up the songs fairly quickly.

How big is the choir?

  • Around 45-65 members attend every week with a maximum of 70 enrolled every term.

Will my family be able to hear me sing?

  • The choir aims to have one performance a term and/or a ‘sharing’ of what we’ve learned for families and friends.